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Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Things to Do:

The Blacksmith Shop at Herbert Hoover NHS
courtesy of the National Park Service

The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site includes the small cottage where Hoover was born in 1874, a blacksmith shop similar to the one owned by his father, the first West Branch schoolhouse, and the Friends Meetinghouse where the Hoover family worshipped. Also located on the grounds are the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, the gravesites of President and Mrs. Hoover, and an 81-acre tallgrass prairie.

A good place to begin your visit at the park visitor center, located 1/2 mile north of Interstate 80, Exit 254, in West Branch (10 miles east of Iowa City). It includes orientation information, exhibits illustrating Hoover’s childhood. Rangers are available to assist you and answer questions. Admission fee includes historic buildings on site and the Presidential Library-Museum. A 12-minute closed-captioned orientation video about the site is available.

Visitors can tour the Birthplace Cottage where Hoover was born in 1874, the blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, and the Quaker Meetinghouse his family attended. President and Mrs. Hoover are buried on a hill overlooking the Birthplace Cottage. The Presidential Library-Museum, which is administrated by the National Archives and Records Administration, is also located on site. Visitors can learn about Hoover's life and accomplishments through permanent and temporary exhibits. There are picnic facilities located on the grounds and 1.7 miles of hiking trails through 81 acres of reconstructed tallgrass prairie. To reserve a picnic shelter call 319-643-2541. For guided tours and school tours call 319-643-5301 two months in advance. 

The town of West Branch, immediately adjacent to the park, includes a number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several antique and craft stores and restaurants are located within easy walking distance of the park.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

General Information Photographs and Maps
Getting to the Park Nearby National Parks, Forests & Scenic Roads
Educational Opportunities Things to Do
Historical Resources Travel & Tourism Offices
Jobs and Volunteering Weather
 

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