- Eric CA wonderful asset into our history and prairie life. Shows early life for the pioneers who settled this area.
- Sharleen AGreat place to learn about our local history! Ask for Pete he's super knowledgeable & great with kids!
- Amber RSuch great history. Fun for the whole family
Forest Park Museum and Arboretum is museum and arboretum located on the south edge of Perry, Iowa. It is open year round on weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and weekends April 1st to Nov 1st from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. There is no admission fee.
The museum and arboretum were originally developed on 5 acres in the 1940s by Eugene Hastie, a farmer and local historian of Dallas County. He planted his arboretum in straight lines to allow farming between the trees, and in 1953 opened his museum to the public. In 1966, the Dallas County Conservation Department purchased the site, and has subsequently added another 12 acres of re-established prairie and wildflowers. The museum displays unique artifacts; including a presidential autograph collection, a high quality Iowa book collection and the giant electric generator built by noted inventor Henry Nelson. Live anphibians and an increasing number of hands on family exhibits are also featured at the facility.
The arboretum contains over 100 species of primarily native trees and shrubs.
Permanent museum displays include the last one-room school house of Dallas County (built 1867, closed 1961), early transportation and railroading memorabilia, farm machinery, small hand tools, and a blacksmith shop.
It is headquarters to Dallas County Conservation Board.