The first president born west of the Mississippi, Herbert Hoover spent his early years in a two-room cottage in West Branch, Iowa, built by his father and grandfather in 1871.
Nine years later, Hoover’s father died, leaving him an orphan. He left West Branch, but the childhood impressions of his birthplace remained with him. He saw this cottage as evidence of the unlimited opportunity available to every American. If a child born in a two-room cottage in Iowa could become president, anything was possible.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site includes the Birthplace Cottage, as well as replicas of his childhood school, his father’s blacksmith shop, and the Quaker church where his family worshipped.
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum offers an opportunity to learn more about the president, his policies, and his impact. You can also visit the graves of the president and his wife and stroll trails cut through the 81-acre tallgrass prairie that surrounds the cottage.