Frequently Asked Questions

A blacksmith in a traditional shop shoes a horseshoe to a girl.
Blacksmith Chuck Ping answers questions from a young visitor

Patricia McInroy

Where is Herbert Hoover National Historic Site?

The park is in West Branch, Iowa, less than a half-mile north of exit 254 off I-80.

When is Herbert Hoover National Historic Site open?

Buildings are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. The grounds of the historic site are open 24 hours.

What does it cost to visit Herbert Hoover National Historic Site?

Visiting the park is free; a ticket must be purchased to visit Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum.

Are federal recreational passes sold at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site?

The free Access, Military Annual, Military Lifetime, and Fourth Grade passes are issued at the Visitor Center daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site no longer sells Senior or Annual passes. America The Beautiful Passes »

Is Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum part of the historic site?

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum is within the historic site. It is operated by the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA).

What is there to do at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site?

There are perhaps more things to see and do than you think. The park has several historic buildings, including the birthplace, gravesite, and presidential library of Herbert Hoover. It also has an 81-acre tallgrass prairie. Rangers recommend spending a half day visiting.

Where should I start?

Much of your visit will be self-guided, so start at the Visitor Center where park staff can help you plan your visit.

Can I bring my pet with me when I visit?

You may visit with your pets, but must clean up after them and keep them leashed at all times. Pets are not allowed inside buildings. Laws & Policies »

How big is the historic site?

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is 186.38 acres.

How many people visit the park each year?

In recent years, the park gets 100,000 and 150,000 visits each year.

When was Herbert Hoover the President of the United States?

Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States, succeeding Calvin Coolidge and preceding Franklin Roosevelt. Elected in 1928, he was inaugurated as president in March of 1929. He ran for re-election and lost in 1932. He left office in March of 1933.

When was Herbert Hoover born?

Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa on August 10, 1874.

When did Herbert Hoover die?

President Hoover died in New York, New York on October 20, 1964 from internal bleeding at 90 years old.

Is Hoover's birthplace in its original location?

Yes. After the Hoover family sold the Birthplace Cottage in 1878, later owners rotated it 90 degrees, moved it 30 feet west, and attached a larger house. When President and Mrs. Hoover purchased the cottage in 1935, they restored it to its original location and appearance.

How long did the Hoovers live in the two-room cottage?

They lived there from 1871 to 1878. In 1879 the family moved to a larger two-story home— the "House Of The Maples"— two blocks south on Downey Street. That home no longer exists.

Who were Herbert Hoover's parents?

Jesse Hoover, a West Branch blacksmith and businessman, was Herbert Hoover's father. Jesse Hoover died of pneumonia and heart failure in 1880, at the age of 34. Hulda Minthorn Hoover, a Quaker minister and former school teacher, was Herbert Hoover's mother. Hulda died in 1884 of typhoid fever at age 35.

Did Herbert Hoover have brothers and sisters?

Herbert Hoover had an older brother, Theodore, and a younger sister, Mary.

Did Herbert Hoover ever live in West Branch after he became President?

No. After his parents died, Herbert lived with his uncle Allan Hoover north of West Branch until he moved to Newberg, Oregon in 1885 to live with his uncle Henry John Minthorn. Hoover left West Branch in 1885 and never returned to live. However, he visited the area several times before and after his Presidency.

Did President Hoover have children?

Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover had two sons. Herbert Hoover, Jr. was born in 1903 and died in 1969. Allan was born in 1907 and died in 1993.

Does President Hoover have living descendants?

The Hoovers had six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. The Hoovers no longer live in the West Branch area.

Is Hoover Dam on the Colorado River named after Herbert Hoover?

Yes. Construction on Hoover Dam began during Hoover's presidency in 1930. Congress officially named it for President Hoover in 1947.

Did Herbert Hoover invent the Hoover vacuum cleaner?

No, he did not.

Was Herbert Hoover related to J. Edgar Hoover?

No, they are not related.

Last updated: May 18, 2023

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 607
West Branch, IA 52358


319 643-2541

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