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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

One of the best ways to learn about the Presidents of the United States is to visit the Presidential Libraries, birthplace, and homes where they lived. We have had the opportunity to visit many Presidential landmarks over the past few years. On our recent Midwest Road Trip, we spent some time at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.

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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library - West Branch, Iowa

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

A visit to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library begins at the Visitor Center where you can buy tickets, use the restroom, browse the gift shop and watch a brief movie.

I recommend that you always take the time to watch the introductory movies at these historical sites before you begin your tour. The movies are typically fairly short and do a great job of laying the foundation for the life and career of the people that are honored in the museum.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library - West Branch, Iowa
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library - West Branch, Iowa

There are multiple galleries at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. We started our tour at the C-Span American Presidents Life Portraits Traveling Exhibit. There were personal artifacts from each of the Presidents giving a glimpse into their lives.

Cspan American Presidents

The Presidential Library and Museum is divided into galleries that help you discover more about the life of our 31st president Herbert Hoover. Though he was the President of our country during the Great Depression years, he was also much more. In the years after World War II, Herbert Hoover joined Harry Truman and helped organize the relief effort to save Europe and reorganize the executive branch of the federal government.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library - West Branch, Iowa

First Lady Lou Henry Hoover

When we visit the Presidential Museums and libraries, it’s also fascinating to learn about their wives. First lady Lou Henry Hoover (March 29 1874 – January 7, 1944), was a humanitarian, Girl Scout leader and women’s athletics advocate. She and her husband also traveled and worked together to help in the food conservation movement after the war.

As First Lady and national leader of the Girl Scouts, Hoover quietly aided people in need during the Depression, and was also the first to desegregate White House social functions. Lou remained a Scout the rest of her life and led the first Girl Scout cookie drive in 1935.

Girl Scout Leader - Lou Henry Hoover - First Lady

Hoover’s birthplace

The 31st President of the United States was born in a small two-room cottage in West Branch, Iowa. When you finish touring the Library & Museum, you can walk around to the cottage where President Hoover was born.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library - West Branch, Iowa

Hoover’s Gravesite

One of the things President Hoover wanted for his final resting place is that it would be on a direct line of site from the place he was born. When you stand at the gravesite, you can clearly see his birthplace cottage across the field.

Herbert Hoover Gravesite - West Branch, Iowa

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum is one of thirteen presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Library-Museum sits on the grounds of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at 210 Parkside Drive, West Branch, Iowa, 52358.

Things to Know

  • The admission ticket includes the library, museum, the birthplace cottage and building.
  • The museum is fully handicap and stroller accessible.
  • Allow 2-3 hours to tour the buildings and grounds.

Find Herbert Hoover

210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358
319-643-5301

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Looking for more Presidential Libraries to visit? Check out the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
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7 Comments

  1. I recently finished reading “Hoover, an extraordinary life in extraordinary times” and was fascinated by how much he achieved during his presidency and lifetime…along with his wife, Lou. We are leaving Monday to visit family in Oklahoma, and our first stop will be to see the museum!

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