602 Story Street, Boone, IA | 515-432-1907

Open Hours:

Tuesday – Saturdays 10am – 1pm

Open Other Times By Appointment


Adults $5 | Youth $2 | Children 6 & under Free

Take a look into the exciting past of Boone County! From heroes and heroines, there is something here for everyone.

In the early 1990s the Boone County Historical Society took over the 1907 Masonic Temple on Story Street and it became the physical space of the museum. Today the museum houses collections, several featured exhibits, as well as a meeting space for programs and community use.

What will you see?

An exhibition honoring Boone’s railroad heroine, Kate Shelley, telling the story of her bravery on the night of July 6, 1881, when she alerted Chicago & Northwestern officials that a pusher engine had crashed into Honey Creek. Though two men had been swept away, two had survived and were in need of being rescued. It includes a narrative of the flooding between Boone and Moingona, as well as Kate’s life before and after her brave deed, an overview of Boone’s railroading past, and of the building of both High Bridges, which were named for Kate Shelley. Visitors and children may also cross a model of the Des Moines River bridge Kate Shelley braved on that fearful night.

An exhibition featuring Boone County’s active military past; from the Dragoon soldiers who explored Boone County in 1835 up through Desert Storm.

Our natural history exhibit highlights the collections of local naturalist Carl Fritz Henning, who was the first custodian at Ledges State Park beginning in 1924. Fascinating dioramas display animals native to the Boone County area and exhibits of fish, fossils, and Native American artifacts, some of which are thousands of years old!

On the museum’s second floor, explore the twentieth century through a fascinating decade-by-decade vignette of Boone County on a local national and international level. This exhibition is a blast from the past and is sure to create a sense of nostalgia for any visitor.

Visitors may also enjoy conducting research in the Center’s historical and genealogical records. To find out more go to Research

Boone History Center Gallery

Click on the images for a closer look and more information.