• Pink flowers blossom in the garden of a white two-room cottage.

    Herbert Hoover

    National Historic Site Iowa

Celebrate "A Christmas Past" in West Branch, Iowa

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Date: November 24, 2009
Contact: Adam Prato, (319) 643-7855

WEST BRANCH, IOWA— West Branch, Iowa, the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, will host “A Christmas Past” events from Friday, December 4 until Sunday, December 6.

Main Street West Branch will start off the celebration with a tree lighting ceremony as the West Branch High School Choir sings on the Village Green at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4. During the weekend, downtown West Branch will feature brick fireplaces for roasting marshmallows, fresh cooked doughnuts, photos with Santa Claus, along with family-friendly holiday crafts and activities to celebrate the season. Shops will be open for business all weekend. For more information and a complete schedule, call Main Street West Branch at (319) 643-7100.

Horse-drawn wagon rides on Friday and Saturday evenings start at 5:30 p.m. from the Visitor Center of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The rides take visitors through the historic site and historic downtown West Branch. The last wagon rides begin at 8:00 p.m. The Herbert Hoover Birthplace Cottage, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, and Friends Meetinghouse will be open to visitors on Friday and Saturday nights until 8:30 p.m. Park ranger Chuck Ping demonstrates the art and craft of blacksmithing in the Blacksmith Shop on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Living history interpreters will lead ornament-making activities at the Visitor Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, call Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at (319) 643-2541.

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum displays Christmas trees in its annual holiday exhibit, this year with 20 decorated trees based on the life and travels of Herbert Hoover. Free weekend performances at the Presidential Library and Museum include stage presentations by The Young Footliters, and Christmas carols by the Uncalled Four quartet and the West Branch Community Choir. Sunday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. is the Presidential Library and Museum’s Holiday Open House, featuring refreshments and visits with Santa Claus and Aunt Holly. For more information call the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum at (319) 643-5301.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space.

Did You Know?

Rows of wooden pupils' desks.

The West Branch Schoolhouse was built in 1853 making it the oldest building at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The town's Quakers also used the one-room building as their first meetinghouse. More...