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Garnavillo Historical Society Endowment Fund

At a Glance

  • Preservation of Garnavillo Area History
  • Large natural history, archealogical displays
  • 1902 Crestmobile & Althea Sherman Exhibit

About Us

Since 1965, The Garnavillo Historical Society,  a non-profit organization, has researched, recorded and preserved the history of Garnavillo and the surrounding area.  The Historical Societys museum complex includes 3 buildings.  The museum at 203 N Washington Street, which was built in 1867 as a Congregational Church, now contains archives and exhibits with early manuscripts dating back to the 18th century, old maps, photos, Indian artifacts, period furniture, pioneer and civil war items, a 1902 Crestmobile, Busy Bee vacuum and much more.  An original 1830s log cabin from the area was dismantled, moved and reconstructed in the City Park.  The third building is the I.O.O.F & Masonic Lodge Hall built in 1860 at 105 W Centre Street which contains exhibits and local history on the first floor and the I.O.O.F/Masons meeting room on the second with furniture and artifacts dating back to the mid 19th century.  All buildings are within easy walking distance of each other.  The Society also owns a fourth building, the 1860 Law Office of Crosby & Brown on Main Street Garnavillo, which is currently a private law office.  The museum complex is hosted by volunteers and open to the public weekends during the summer season and by appointment at all other times.  Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated!


To maintain, sustain, and perpetuate the history and memorabilia of the city of Garnavillo and its surrounding communities by keeping history alive through exhibits, preservation of written history and artifacts, and education and interaction with the com

Basic Information




PO Box 371 203 N Washington St Garnavillo, IA


Jane Thein, secretary

Success Story

The Garnavillo Historical Society benefits the community by preserving the area's and its early residents' history and artifacts for learning and research by current and future generations.  The museum exhibits and archives are available to the public.  The Society has made numerous historical area newspapers dating back to the mid 1800's available via the internet, at no cost to the public, with links on the Society's web site research page.  Copies of the book "Garnavillo - Gem of the Prairie 10,000 B.C. - 1876 A.D." are available for purchase through the Society. Annual historical calendars are created for the public sharing the history and pictures of the area. The first "car" in Clayton County, a 1902 Crestmobile has been returned to Garnavillo and is on display at the museum. Society members participate in the community's annual July 4th activities. The Society maintains 4 historical buildings in Garnavillo.  Videos introducing the public to the Historical Society and Museum are available on facebook.  Photos and news items are available on the website and facebook.  Historical photos are made available through Iowa Heritage Digital Collections and in cooperation with the Garnavillo Library.  

Fund Details

Fund Name

Garnavillo Historical Society Endowment Fund

Year Founded


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Garnavillo Historical Society Endowment Fund