The museum exhibits can be found in two buildings on-site.
The Museum House and the Museum Barn.
In 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. Various artifacts and oral histories from World War I and II are available for viewing in the barn.
The Floppy Show
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. We recently acquired several copies of The Floppy Show by Jeff Stein.
Historical Ankeny Schools
Ankeny Sports Team Championships
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.
A turn of the century parlor, farming tools and local coal mining history
Iowa barn, farming and tool artifacts from the last century and a handmade model farm. A turn of the century parlor and kitchen and central Iowa coal mining maps and artifacts are also here.
An exhibit honoring all of the athletic team championships of the Ankeny High Schools
An old fashion grocery store
An old fashion grocery store honoring old Uptown Ankeny
In 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.
The basement of the museum house, which can also be rented as a meeting room.
An early 20th century children's play room with 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 get together.
Various publications about Ankeny's history are available for purchase.