Are you a history buff? Do you love going back in time? If so, your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds, suggests visiting one of the historic buildings in Des Moines, the Jordan House, for a jaunt back in time and a bit of Des Moines education.
What: The Jordan House
Hours: Every Friday 11AM to 4PM; First Sunday of each month 1PM and 2PM
Admission: Adults 13+: $5; Children 6 to 12: $3; Children 5 and under FREE
The Jordon House is the oldest structure in West Des Moines IA, and built by one of its first settlers, James C. Jordan. As a designated stopover on the Underground Railroad during slavery, it features an Underground Railroad Exhibit with artifacts from the actual railroad. A staunch abolitionist, Jordon earned the name “chief conductor” of Polk County. Other weary travelers were also welcome to rest at the Jordan House on their journey west, and local politicians and business leaders used it as a gathering place. Due to its welcome comfort, the Jordan House became known as “Uncle Jimmy Jordan’s.”
Jordan began as a cattle farmer in Virginia and became one of Iowa’s earliest and most influential settlers. Interestingly enough, Jordon had occupied a lean-to tent, and eventually advanced to a log cabin before building the historic Jordan House.
Forty-five minute guided tours are given of the Italianate Gothic designed home which consists of sixteen period rooms, including two parlors, a dining room, library, an 1850’s style kitchen, a black walnut staircase, and porches on the east and south sides.
The Historical Society
Established in 1970, the West Des Moines Historical Society is “dedicated to community enrichment through education, preservation, and celebration of the history and the heritage of the greater West Des Moines area and its environs.”
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