Even as flowers begin to bloom, Iowa museums are the perfect outing for weekend trips while there is still a nip in the air. The Delaware County Historical Museum Complex is located on College Street in Hopkinton, Iowa. The museum contains beautifully landscaped grounds. A nine-building complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The grounds of the former Lenox College are home to the museum. Lenox College was conceived in 1854 by Henry Carter. The school was the first Presbyterian College in the state of Iowa and has strong ties to the Civil War. Many men from the college answered Lincoln’s call to arms. The Civil War Monument is the centerpiece of the campus. The monument was dedicated on November 17, 1965.
The school was originally known as Bowen Collegiate Institute when construction first began in 1856. The first building to be constructed was "Old Main". In 1875, the east wing was added in beautiful Victorian style architecture. The dormitory for girls was built in 1890 and named "Clarke Hall". The Library and Literary Societies are located in "Doolittle Hall", which was constructed in 1900. "Finkbonner Gymnasium" was dedicated in 1916. The world famous basketball team, The Harlem Globe Trotters, performed in the gym during the 1940's.
Train enthusiasts will be fascinated to see the Hopkinton Depot, which was moved to the present location in 1969. The most beautiful Bavarian stained-glass windows fill the Reformed Presbyterian Church, located on the campus since 1901. The church was dedicated to the historical society in 1969. Children will enjoy viewing the museum's old one-room school house that was added to the collection in 1971.
Visitors should tour the two Farm Machinery Halls. The first Farm Machinery Hall was constructed in 1973 and the second hall almost ten years later in 1982. Agriculturalists will enjoy seeing the original horse drawn farm equipment, reminiscent of pioneer days.
Something at the museum is sure to interest each guest. Exhibits range from old newspapers to cemetery records. Hours and admission prices are listed on the website. Explore the museum and beautiful Delaware County--you'll be glad you did.
*Photo courtesy of Dedication of an Early Civil War Monument in 1865 as uploaded by Ronald S. Coddington on Flickr's Creative Commons.