This museum is in Boone, IA, and holds the entire history of Boone County within its walls. Rich history is displayed all throughout the museum that is fun and fascinating for adults and children. (Kids under 6 are free!) Boone County has had very interesting people living in it since the early 1800's, and in 1907, the Masonic Temple in Boone was constructed, and for about 83 years, it served as such.


In early 1990, the building became available and the Boone County Historical Society claimed the building, stating that the building itself is historical, and so they built the Boone County Historical Center. The museum has evolved in the last 18 years. Collections continue to grow and change through the years, featured exhibits are displayed and preserved as Boone County makes history year after year. The Boone County Historical Society dedicated the building as a Boone County public building, and it's used as a space for meetings, community use, and youth as well as adult programs.

More Iowa ideas: Iowa City, flea markets, wedding venues, lakes, caves, attractions

Permanent Exhibits

Heroines and Heroes reside within the walls of the Boone County Historical Center's permanent exhibits. You can also find rich military history, natural history, and people may also search family history through historic books and genealogical records. Here are the permanent exhibits you can find at the Boone County Historical Center:

Kate Shelley- This exhibit honors an ordinary citizen who found courage when tragedy struck. The night was the 6th of July 1881, a train had derailed into a large creek, and officials of Chicago and Northwestern Railroad had to be notified. Kate Shelley trekked through the wilderness and alerted officials in time. Although two lives were lost, two lives were saved, because of her heroism and bravery to run and find help immediately. The exhibit tells the story of Kate's life, beginning before the train tragedy, and after. Railroads are on display at this exhibit, showing the history of the trains, how they shaped the economy in Boone County, and the construction of what locals call "high bridges", which are two bridges build over flooded areas and creeks, built after the tragedy in which the train derailed, and Kate Shelley had to save two men's lives.

Boone County Military- This exhibit features all the history of the military actions in Boone County, as well as names all veterans who have served on all of America's wars and conflicts throughout the years who are from Boone County. The Dragoon soldiers, who scoured the lands of Boone County in 1835, and all the years leading up all the way to Desert Storm are all recorded and displayed.

Natural History Exhibit- This exhibit is made by a man named Carl Fritz Henning, a naturalist local to Boone County, and displays artifacts, dioramas, fossils, fish, Native American history, and other fascinating pieces. Carl Henning was among the first custodians to care for Ledges State Park dating all the way back to 1924, which is in Boone County. Some of the artifacts found in the exhibit are proven to be dated back thousands of years!

20th Century Exhibit- Explore a century's worth of history on the second floor of the Boone County Historical Center by diving into the history, decade-over-decade in impressive displays of vignettes, the impact Boone County has had locally, as well as Nationally, and Internationally, and revel in the nostalgia that is sure to bring you back to "the good old days".

Historical and Genealogical Records- Patrons of the Boone County Historical Center may elect to research their relatives, ancestors, or other important people using state-of-the-art software and technology, as well as using the printed history of Boone County, at no cost to the patron.

Special Events

The Boone County Historical Center is always updating and procuring new artifacts and items to preserve and put out for display, and one of the special things the museum does is that they feature photos that tell so many stories throughout the history of Boone County. The pictures are on display everywhere in the building, so be sure and look throughout the entire place, or you won't see everything they have to offer!

YesterBoone- This huge event is held annually and features the talent, creativity, and personal historic interpretations through live performances, historical presentations, genealogical collections, historical collections, art, and stories. Local business and people display their own history all over Boone, IA, that includes classic cars, private collections, theater performances, murals, and vintage recipe making. Thousands of people attend the event every year, and this year, you should be one of them!


The museum itself doesn't have a shop to purchase memorabilia, or other items, but they do encourage donations. If you are really interested in becoming a part of the museum, you can become a member, and the fees range depending on how involved you wish to be. There is plenty of shopping around Boone, IA, at the many antique stores and vintage craft stores.

602 Story Street, Boone, IA, Phone: 515-432-1907

More: Places to Visit in Iowa, Things to Do in Iowa City, Iowa flea markets, Iowa Breweries, wedding venues in Iowa, Iowa lakes, Best Iowa Flea Markets, Iowa vacation, Things to Do in Ames