Boone History Center

by Aug 10, 2016

We love tour groups!

The Boone County Historical Society enjoys hosting group tours of all sorts. From scout troops to tour buses and antique car clubs, we can accommodate a variety of groups.


Currently, all of our museums are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When we reopen, tours should be arranged well in advance. Contact us at or call 515-432-1907 and leave a message. Since the Center is not staffed regularly, emailed questions get answered more quickly.


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

Open Hours:

 Currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic


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

View the exciting past of Boone County: from heroes and heroines, to coal mining and railroad adventures, there is something here for everyone.

In the early 1990s, the Boone County Historical Society bought the 1907 Masonic Temple at 602 Story Street and it became the physical space of the museum. Today the Boone History Center 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 rescue. The exhibit includes a narrative of the flooding between Boone and Moingona, as well as information about 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 that Kate Shelley braved on that fearful night.

The CSM Marilyn Gabbard Gallery, honoring the first American servicewoman to be killed in Iraq and featuring many artifacts from Boone County’s active military past, from the Dragoon soldiers who explored Boone County in 1835 up through Desert Storm.

Becoming Boone: A collection of historical items that made Boone what it is today, from prehistory and Native American artifacts through the story of European immigration to the very early businesses of Boone.

Boone History Center Gallery

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