The Ireton Museum is located in the former City Hall on the south side of 4th Street. After Ireton’s city council decided to move the city offices to the west side of Main Street, the former City Hall was deeded to the Ireton Area Historical Society (IAHS) in 1997. The Historical Society then created the “City Museum”.
Times were tough when a group of interested citizens began promoting a new city hall in the early 1930’s. Finally, at a special election held on April 29, 1931, voters approved a $10,000 bond issue by a vote of 134-131. Construction was completed in 1932 at a cost of about $10,500.
The “upstairs” portion of the building featured a main room used for large meetings, movies, dances and other events, a stage on the south end, a projectionist’s booth and ticket booth at the northwest corner of the main room and a cloakroom in the northeast corner. The lower level featured full length windows on the east side which has the council chambers and two additional meeting rooms and a small kitchen. Restrooms were on the westside and a mechanical room under the stage. The fire station was housed at the rear of the building.
The building served the community well for many years. In addition to being a locale for city business, it once housed a library and was home to countless Legion meetings, scout meetings, movies, dances, musical entertainment and plays, pancake breakfasts, trade shows, historical displays, voting booths, and more.
Over the years, the layout of the building remained unchanged. The beautiful woodwork from the 1930’s remains in its original condition. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the IAHS has disconnected the water and heat so that the Museum is only open during warm months.
The museum features a wide variety of items pertaining to Ireton’s past. Unless they will be damaged by use, we encourage patrons to touch and try out the items — the museum is definitely “hands on”. We enjoy seeing boys and girls try on a grandfather’s military uniform or a dress or hat worn by a grandmother or great-grandmother.
The museum houses an extensive collection of military memorabilia including uniforms, helmets, mess kits, a frying pan used by a Civil War soldier (Alexander Morrison), a “women in the military” display, dog tags, safe conduct passes and much, much more. The centerpiece of our military items is a collection of “service flags”. A large community service flag from World War I is on the stage. It bears a star for every serviceman. The stars are color coded to show whether the service member fought overseas and whether he was wounded or died in service. We also have service flags for World War 2 from the Christian Reformed Church, First Reformed Church and Methodist Church. There are also examples of service flags that families placed in the windows of their homes.
There is also a large display of items relating to domestic life including stoves, washing machines and tubs, a multitude of small utensils, buttons, sewing items, a hemstitcher machine, clothing, hats and more.
A small section of the museum is devoted to children’s games and toys and to sports equipment like early football helmets and noseguards.
We’ve also collected a variety of agricultural tools — what hard work it was to use the potato planters, scythes and other implements of pioneer days.
Over the years, youth in the community have built a model of the town in pioneer days, covered wagons models and other replicas. They are also on display.
Ireton businesses and government services (like the post office) are featured in another area.
Finally, we have a table and library area where you may sit and review our “Veteran’s Albums” and obituary collection plus a wide variety of atlases & directories, scrapbooks and books on miscellaneous subjects. We have also added a TV and DVD player to show several DVDs relating to Ireton.
Although we do not have “set” hours when the museum is open, we are more than happy to accommodate your schedule so please contact us if you would like to visit the museum.
Ireton Museum is located at 403 4th Street, Ireton, Iowa 51027
Open each Memorial Day (after cemetery service until 1:30 p.m.)
Open in connection with other Publicly Scheduled Events (e.g. IAHS Alumni Banquet, Ag Days etc.) Check home page of IretonIA.com, sign on Main Street and Ads for times
By appointment from May-October call: Marsha: 712-278-2810 or Shirley: 712-278-2203
Parking is available in the public lot on the east side of the museum.
Unfortunately the museum is not wheelchair accessible.