​​​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 2016 Calendar Images


Historic Tours & Group Events​​

The History of Kurtz Hardware Company - Nov. 5th from 1-2 pm at Iowa Genealogical Society - 628 E. Grand - 

  • ​​The Des Moines Historical Society is hosting a presentation on the history of the Kurtz Hardware Company. We will be in the Meeting Room at the Iowa Genealogical Society. The President of the company, Bob Kurtz, will offer a history of the family and the business. This is a members only event. You may join on-line beforehand or at the door the day of the event.

Upcoming Tours - Date & Time TBA

  • History of Highland Park Presentation, North Side Lib
  • Des Moines Play House Presentation
  • History of the Capitol Presentation

More exciting Events will be announced soon!  


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. 

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

  • NEW 2016 Calendars

  • NEW DMHS Pennants ​

  • DMHS Polo Shirts available for $22.00

  • 2015 Calendars on Sale - Now just $2.00!

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

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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. 


Join Today