National Historic Site
1965: National Historic Site
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteHerbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States. He was born in 1874 in the small town of West Branch, Iowa. His father died when he was six, and his mother died three years later. When he was 11, he took the train to Oregon to live with an uncle. He earned a degree in geology in 1893 as a member of Stanford University's first graduating class. He later worked in the California gold mines, and earned substantial wealth while working in mining and engineering projects in England, Australia, and China.
What You're Going to SeeThis 187-acre park preserves his birthplace, a Friends Meetinghouse, and his boyhood neighborhood, the gravesite of President and Mrs. Hoover, and the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Hoover's father was a blacksmith, and there is a replica of a typical blacksmith shop near the Birthplace Cottage and the first schoolhouse built in the town of West Branch. 76 acres of the Site are devoted to a restored tallgrass prairie.
Personal ObservationsI haven't made it to Iowa yet. Not in real life, that is ... "Oh what the heck/you're welcome/glad to have you with us/even though we may not ever say it once again/you really ought to give Iowa a try/provided you're contrary/We can be cold as a cold thermometer in December/if you ask about our weather in July! ..."
Getting ThereFrom Cedar Rapids, take I-380 south for 20 miles to I-80. Go east through Iowa City for about 17 miles to West Branch.
Nearby AttractionsEffigy Mounds National Monument is about 95 miles to the north.