Native Iowans and history buffs will enjoy learning more about the state’s earliest days at the Old Capital Museum. The first governor was inaugurated right here, and this is where the men who established Iowa’s statehood drafted the state’s first constitution.
Located on the University of Iowa campus, the museum recalls Iowa City’s role as the location of the state's first capitol (the capitol was moved to Des Moines in 1857). Visiting the museum is like stepping into the pages of a history book. A series of rooms are set up to resemble chambers used by the state’s first officers, and the original House Chamber, Senate Chamber and Supreme Court are must-see highlights. Climb a spiral staircase to view a display of the bell from the building’s original tower, destroyed in a 2001 fire.
The museum is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged. Closed Mondays and national holidays.