Shelby County Historical Museum

Harlan, IA

Where are we going?

Shelby County Historical Museum
1805 Morse Ave
IA 51537

712 755-2437

What is there to do?

Shelby County Historical Museum opened in 1975 as a Bicentennial project, and today has grown to four buildings including the Leland and McIntosh Log Cabins - and a host of historical artifacts to take you back in time!

This four building complex allows you to explore and discover the rich history of Shelby County through the various exhibits, programs and events.

The Hoskins Building features the collection of objects that relate to Native American history. Kids can learn about the inhabitants of the region before the arrival of European settlers, and see fascinating items related to commerce including horse-drawn farming equipment, a cobbler's shop and a blacksmith shop!

The Prairie Trails building is filled with objects the illustrate the county's history and the many people who have passed through and made an impact on the area.

Don't miss the Military Exhibit Hall that contains an impressive collection of military objects that span right back to the Civil War, through to modern conflicts - have you ever seen a Nazi cup and saucer? You can at the Shelby County Historical Museum!

The MacIntosh Cabin was built in the mid-1800s, and updates were made over the years as new discoveries and inventions happened, including electricity in 1948, and finally the Leland Cabin dating back to 1857.

The Leland Cabin was constructed to house the Leland and Lytle families, and contained two rooms and a loft.

Then you have Makers Space which is JUST for kids, where they can learn about the county's strong agricultural history, and the STEM topics that play an important role!

A fascinating day of history in Shelby County, where history comes to life right in front of your very eyes!

How much does it cost?

Adults: Free as far as we can tell

Children: Free as far as we can tell


Need a little extra help?

Give them a call to ask about the accessibility, they will be happy to answer any questions!


When can we go?

8am - 4pm weekdays (weekends by appointment except May to August, then open 1am - 1pm 2nd Sat of the month))

Open year round


Any top tips?

Head down for Log Cabin Day, where you can enjoy live music, entertainment and activities all day long! Occurs in July

I’m Hungry!

Grab something in the area before or after your visit, there are plenty of options! - Fun things to do with kids and best places to visit in the US
© Family Days Out 2021