Boone History Center


602 Story Street, Boone, IA  50036

Open Hours:

Open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


12 and older: $5 | Children under 12: Free

View the exciting past of Boone County!

From a young heroine to a beloved First Lady, to a one-room country school and railroad adventures, there is something here for everyone.

On October 27, 1990, the Boone County Historical Society bought the 1907 Champlin Memorial Masonic Temple at 602 Story Street and it turned it into the Boone History Center, a museum dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the history of Boone County, Iowa. Today the Center houses many collections and several featured exhibits, plus it has a large meeting space in the basement for programs and community use.



What will you see in our museum?

The Kate Shelley Exhibit, an exhibition honoring Boone’s young railroad heroine, Kate Shelley, telling about her life and especially about her bravery on the night of July 6, 1881, when 17 year old Kate crawled across a bridge in the middle of the night, during a raging storm, to alert Chicago & Northwestern Railroad officials that a pusher engine had crashed through another bridge 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 Moingona Bridge that Kate Shelley braved on that fearful night.

The CSM Marilyn Gabbard Gallery, a military exhibition honoring the first Boone 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.

The Becoming Boone Exhibit, a collection of historical artifacts and information about what shaped Boone, from prehistory and Native American artifacts, through the story of European immigration and the very early businesses of Boone, up to last century’s businesses. 


And much, much more!

Boone History Center Gallery