There is a lot to see and learn when you visit The History Center in the historic Douglas Mansion. Our permanent gallery showcases a number of unique and interesting artifacts, photos, stories and information regarding the history of Linn County's culture, people, businesses, neighborhoods and more.
*Please note that all exhibits and galleries are self-guided.
Available through November 5, 2022
When disaster strikes, first responders with the proper training and equipment run toward the danger, bringing help and hope along with them. This exhibit explores the history of local firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and law enforcement.
140 Years Powering Progress
Available through March 2023
Alliant Energy has been powering the lives of Linn County residents since 1882, when the Cedar Rapids Light and Power Company was founded. The utility started locally with an investment of less than $12,000 and only two employees. It has grown to serve over 985,000 electric customers in the Midwest. Over many name changes, acquisitions, and mergers the customer base has expanded and changed, but the commitment to delivering the energy solutions and exceptional service that the customers and communities count on has remained the same. This exhibition explores the electrifying history of Alliant Energy from its early days through today.
Exhibit sponsored by Alliant Energy
Occupied Wounded Knee 1973
Opens January 7, 2023
Occupied Wounded Knee 1973 will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota and the trials that followed. The occupation was a part of a protest that followed accusations of corruption and abuse of power on the Pine Ridge Reservation and a request to re-open treaty negotiations with the U.S. government. The decision to occupy the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre drew hundreds of Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) to the siege, The United States Marshals Service, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies controlled the area and exchanged gunfire with the activists. Deaths occurred on both sides of the conflict and the subsequent violence and series of trials of AIM members continued for several years after the occupation. This exhibition will explore the connections to Linn County, Iowa through the trials of AIM members and the role Cedar Rapids played in the outcome of negotiations between indigenous people and the U.S. government.
Occupied Wounded Knee 1973 is brought to you, in part, by a generous contribution from
Fred Pilcher and Janet Manatt Pilcher, and from an anonymous donor.