​​​Des Moines Historical Society


The DMHS Board would like to extend a heartfelt “Thanks” to the Des Moines Chapter of The National Society Colonial Dames of America for their generous donation to the Project 1843 Collection Drive. On Wed., March 22, Des Moines leaders of The National Society Colonial Dames of America brought a donation – and a challenge – to DMHS at the Birthplace of Des Moines Cabin on South Water St. DMHS president David Barzen accepted a check for $1,000.00 earmarked for repairs of the cabin.

In making the award, NSCDA Des Moines Burrough chairman Kay Fenton Smith said her members want to encourage others to support the project. “We also voted to make a further contribution in 2017, of up to $1,000.00 to match contributions to the Des Moines Historical Society for preservation and improvement of the cabin and site,” she said.

People and companies who wish to contribute may do so by sending a check to the Des Moines Historical Society, P.O. Box 8038, Des Moines, Iowa 50301. Be sure to indicate “Project 1843” in the memo section of your check. THANK You, and Thank You to the NSCDA for your contribution and challenge.
 — with Laura Bouchard Kozin, David Barzen, Karen Hanley and Linda Ultang Powers.

The Des Moines Streetcar Era by Earl Short - April 8th at 1pm at the Franklin Avenue Library

The Des Moines Historical Society in co-sponsorship with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) will host an event on the early history of Mass Transit in Des Moines. This scheduled event should not be missed by those who love the history of Des Moines and have experienced the enjoyment and value of public transportation in Des Moines. At 1:00 pm, Saturday, April 8th at the Franklin Avenue Library (5000 Franklin Ave. DM), Earl Short, a Des Moines historian, will give an overview of the history of the trolley car and the identified routes in Des Moines. During this one and a half hour presentation Earl will offer a power point presentation that will show the basics on what is a Trolley and a chart showing the time frame, along with pictures from several of the streetcar lines around the DM area. Many of the photographs he offers are the "then & now" type photos showing what the old picture looks like today. Earl Short has an extensive collection of photos that focus primarily on the multiple streetcar routes of Des Moines which includes many rare photos of our fair city. This glimpse of the early transportation history of Des Moines will offer a sense of pride for staff and passengers and historians as we transform to the modern form of transportation we now appreciate. 

We have invited DART to collaborate with us on this presentation. Timothy Sanderson, Chief Operating Officer of DART will be on hand to offer us some insight and comparison to what mass transportation is like in Des Moines today.

Note for local historians - Earl Short has over 30 power point presentations that he has developed on Des Moines' Streetcar history. We are proud to offer this to our fellow Des Moines historians and transportation enthusiasts. Please tell your friends who might appreciate this topic.
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History of River Bend Neighborhood by Jon Royal - May 16th, time TBD, Trinity United Methodist Church

Program by Jon Royal about the River Bend Neighborhood, and the house his grandparents bought there and he was raised in.




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A note about our events...

Unless noted as a members-only event, all programs and events of the Des Moines Historical Society are open to the public. We welcome you to come see what we're about! 

For our members-only events, nonmembers may join DMHS and pay dues in order to participate. See our membership page for details.
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