Clarke County Historical Society had its beginnings when a study of special projects was done that would be of interest to the general public. One of the suggestions was establishing a historical society.
The society was established in 1971 for the purpose of preserving the history of Clarke County, Iowa, through articles, documents, books and family histories. Articles of Incorporation were filed Nov. 18, 1971.
One of the group’s first projects was to dismantle and relocate donated items. The Harlan log cabin from Fremont Township and the Terry well house from Weldon were moved and housed at Clarke County Fairgrounds.
In July 1972, the society opened its museum located on the east side of the square in the Dalby building.
In 1977, the society purchased the house at 100 S. Park St. owned by jeweler John Page, who had previously had his jewelry business at that location. Society members restored the interior of the house for a museum to display historical artifacts from the county. It was called “The History House.”
Society members knew of the need to expand, and in 1984 entered into a contract purchasing land for a museum building. Funds for this were raised by donations and special events.
The museum complex with the restored Harlan log cabin, Knox No. 8 one-room schoolhouse, machine shed, annex, building for future collections and main museum building are located on seven acres on Highway 69 South at 1030 S. Main St., Osceola, Iowa.
The museum is open by appointment May through October. Contact persons are Mike Boldon at 641-342-2538, Tawny Waske at 641-414-5826 and Marie White at 641-342-4838.