“Born in a two-room cottage”
Born in a two-room cottage, Herbert Hoover could have been any small town boy. Orphaned at age nine, he left West Branch, never to live here again. The landscape and buildings of the early years remain, however, to tell how family, faith, education, and hard work opened a world of opportunity— even the presidency of the United States— to a child of simple beginnings. Herbert Hoover called the cottage where he was born in 1874 "physical proof of the unbounded opportunity of American life."
A great historic site for fans of American history, but also a lovely excursion for a fun afternoon. Start with a brief video about Herbert Hoover's early life, then a self-guided tour through the recreated village he grew up in with his birthplace, father's blacksmith shop, and Quaker meeting house. The Presidential library gives a thorough look at Hoover's pre-political career as a businessman and humanitarian before exploring his time as Secretary of Commerce and President. Be prepared to see Hoover in a new light as you learn about how he revolutionized what was expected of those positions, and how many modern programs and ideas had their start with Hoover, including the concept of a post-Presidency career. Smaller exhibits about the era help give context to the changing times of Hoover's career. Then finish your tour with a walk through the preserved prairie and a visit to Hoover's austere final resting place.
Nearby Downtown West Branch has great places to stop for lunch or coffee and is just a block from the historic site.
This is a really neat park. They have preserved the streets as they used to be. My son and I learned a lot about Hoover and his upbringing. A great place to stroll along and learn something.
If you have ever been to any site or park in the National Park system, you know they are always well done. The grounds are great; just like Lincoln's site the park has created a little town that would be similar to what Hoover would have grown up around. The rangers do a fantastic job. My only complaint was the limited items in the gift shop (since we do collect a couple things for our trip).
Very informative tour...great staff. Very easy to access. My kids learned a lot. Ten dollars to get into the library/museum. My kids were amazed at the grave site.
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Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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