Des Moines County Historical Society

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to educate and communicate to residents and visitors the history and creative spirit of those who have lived in the area known as Des Moines County, Iowa.

        By instilling pride in our heritage and fostering the understanding of our past, we will better comprehend the present and our prospects for the future.      

        Our Vision is to collect items which relate specifically to the history of Des Moines County, Iowa, its people, settlement, agriculture, business, industries, culture, arts, archeology, and built environment for preservation, documentation, display, and research.

      The DMCHS is responsible for the operation of three distinct museums, each one presenting a different look at county history and the people who lived here.

  • The Heritage Center Museum (501 North Fourth) provides focus and perspective for educational and interpretive programs through permanent and changing exhibits..
  • The Phelps House Museum (521 Columbia) relates 120 years of culture and history in a single, three generation family dwelling.
    • The Medical Memories Exhibit explains the nursing profession of the past in the ball room of this home that at one time served as a hospital.
  • The Hawkeye Log Cabin in Crapo Park presents a rustic setting to explore the ingenuity and creativity of the early settlers of Iowa. 

Support for the facilities, staff, and collections of the Historical Society is generated by admission fees, society memberships, gifts, and, occasionally, grants.   Join DMCHS or see Donations page for more information about ways to support the work of the Society.