Welcome to the Winneshiek County Historical Society

Locust School
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Locust School

The Locust School was Built in
1854 from rock quarried on the
Ruffridge farm. The School was
in use every year from 1854 to
1960, or 106 years, an Iowa
record for continuous service.

Old Winneshiek County Jail
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Old Winneshiek County Jail

Built in 1878, stopped being used
in October 2000 when a new 40
bed jail was built at the Law
Enforcement Center.

Bodensteiner House
Bodensteiner House

The Bodensteiner House was gifted to the WCHS by Joe and Emily Bodensteiner, in 2016. A Bodensteiner Committee of WCHS has been established and plans are underway for renovation.

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The new hours of operation are M-F, from 10am - 3pm, or by appointment.  We are open to the public but ask that if you have not been vaccinated to please wear a mask. 

Updated information about current restoration projects located in menu under Facilities - Winneshiek County Heritage Center!


Locust School Announcement!

The Locust School Committee will not open the school regular weekend hours this summer. The plan is to give tours by appointment only, persons interested need to contact one of the committee members to arrange a time.  Committee members are Paul Hexom - 563-382-5765, LaVonne Bjergum, and Glenn Larson.

The Fall Locust School Fundraiser Program will be held on Sunday September 19th.  The program starts at 2:30 p.m.  A pie auction will be held at 3:30 p.m.  Then lunch will follow the pie auction.  A free will donation will be accepted for the lunch.  Thank you!


Mission Statement: To protect, collect, preserve and promote the written, oral and tangible items of historical importance to Winneshiek County and to cooperate with other organizations to accomplish common goals. Office Locations: The main office is located in the Landers-Adams-Bodensteiner House at 302 S Mill St Decorah, IA.  The historical archives are located at the Winneshiek County Heritage Center and at the Old County Jail building at 202 West Broadway St Decorah, IA.

Winneshiek County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 organization, your donations are tax-deductible.

The office will be closed whenever Decorah Community Schools classes are cancelled due to snow or ice.

The office will be closed on major holidays.