Last updated: 3/14/2014
Glenwood, Iowa
Street Address
2 Lake Drive
Glenwood, IA 51534
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 255
Glenwood, IA 51534
Hours
Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 4 PM
Admissions
Free
Staff
Stephen Hunt, President
Description

There are Five buildings to visit. The Main Museum which contains local historical artifacts. A Burlington Caboose. A machinery hall filled with tractors, cars, replicas of kitchens, a reproduction of an 1880 bathroom. A one room schoolhouse. A historic red barn of yesterday.

Featuring many exhibits, from Chief Waubaunsee artifacts to examples of early quilting to a recreation of an old country store, the museum offers many enjoyable hours of browsing discovering the history of Southwestern Iowa.

Earth Lodge

In the early 1930’s people started finding evidence of earth lodges in the Loess Hills around Glenwood. Archaeologists were called in and they checked the ones which were found. When highway 34 from Glenwood was built over the hill to Interstate 29, many artifacts including burial sites were found. The archaeologists were again called in. This delayed the finish of the highway for about two years. As the items were carbon dated, it was found those people lived around the area from about 900- to 1400 AD. From all the information uncovered at that time, a group of people from the area formed a society. This was called the Glenwood Earth Lodge Society. They started building a reproduction of the lodge using the information found in the excavations. It has been a good attraction for many people to see how the people lived so many years ago.There are about 200 known earth lodge sites in this area. There have only been about 70 excavated. The Glenwood Earth Lodge is the only reconstructed Earth Lodge in the State of Iowa.

Mission

Promote understanding of an respect for the history of the people and cultures of Mills County through education, stewardship of collection, and public outreach.

History

Established in 1959, the Mills County Historical Museum is located on the edge of Glenwood Lake Park.

THE MAIN BUILDING

The Mintle Family of Glenwood built the main building of the Museum in 1959. They felt it would be good to invest their money in something in Glenwood. In the early 1960’s, the Mintle Family added wings on the north and south sides of the building as the Board wanted a special room for the Native American Artifacts. There are thousands of artifacts on display.

In 1983 the Detlef/Fischer family decided to donate some of the furniture from their parents' home. Katie Hamann was the youngest of the three daughters and was instrumental in establishing this. They created a four-room cottage and porch in the north wing, lower floor. The big feature in the cottage is the player piano with 120 rolls of music. This is played for visitors. Since then many more rolls have been acquired.

There are six rooms upstairs in the old part of the main building, including the north and south wings. This houses the County Store, Clubs and Lodge, Chapel, Mintle Room (Spinning Wheels), Children’s Room, Toy Room. Drug Store and others.

In 1994 money was received from the Ray Thomas Trust and built on a good-sized addition with two floors. This contains the military room, map room and the music room and Craig Cottage on the second floor.

DONATIONS

The museum is grateful for all donations of cash as well as items. All donated items have to be accepted by a committee of members of the board. Memorials are received in memory of people who have appreciated what the museum has done for the community. New cabinets, fire extinguishers, and exit lights are some of the items purchased with memorial funds.

Artifact Collections

One of the finest most complete collection of:

  • Native American Artifacts of the Glenwood Culture
  • A military room filled with local military items from the Revolutionary War to Afganistan
  • A general store
  • Tractors, cars, and other farm equipment
  • Cast iron toys
  • Many other local historical items such as a drug store, barber and beauty shop, doctor's office and two three room cottages
  • Research Collections

    Our Native American artifact.

    Educational Programs
    • Teacher workshops put on by University Iowa Archeaology Program.
    • Fontenell Forest winter program.
    • Speaker Series on local and regional history.
    • No Fees.
    Facilities

    Native American Meeting Room.

    Machinery Hall meeting space.

    One room schoolhouse.

    Lecture Halls

    Performance Areas

    Governance

    Governed by a nonprofit board.

    Publications

    Monthly Newsletter cover local history and events.

    ADA

    Have a chair lift.

    Wheelchair Accessible

    Parking

    Restrooms

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    MUSEUM CONFERENCES
    Wednesday, August 4 - Friday, August 6, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Annual Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Conference
    Wilberforce, Ohio
    Monday, August 23 - Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Association of Nature Center Administrators Summit
    Logan, Utah
    Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
    CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
    American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
    American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
    Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
    Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
    Virginia City, Nevada
    Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
    2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri