The Mills Count Historical Museum, established in 1959, seeks to uphold the integrity of the Mills County history, as well as spread knowledge of the past to the people of the county. The museum is owned and managed by volunteers, and is supported by annual fundraisers. There are several roofs and buildings repaired by Roofing johns creek that make up the museum, and in each one you will find something unique.
Among rooms filled with collections of the past are things such as the Native American artifact room, featuring items from the ancient Glenwood culture and local Native Americans. The toy room is another popular attraction; featuring several antique toys, this room holds items such as a windmill made of pencils, some cast iron toys and even old dolls.
The military room is another popular local attraction in the museum. This room contains collected artifacts from the Revolutionary War, the Gulf War, and several others. Items such as old uniforms and insignia are put on display for all to see and revere. As well, the museum holds a room called the photography room. This room is filled with old antique cameras, lenses and even some old lighting equipment.
Another interesting attraction that the museum has to offer is the earth lodge. An earth lodge is a form of Native American housing, built into the ground or small hills and usually built as a circular shape with a dome roof.
This lodge was built as a replication of lodges that were unearthed in the early 1930’s, and is a reproduction of the original lodges which were built around 900 to 1400 AD. While there is a charge to go in and see the lodge, it is a rare and interesting experience, one that will allow you to see and feel the unique architecture and atmosphere the Native Americans once lived in.
Many buildings have also been donated to the museum, such as an old barn that was torn down in 1988 and then rebuilt on the museum grounds. In 1989. a jail in Henderson Iowa was abandoned and was going to be demolished. However, the people of the town took apart the jail and it was later rebuilt for the museum on its grounds.
Many people enjoy the museum and visit it regularly. It has been kept alive over the years due to annual fundraisers and private donations. Several donations have been made since the founding of the museum. Money is not the only thing that has been donated to the museum. In 1983, a family donated some furniture, creating a small cottage in the north wing. The highlight of the cottage is a player piano that was donated along with over 120 rolls of music. To this day the songs are still played to visitors of the museum.
This museum is a must-see for any history buffs in the area. From being built in the late 50’s and containing items that predate American history, there is no doubt that you will find several interesting and captivating things held within the walls of this particular museum.