Dickinson County Museum - Where History LIVES!

The Dickinson County Museum, in a 140 year old depot, provides unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and lives from Dickinson County.  Our purpose is to inspire people to learn from those artifacts through public programs, publications, educational activities, and special events.

Virtual Tour

If you can’t visit us in person, visit us virtually!

Virtual tour created by the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Come and visit us in person to experience many, many stories of the people, events, and communities of the early days of Dickinson County and the Iowa Great Lakes!


You did it!  Because of your generosity, we raised $7000 and qualified for the $7000 Matching Grant!  This means you will be seeing some upgrades to our exhibits, and perhaps one really amazing project in the future.  Stay tuned - and THANK YOU!  You may still donate to this fund!

Did You Know?

There is a piano in the upstairs living quarters of our depot?  Steve Dyson, grandson of the last depot agent whose family called our depot "home" shares an almost unbelievable story of how the piano came to be in the upstairs of the depot.


Railroad Wizard:  The Lost Stories of Dickinson County's Railroads

Sunday, October 15 2:00 pm at the Dickinson County Museum


History LIVES! at the Dickinson County Museum!

Join Don Hofsommer, noted railroad expert and author of "Prairie Oasis - the Railroads, Steamboats, and Resorts of Iowa's Spirit Lake Country" as he shares stories and information about the early days of the railroads in the county and the impact they made.  Don is an engaging, knowledgable speaker who will bring the area's railroads to LIFE!



Every Wednesday at 10:00 folks gather at the Museum for conversation about the way it was in Dickinson County Way Back When.  The conversation is lively and fun, and many laughs are shared.  All are welcome!  Coffee included!


Our popular History LIVES! Speaker series features engaging speakers sharing stories, information, and photos about Dickinson County’s colorful past.  In addition to experiencing the live programs, all programs are live-streamed on our FaceBook page and uploaded to our YouTube channel.



Research Area

The Museum is creating a new, dedicated research area, The Dickinson County Research Area, thanks to a grant from the Dickinson County Endowment Fund. Included in the grant is a computer, printer, scanner, ancestry.com software, and furniture. As part of this new area, our resource room is being named the “R. Aubrey LaFoy Resource Room” in honor of Aubrey and his long and dedicated service to the Dickinson County Museum and area history. Aubrey recently donated his extensive resource materials to the museum.

New Roof

Our 140 year old depot recently received a major upgrade in the form of a new roof, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Okoboji Foundation. It will provide decades of protection for our extensive exhibits.

Get Involved

Join the growing community of Dickinson County Museum supporters!