The Barn

The museum exhibits can be found in two buildings on the site. The Museum House and the Museum Barn.

The Barn 

Des Moines Ordnance Plant

The Des Moines Ordnance Plant display  shows how .30 and .50 caliber bullets were made here in Ankeny, and discusses the vital part the plant played in the broader scope of World War II, and in the community as well. We have articles that detail the experiences of families who were displaced by the building of the plant, as the U.S. government purchased their farmland and did not give them the option to stay. View the videos.

Our exhibit about the Des Moines Ordnance Plant is the largest Iowa exhibit about the plant using text, photos, and artifacts. The exhibit traces the history of the plant, which was built in Ankeny in 1941. We also have video interviews from the men and women who worked there that are available to view. 


We have the original Floppy Show puppet from the WHO children's television show on display, as well as video interviews of Duane Ellett and excerpts from the shows available to view.

Ankeny High School class photos from the last century; a photo history of Ankeny Schools, sports, and activities;  and the interior of a one-room school house. 

Iowa barn, farming and tool artifacts from the last century and a handmade model farm. Central Iowa coal mining maps and artifacts are also here.


Floppy books are here!



We recently acquired several copies of The Floppy Show by Jeff Stein, which was just published this year. They are for sale for $22 each, and are available during office hours at the museum house and also during our Open House events throughout the year.

Various publications about Ankeny's history are available for purchase. 

The House

A Victorian parlor with a player piano. 

A bedroom fully furnished in early 20th century style.

An early 20th century sewing room with handmade quilts.

Various artifacts and oral histories from World War I and II are available for viewing in the basement of the museum house, which can also be rented as a meeting room.

An early 20th century children's play room with early period toys and doll houses.

A 1930s-40s dining room and a 1950s era kitchen with kitchen items from those eras and before, which is also available to rent for a tea or brunch. 

Ankeny Area Historical Society

Bringing The Past To Life