Home » 2000 Cross Country Road Trip

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, IA

Wednesday, August 2, 2000 - 9:00am by Lolo
253 miles and 4.5 hours from our last stop


We were into that phase of the trip--long driving days home across the plains with little in the way of family entertainment. That's why even my suggestion of stopping at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site was greeted with such enthusiasm. It's all in the timing.

"Maybe they sell hat pins," Andrew said hopefully always anxious to add to his already impressive collection. Wanting to discourage this "hat pin bagging" mentality, we explained that pins should not be goals in themselves, but rather a souvenir of memorable experience. I'm sure that made a big impression.

Although we joke about the Herbert Hoover Historical Site being our trip highlight, it was actually quite enjoyable and educational. Apparently, Hoover was a Quaker, so the site contained a re-created Quaker Village of the type that he grew up in, complete with blacksmith shop, meetinghouse, and schoolhouse. We also got to see the 2-room cottage that he was born in. I don't know why, but there is something about historical villages that makes me happy. The kids thought it was pretty good too.


The Herbert Hoover Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa, is a re-creation of the 1870s Quaker Village that Herbert Hoover grew up in, complete with blacksmith shop, Friends meetinghouse, and a typical Quaker schoolhouse.

The Historic Site also contains the simple two-room cottage that Hoover was born in as well as his gravesite. The Presidential Library-Museum, also on the site, contains many documents and exhibits related to his life in public service.

Hoover's life was shaped by his Quaker upbringing and the strong principles of honesty, hard work, and generosity. Although orphaned when young, he studied hard, worked as a mining engineer, and became a millionaire by the age of 40.

Before he was elected president, he served in many public positions. His Quaker ideals are exemplified in the way he worked tirelessly to help feed the millions of hungry people in countries devastated by World War I.

Herbert Hoover became the 31st president in 1928. One year later, the stock market crashed sending the nation into the Great Depression. Despite Hoover's efforts to improve the country's economic distress, his popularity declined, and he lost the 1932 election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Many in the country blamed Hoover for not doing more to bring the nation out of the depression, and he left office more reviled than any other president.

Jim on December 25, 2011

Those sirens you saw are more than likely for the nuclear power plant that is in Fort Calhoun, just across the river in Nebraska. They had to put them up all over that part of Iowa and NE.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site location map in "high definition"

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