Other Historic Homes

You might be surprised to learn that Herbert Hoover didn’t live in one of the larger, fancier-looking homes at the historic site, even though they were built during the same time period. By comparison, his single story birthplace cottage measured only 14 feet by 20 feet in size. Although you can go inside the house where America’s 31st President was born, the homes on Downey and Poplar streets are not open to the public and are used as offices or residences.
Downey Street at Herbert Hoover NHS

Historic homes along Downey Street contribute to the neighborhood-like setting around Herbert Hoover's birthplace.

Linda Staats

Historic Homes On Downey Street

West Branch boomed between 1869 and 1873. New buildings constructed in the neighborhood near the Hoovers’ small cottage on Downey Street included the Laban Miles House, the Garvin House, and the Methodist Church, which is no longer standing. When the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad arrived in West Branch on December 20, 1870, two hundred of the town’s residents celebrated with a picnic dinner.

Farther up Downey Street to the south were the P.T. Smith and Varney houses. Those homes, and others, were neighbors to the Hoovers in their second home, "House of the Maples," which no longer stands.

Later additions to the neighborhood included the Leech and C.E. Smith houses, both part of the historic site today.


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