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Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company

The Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Co. building has housed many businesses over the years and managed to stay standing through times when many older buildings were razed. It is the last remaining example of a cast iron façade in Des Moines. This…

George Conradi's Saloon

In the late 1800s, a notorious establishment stood at 212 Walnut Street: George Conradi’s Saloon. A saloon in a frontier town was not a novelty, but an establishment trying to sell liquor in a dry county or on dry days received attention. From…

Demoine House

A fashionable hotel known as the Demoine House once stood at First and Walnut Streets, which is now where the Polk County Office building resides. John Yost and Martin Tucker opened the Demoine House in April 1855, and it soon became the site of…

Romano Fruit Stand

According to a Des Moines Register article, Egidio Romano came to Des Moines from Italy by way of Omaha, Kansas City, and then St. Paul.  Romano started his fruit stand in Des Moines in 1891 and eventually became the Secretary-Treasurer of the…

Des Moines Zoological Gardens

It all began when L.M. Mann bought 100 acres of land and created a destination. He opened the Des Moines Zoological Gardens on July 4, 1889. The park included an elephant, lions, panthers, kangaroos, monkeys, elk, numerous birds, and other animals.…

Savastopol

Sevastopol began as a settlement south of Des Moines around 1855.  It was laid out by James Sherman, was recorded on July 21, 1862,  and  incorporated in 1877 or 1878 (varies with source).  Its boundaries were SE 5th, Hartford Ave, Bell Avenue and…

Project Des Moines

Project Des Moines is a free website and app that explores the history of Des Moines. Discover information on people, places, and events in Des Moines history. Explore historical information about each site on the interactive GPS-enabled map along with images from archival collections and historical publications. This project was developed by Des Moines Public Library. Read more About Us