Heritage Park of North Iowa is a 91-acre site located on the south edge of Forest City, Iowa. The Park is dedicated to the preservation of America’s rural heritage. There are 50 buildings and museums filled with representative items of farm life lived long ago.
As an organization, Heritage Park of North Iowa is a subdivision of the Winnebago Historical Society. The Winnebago Historical Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Heritage Park of North Iowa’s mission is to preserve the local heritage so that future generations will better understand how the region evolved, to educate and to entertain, and to help the region through tourism. It combines preservation activities with living history and tourism in a way that will benefit the community.
Heritage Park of North Iowa was being discussed in the summer of 1997. The goal was to create a regional park that would serve the North Central area of Iowa.
By 1998, there were commitments from the Winnebago Historical Society, the Holtan Farm Museum in Winnebago County, the Timberland Museum in Hancock County, the Hanlontown Community Club which sponsored the annual Steam Threshing Days in Worth County, The Hill City Tractor Club in Hancock County, and the Tri-County Antique Power Club in Kossuth County. The commitments were that the Holtan Farm Museum and the Timberland Museum would move to the grounds, the Winnebago Historical Society would become the parent organization, and the three regional farm shows would join together at the show grounds. Discussion began with the Hanson Foundation concerning the financing of a farm owned by Winnebago Industries, Inc., located on the south edge of Forest City. In 1999, the Hanson Foundation agreed to lease the farm from Winnebago Industries, Inc. for three years. If specific conditions were met, they would purchase the farm for Heritage Park of North Iowa. The goals were accomplished, and the 90.69-acre farm was paid for and deeded to the Park in the spring of 2001.
Heritage Park of North Iowa
For individuals and families in the extended Forest City, Iowa area who enjoy learning about history and appreciate an opportunity for hands-on experiences, Heritage Park of North Iowa provides high-quality historical collections, rare displays, diverse exhibits and active demonstrations. For anyone interested in an entertainment or gathering venue, Heritage Park provides a well-maintained and attractive setting to accommodate small and very large crowds.