Our Collection

image of the main floor in the floyd county historical museum

Explore the history of the heartland. The Floyd County Museum in Charles City, Iowa is one of the Midwest's largest rural county museums, with over 50,000 artifacts depicting prairie life, both agricultural and industrial.


First Floor

images of tractors taken on the first floor of the floyd county historical museum in charles city, iowa

Hart-Parr / Oliver / White Tractor Collection

Contains company history files, annual reports, company photographs, negatives and slides, union records (United Auto Workers union, Local 1415), motion picture films, technical manuals, blueprints, sales literature, artifacts from the factory and tractors produced in the Charles City, Iowa, plant. Collection spans 1889-1995.

Note: Original and reprinted manuals are for sale as well as Oliver motion picture films transferred to video tape. Please call the Museum for more details.

image of the iron lung in the collection room at the floyd county historical museum

Local History & Artifact Collection

Over 50,000 artifacts ranging from pre-history through the twentieth century, primarily focusing on the period 1850-1950. Includes household, agricultural, professional, trades, leisure, transportation, decorative arts, textiles, folk art, and military-themed materials.

+ Newspaper clippings, monographs, obituaries, and research papers on the history of Floyd County. Collection spans 1850-present. About 25 linear feet.

image taken at the front entrance of the John G. Legel Drug Store in Charles City, Iowa at the Floyd County Historical Museum

John G. Legel Drug Store

Collection of artifacts from the Legel Drug Store in Charles City, Iowa. Collection contains apothecary bottles, store fixtures, mixing / compounding / distilling / dispensing apparatus, medical appliances, general merchandise, and ephemera. Donated in site to the Floyd County Historical Society and opened as a museum in 1962. Collection spans 1884-1962.

image taken in the floyd county historical mmuseum log cabin

Log Cabin & Early Pioneer Life

As you walk through the doorway imagine yourself living in an 1850s log cabin. The entire family lived in one room which served as a kitchen, dining room, living room, and parent's bedroom. The children slept in the upstairs loft. The fireplace was the heart of the home providing heat, light, and cooking facilities.

images taken on the first floor of the floyd county historical museum in charles city, iowa

Gallery Area: Temporary Displays

One of the highlights of this area is the Olympic Torch. For the 100th Anniversary of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Committee organized a 1996 torch relay that covered a large portion of the United States. As a part of the relay to Atlanta, the torch was brought through Charles City.

image of womens suffrage icon Carrie Lane Chapman Catt

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Collection

Several artifacts and about 1.5 linear feet of documents pertaining to the noted woman suffrage leader and founder of the League of Women Voters, who was reared in rural Charles City. Collection spans about 1890-1995.

image william b holbrook resident of floyd county iowa

William B. Holbrook - 1850s

Listen to an audio recording of passages in William Holbrook's journal, written in 1856.

image of harrieet hill townsend resident of floyd county iowa

Harriett Hill Townsend - 1854

Listen to the memoirs of Harriett Hill Townsend written in 1854.

image of a grave associated with the John Blunt family. Residents of Floyd County Iowa

John Blunt Family - Memoirs

Listen to the memoirs of the John Blunt Family in 1852.


Second Floor

images of the classroom taken on the second floor of the floyd county historical museum in charles city, iowa

Readin' Rittin' & 'Rithmatic: The Schools of Floyd County

Discover the roots of education in Floyd County. Our country school classroom: In a country school children from 1st through 8th grade were all taught in the same classroom.

images of living room taken on the second floor of the floyd county historical museum in charles city, iowa

Period Rooms: Parlor, Wash Room, Bedroom, Kitchen, & Little Boy's Room

This series of rooms represent a home of the early 1900s: a parlor, wash room, bedroom, kitchen and little boy's room.

image of the assesmbly room room at the floyd county historical museum

Assembly Room

This room has memorabilia and information about Floyd and Colwell, both communities located in Floyd County. There is also a large display of trophies from Floyd County events, a display about the tank landing ship christened the USS Floyd County, and a Mr. Science display featuring the work of Charlie Hardt.

image taken at Dr. Salsburys Laboratories in Charles City, Iowa at the Floyd County Historical Museum

Dr. Salsbury's Laboratories Room / Meeting Room

The building we now occupy was originally the offices and testing labs for Dr. Salsbury's Laboratories, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company established in the 1920s in Charles City. This building was built in 1933, with an addition added in 1936, and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. The Salsbury family sold the company in the mid 1980s.

this image was taken in the railroad room at the floyd county historical museum

Charles City Model Railroad Club

HO-scale train layout established 1980. Club meets weekly at the Museum, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

this image was taken in the chapel room at the floyd county historical museum

Chapel

This room contains fixtures from a number of Floyd County churches. The pastor's chair, pulpit, and attendance board came from the Flood Creek Church, which is no longer in existence.

image of teeth taken at the floyd county historical museum in the dentist office

Dentist Office

Note the early x-ray machine, foot pedaled drill, denture models, and equipment.

image of the barbershop at the floyd county historical museum

Barbershop

"Young's" Barber Shop was located in Nora Springs, Floyd County. Note the various razors, brushes and after shave lotions. The poster shows the different styles of cuts available.

image of the clothing shop at the floyd county historical museum in charles city iowa

Clothing Shop

The Clothing Shop has many examples of Victorian clothing. A proper lady did not go out without her hat. At one time period it was popular to adorn hats with parts of birds. Can you find the hat that has a bird in it? (hint: look at the model in the center.) Also notice the dyed ostrich feathers, the fox stole and undergarments.

image of the doctos office taken at the floyd county historical museum in charles city iowa

Doctor's Office

This room contains many examples of early medical equipment including blood letting tools (in the cabinet), an early hand held x ray viewer, part of an early x ray machine, pictures of physicians who served at the Cedar Valley Hospital in Charles City, a wall drawing of the Cedar Valley Hospital drawn by Mortimor Cleveland, and Dr. Fox's wooden examination table.