To Look Forward With Unbounded Hope

Born in a two-room cottage, Herbert Hoover could have been any small town boy. Orphaned at age nine, he left West Branch, never to live here again. The landscape and buildings of the early years remain, however, to tell how family, faith, education, and hard work opened a world of opportunity— even the presidency of the United States— to a child of simple beginnings.


A white cottage stands at an intersection marked by a wooden sign post.

Birthplace of Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover called the cottage where he was born in 1874 "physical proof of the unbounded opportunity of American life."

Read More
Two flags fly at the portico of a museum building.

Presidential Library and Museum

The papers of President and Mrs. Hoover are among those housed in the library archives. Museum exhibits tell the story of Hoover's life and career.

Read More
A park ranger with school children on a park field trip

Plan A Field Trip

Kids can visit historic buildings and learn about Herbert Hoover with a park ranger during field trips.

Read More
Two marble grave stones and a flag overlook a park vista.

Gravesite of President and Mrs. Hoover

The graves of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover overlook the president's birthplace and the landscape which commemorates his accomplishments and ideals.

Read More
Seed heads of prairie grasses are silhoutted against a dawn sky.

Tallgrass Prairie

The reconstructed prairie is a memorial to President Hoover's love of the outdoors where visitors can connect with Iowa's lost landscapes.

Read More
A blacksmith stokes the fire in a brick forge.

Blacksmith Shop

Hoover's father, a skilled and ambitious businessman, in his short life he had provided an example of the Quaker work ethic for his children.

Read More
Rows of wooden benches in a sunlight room are seen through a door.

Friends Meetinghouse

The values of the Quakers, expressed by his parents and the community, played an important role in shaping Herbert Hoover's life.

Read More
Pencils, books, a hand bell, and a globe sit atop a schoolhouse desk.


Herbert learned reading, writing, and arithmetic, and came to admire presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose portraits hang on the walls.

Read More
A bronze statue of an Egyptian goddess sits among park greenery.

Statue of Isis

This bronze statue was a gift from the people of Belgium in gratitude for Hoover's famine relief efforts on their behalf during World War I.

Read More

Did You Know?