About Us

About Us

Altoona Area Historical Society

On May 5, 2003, the Altoona City Council recognized the Altoona Area Historical Society as the City’s official organization to collect, secure, and preserve the artifacts and records of the City of Altoona and surrounding areas.

The Altoona Area Historical Society was organized by a group of dedicated people committed to preserving our local history. Its purpose is to promote history, preserve historic landmarks and sites, and display articles of historical value.

The goals of the Altoona Area Historical Society are to create an Altoona Area Historical Museum and to educate citizens about our local history.


The Altoona Area Historical Society is 100% volunteer-run. We are always looking for volunteers no matter their schedule, age, or ability. We are grateful to the many people who take time out of their busy lives to help us run our museum, help with historic preservation, and put on programs and events. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning about how to get involved, please contact us!


Membership with the Altoona Area Historical Society helps support historic preservation in the area but also keeps you in the loop with historic programming in the area, interesting articles of history sent to your email, and member-exclusive events and activities. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Our Museum

Located in the heart of historic Olde Town Altoona, you will find the Altoona Area Historical Museum. The building was originally a general store, built in the 1870s by Altoona businessman R.A. Crawford. The historical society has invested more than $100,000 in renovations to the building. Click here to learn more about our museum, or contact us If you are interested in touring or getting involved with our museum.

The Altoona Area Area Historical Society operates a museum in the old Porter Hardwear building in Olde Town Altoona. The building was first constructed as a general store in the 1870s.

The historical society offers programs throughout the year related to topics on history and the city of Altoona. Some of our most popular programs have been on the history of Iowans in the Civil War, ghost hunters, and the plans for the future of the City of Altoona. Make sure to follow us on Facebook to learn more about upcoming programs.

We have also put on community events. In 2017 we brought back Christmas in Olde Town, an event that hundreds of Altoona area families enjoy each year. We also launched the Altoona 150 celebration, a four-day community festival celebrating Altoona’s sesquicentennial in 2018. We have also hosted smaller events in conjunction with the Iowa Museum Association’s Iowa Museum Week and dedication of historical markers in our community.

Board of Directors

Alex Payne, President

Dawn Bentley, Vice President

Joe Riding, Treasurer

Kathy Turner, Secretary

Tim Burget, Past President

Luke Sibley, Board Member

Ellen Fitzpatrick, Board Member

John Neldeberg, Board Member

Herb Phillips, Board Member

Phyllis Murphy, Board Member

Scott Stuart, Board Member

Danny Middleton, Board Member

Shawntel Cooney, Board Member


The Altoona Area Historical Society is established to collect and secure artifacts and historical records representing Altoona, Iowa, and the surrounding area for the purpose of preserving our American Heritage.