Harrison County Historical Village And Welcome Center – Missouri Valley, Iowa

welcome_center_small.jpgHarrison County Historical Village And Welcome Center – Missouri Valley, Iowa

This village was started in 1937 by Preston Niles when he moved a two-story log cabin and three cases of artifacts to its present site. As additional artifacts were acquired, buildings were erected to display them. Now, visitors can tour a country store, chapel, medical building, jail, and blacksmith shop. An Iowa “standard” rural school, built in 1868 and used until 1959, has been moved to the village. In almost every area are paintings done by Niles that depict how various artifacts were used.

There are many unusual items in the village. One of them is a 1880s peddler’s wagon that had traveled the county and surrounding area for 55 years selling the types of items used on Iowa farms. Visitors can also look at collections of Native American artifacts, pioneer equipment and tools, Masonic memorabilia, barbed wire, clothing, and firearms. One can visit a corn museum. Also located on the grounds is an original Lincoln Highway marker. (Around 3,000 markers were erected in 1928; this one is one of the estimated 12 to 16 markers to be found in its original location.) There are over 10,000 items housed in nine different buildings on display.

The two-story log building houses one of Iowa’s Welcome Centers. This center provides information and assistance to visitors year-round, especially about the Loess Hills area. They can find state maps, brochures, and travel guides. The gift shop features crafts, food items, beverages, clothing, and Iowa souvenirs. Visitors can sample a traditional cherry drink that has been made and bottled at this log cabin since the 1930s.

Admission – None (Welcome Center); $2.00 for adults, $.75 for children 6-12, None for children under 6 (Historical Village)

Directions – 5 miles east of Interstate Highway 29, Exit 75, or 3 ½ miles north on U. S. Highway 30

Hours – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Saturday, Noon – 5:00 p.m., Sunday (Iowa Welcome Center, open daily except for New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; Historical Village, open daily from mid-April through November)

Credit Cards – MasterCard, Visa

Phone – (712) 642-2114  

Location: Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555


  1. chuck hislop says:

    My mother was born in Buck Grove in the early teens. I will be at a wedding in MN in June and have a cousin to visit in Dow City not far from there.

    Is there a place of records that might have birth info on my mother or her family near by.

    Thanks for your time.

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