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State Historical Society of Iowa
Des Moines skyline with Mobile Museum Winnebago in front

Mobile Museum

After a successful three-year tour from 2017-2019, Iowa History 101 is on course to visit all 99 Iowa counties again from 2021-2023. The exhibition is housed in a bright blue, custom-built Winnebago and is filled with artifacts, including:

  • a Meskwaki cradleboard from the late 1800s, a frame used in combination with a beaded wrap to protect infants
  • knitting needles used by Jane Kirkwood of Iowa City to aid soldiers during the Civil War and World War I
  • a birchbark lunchbox used by a boy in Cerro Gordo county in the 1870s
  • women's suffrage materials including the pen Gov. William Harding of Sibley used to sign Iowa's 19th Amendment bill, as part of the national effort to ensure women's right to vote
  • a University of Iowa pennant owned by Edward Carter of Monroe County, the first African American to get a medical degree from the University of Iowa
  • a business card from the 1920s of J.L. Spriggs, an African-American homebuilder in Des Moines
  • boots worn by Des Moines Water Works director L.D. McMullen during the flood of 1993
  • a NASA-issued, flight suit worn by record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson of Beaconsfield
  • photographs of Iowans from across the state

Iowa History 101: People and Places is made possible by presenting sponsor EMC Insurance Companies. Additional support is provided by: Casey’s General Stores, Winnebago Industries, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Mike Wolfe.

2023 itinerary

If you're planning to see the mobile museum, please check local listings to confirm visiting hours and locations.

  • April 6-8: Gowrie, Gowrie Public Library
  • April 11-13: Union, Union Public Library
  • April 14-18: Boone, Ericson Public Library
  • April 19-22: Rowan, Rowan Public Library
  • April 24-27: Nashua, National Library Week - Nashua Public Library
  • April 29-May 2: Stuart, Stuart Public Library
  • May 4-8: Creston, Gibson Memorial Library
  • May 13: North Liberty, Remarkable Rigs
  • May 22-24: Vinton, Vinton Public Library
  • May 31-June 1: Sioux City, Sioux City Public Museum/Preserve Iowa Summit
  • June 3: Albion Rail Trail Festival
  • June 13 : Bloomfield, Bloomfield Farmers Market
  • June 14 : Avoca, Avoca Main Street Farmers Market
  • June 15: Burlington, Jefferson Street Farmers Market
  • June 16-17: Manning, Kinderfest
  • June 19-22: Tabor, Lakin Library & Envisioning Center
  • June 25 : Storm Lake, Kids Fest & Sesquicentennial
  • June 26-30: Marengo, Marengo Public Library
  • July 2-4: Dysart, Dysart Sesquicentennial
  • July 7-8: Grundy Center, Felix Grundy Festival
  • July 13: Emmetsburg, Farmers Market
  • July 15: Forest City, Puckerbrush Days
  • July 20-23: Cherokee, Cherokee County Fair
  • August 1: Red Oak, National Night Out
  • August 4-6: Hartley, Summer Celebration
  • August 20-23: Orange City, Dutch American Heritage Museum
  • September DATES: Corydon, Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County
  • September 22-24: Fort Atkinson, Rendezvous Days
  • September 26-29: Manchester, Manchester Public Library
  • October 3: Oskaloosa, Vendor and Farmers Market
  • October 4: Mount Pleasant, Farmers Market
  • October 7: Anamosa, Pumpkinfest
  • October 14-15: Betonsport, Scenic Drive Festival

Request a visit

If you’re interested in hosting the mobile museum, please fill out the visit request form but first consider these questions:

  • Will you be able to provide a 20’ x 40’ hard, level parking surface?
  • Are there low-hanging tree branches or other vertical hazards around the proposed parking surface?
  • Is there a standard electrical outlet within 100’ of the suggested location?
  • Is there a 30-amp or 50-amp electrical outlet within 50’ of the suggested location?

If this is a Community Visit:

  • Are you able to provide volunteers to open/close/monitor the mobile museum?
  • How many visitors do you anticipate will visit the mobile museum?
  • Do you have any additional community partners?

If this is a School Visit:

  • What grade levels will be visiting the mobile museum?
  • How many total students do you expect to visit the mobile museum?

Make the most of your visit

The State Historical Museum of Iowa is excited to bring the mobile museum to your community. They will take care of sending a press release to your local media and creating a Facebook event to promote the mobile museum’s appearance.

If you want to share additional information with community partners, check out these resources:


Scheduling Accepting Requests for 2021-2023 Request a Visit
General Questions Jessica Rundlett Email | 515.281.7471