West (Boy Scout) Picnic Shelter

A timber picnic shelter has a limestone chimney and is painted reddish brown.
Boy Scouts built the shelter to celebrate President Hoover's 80th birthday.

NPS Photo/John Tobiason

Quick Facts

Audio Description, Benches/Seating, Fire Pit, Grill, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Restroom - Family, Restroom - Seasonal, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Drinking/Potable, Wheelchair Accessible

The West, or Boy Scout, Picnic Shelter and can accommodate 62 people. There are eight wooden tables under the shelter; two are wheelchair accessible. The shelter has eight electrical outlets and two fireplace grills. Charcoal or wood fires are allowed only in the fireplaces at the West Shelter.

Boy Scout Tribute

Boy Scouts built a picnic shelter in 1953 as a tribute to Herbert Hoover's long legacy of service to youth around the world. The next year, the former president accepted an invitation from the Iowa legislature to celebrate his 80th birthday in West Branch. After a speech at the new Herbert Hoover Elementary School, where an audience of 20,000 greeted him, Hoover arrived at the picnic shelter for a birthday lunch of fried chicken, corn, potato salad, and cake.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Last updated: November 7, 2021