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!

Help Us Bring The Depot Back to Life!

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The Dickinson County Historical Society proudly announces the launch of a comprehensive capital campaign aimed at raising $250,000 for the renovation and enhancement of the Dickinson County Museum. With a primary focus on restoring the 140-year-old depot and introducing interactive exhibits, this initiative seeks to offer visitors an enriched and educational experience, preserving the heritage of our community.


History LIVES! Speaker Series



Okoboji Cemetery Walk

Sunday, June 2 4:00-6:00 pm

The Okoboji Cemetery in Arnolds Park is a "Who's Who" of the early founders of the area.  Join us at the east entrance of the cemetery - off Bascom Street - for a walk through time into the lives of six people from the area's past.  Tours will leave at 4:00 and 5:00.  Be prepared for awesome stories with people you've only heard about and for walking!  $10 suggested donation.


Queen II History Cruise

Thursday, June 13 at 7:00

Join local history buff and storyteller Mary Dreier for a lovely evening on Her Majesty, the Queen II.  As the Queen cruises around the lake, Dreier will share stories and insights into the early days of the Iowa Great Lakes.  Questions and conversation is encouraged!  Tickets for the cruise may be purchased at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park Ticket Office.




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.



Trivia? Of course!

Thanks to two awesome Okoboji No Boundaries students, the Museum is now offering Trivia Challenges! Maggie and Jazmyn figured out a way to load scintillating questions into game software that creates a fun, fun, fun experience for everyone! The questions are all about Dickinson County history, and most include helpful photos. Teams work together to answer the questions within a time limit, and team scores are posted frequently.

To make the experience even better, our own local historian and author, Jonathan Reed, provides commentary and more information about the questions.

Be watching for our Trivia Challenges - both at the Museum and offsite! If your organization needs a fun interactive program, let us know - we'd love to share the fun with you!

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.

Get Involved

Join the growing community of Dickinson County Museum supporters!