Membership Cost (New Members and Renewals)
$5 Student

$15 Individual
$20 Household
$30 Not-for-profit organization
$50 Governmental organization

Business Memberships

1-50 employees $30

51-99 employees $60

100+ employees $125

Get your DMHS Shirts & Calendars Now!!!

Des Moines Historical Society Polo Shirts available for $22.00

2015 Calendars on Sale - Now just $2.00!


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Contact Us


Des Moines Historical Society

P.O. Box 8038

Des Moines, IA  50301

Photos courtesy Lost Des Moines

Our success depends on the generosity of those who share our belief that Des Moines history should be preserved. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,  your contribution may be  tax-deductible. 

We are a growing organization with many special tours, events and programs throughout the year. Join today!

The Des Moines (Iowa) Historical Society is a 501c3 organization with the mission to promote the preservation and study of the history and heritage of Des Moines, Iowa. 




Des Moines Historical Society

NEW! Shirts and Calendars are now available for purchase at:

AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, 2716 Grand Avenue, Des Moines from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*cash or make checks payable to Des Moines Historical Society...


Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 --- RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
The Des Moines Historical Society is pleased to offer this DMHS Members Only history talk and tour of the Drake Municipal Observatory. Charles Nelson, Professor in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy will speak and lead the tour. This will be followed by viewing Saturn and the first quarter of the moon through the historic telescope.

What kind of name is Des Moines anyway?


The origin of the name "Des Moines" is uncertain. The French des moines literally translates to "of the monks." Some people believe it refers to French Trappist monks who lived in huts at the mouth of the Des Moines River, while others think it could be referring to the Moingona natives of the area. Another theory is that Des Moines was corrupted from the French de moyen ("middle") because of its location between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.