​​​Des Moines Historical Society

Give Local Des Moines - May 3, 2016 - we are joining more than 100 communities across the country to raise millions of dollars for our individual communities.  See Events page for more details.


May 14, 2016 - Quarterly Meeting and St. Johns Lutheran Church Tour


​​Iowa Architectural Foundation 2016 Lectures
​Thursday, April 28th– 6:30 Pm – Des Moines Art Center

​NEW 2017 Calendar 


Come to our Union Park Home tour – brought to you by the Des Moines Historical Society

When:  Saturday, July 15th at 10 am

See some of the hidden architectural features that were showing up in early Des Moines – as you walk through 4 homes built during the 1912 to 1921 timeframe.  When hardwood floors and trim-work were standard – and each home had its own special touches that made it different. 

While not as fancy as the prior Victorians – these bungalows' tended to lean more towards the Craftsman style – with no two being the same.  Porches were still a must – but some of them became enclosed parts of the home – while others were meant to be open to the fresh air.

Come see these restored homes in the Union Park Neighborhood and learn about their forgotten history.  Also, find about who lived in these homes and how those same people might have helped shape Des Moines 100 years ago.

The meeting spot for tickets is the gazebo in Union Park, near E. 9th and Mattern.  This is open to members of the Des Moines Historical Society.  You can join at the gazebo – if you are not a member already.  Looking forward to seeing some friendly faces and showing you some Union Park Neighborhood history.



Des Moines History - 


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. 

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. 


Join Today

​ Get your Des Moines Historical Society Gear Now!!!

  • 2017 Calendars $5.00

  • DMHS Pennants ​$5.00

  • DMHS Polo Shirts available for $22.00

Order items through Paypal below, many of these can also be picked up at:

 Ameriprise Financial Services

 2716 Grand Avenue   

 Des Moines, IA 50312

 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 *Make checks payable to Des Moines Historical Society...

Des Moines Historical Gear

Oops! Are you looking for the Des Moines (Washington) Historical Society? Try here >>