Contact Us


Emergency Plan





A joint venture between the Howard County Agricultural Society

and the Howard County Historical Society


Dedicated to the People of the Howard County Community




Click here to view photos of the construction of the Historical Preservation Center.

From A Dream to Reality

In 2002 the concept of a museum dedicated to the preservation of, and education of, the agricultural, industrial and home life of the Howard County community was brought forward to both the Howard County Agricultural Society and Howard County Historical Society. Four years of hard work, long hours, and countless meetings, the “dream” of a museum became a reality with the construction of the Howard County Historical Preservation & Education Center.

Designed to finally fulfill the long-standing dream of providing a focal point for the heritage and history of Howard County as well as a center devoted to learning about the rich agricultural and industrial heritage of the community, the Center will be a point of public pride and involvement.

Besides accommodating thousands of visitors and users each year, it will provide a safe, secure climate-controlled facility for artifacts now spread throughout the county, often in conditions that contribute to the deterioration of these irreplaceable items. In addition the Center will feature an area dedicated to the education of Howard County’s past, while preparing our community for a strong and prosperous future.

Construction of the new Center started immediately after in August 2005. 10 months later the new Center, although not fully completed, opened to the public on the opening day of the 2006 Mighty Howard County Fair.

To date, just over 90% of funds needed to build the Center, or $370,000, have been committed. Both Societies are confident the remaining money needed to finish the Center will be raised. Ideally another $50,000 is needed. As this would give some flexibility in choosing some of the final items needed for the Center, including display areas and methods for the preservation of artifacts, finish flooring and ceiling in the museum area, and acquiring unique pieces that reflect the early agricultural heritage of the Howard County area.

About the New Center

The new Howard County Historical Preservation & Education Center features four specific areas. These include 2 areas of museum display, an education and multi-use area, and administration offices. In all, the new Center totals 14,250 square feet.

The largest museum area, 7,000 square feet, is devoted to the display of larger artifacts, relating to agricultural, industrial and home life exhibits.

The second museum area is 1,500 square feet, and is used by the Historical Society as a center for precious displays, such as photographs, coins, books, clothing, old records and the like. This area of the Center is heated and air conditioned, and serves as the formal office area and main entry into the Center. Also located in this area the “Wall of Honor” that recognizes all donors to the Center.

The third are of the facility, The Featherlite Center, serves as the education center of the facility. This area is 3,500 square feet and features in-floor heat, air conditioning, and has seating for 150 persons. Also included in this area is a kitchenette and ADA compliant restrooms. The Featherlite Center is available to the public for all types of events including meetings, trainings, gatherings and related activities. This area also serves as the “ Creative Activities Center” during the Mighty Howard County Fair, as it houses Fair’s arts and crafts, textiles, flowers and other related competitive exhibits, and features contests and demonstrations that highlight the area’s heritage.

The forth area of the Center serves as the office for the Howard County Agricultural Society, as well as the office for the Howard County Fair.

The Center fully ADA compliant featuring easy access restrooms for both men and women, and a wide sidewalk surrounding the east and south side, offering easy access for all persons to visit the various parts of the Center. In addition, the Center is designed for any future expansions.

The outside area around the museum is landscaped with trees, shrubs, several flower beds and other landscape features. Memorial benches are placed along the sidewalks, offering ample seating to visitors. The landscaping, walks and benches complement the Center, making the area around the Center attractive and inviting to visitors.

Donation Details

Both financial contributions and artifact donations are accepted, and needed. Those wishing to donation artifacts, ranging from home life items, agricultural equipment and industrial relics of the Howard County Community should contact the Howard County Historical Society. Call Mary Ann Billmyer, President, at 563-547-2217. Alternate contact is Tom Barnes at 563-547-4996.

Financial contributions are welcomed and needed, not only to finish the new Center, but to sustain it throughout the upcoming years.

Memorial Benches: Memorial benches are constructed of steel with an all weather, and non-maintenance, coating of a space age type plastic. A memorial plaque mounted on the backrest of the bench that is engraved according to the donor’s request. These benches are permanently mounted around the outside of the building, in strategic locations that will provide rest and relaxation to fairgoers and visitors of the museum. Memorial benches may be purchased for $1500 each.

NOTE: Memorial Benches are limited. Please call for availability.

Breakdown of Monetary Donations

Up to $199; $200 to $499; $500 to $999; $1,000 to $4,999; $5,000 to $9,999; $10,000 and above

Monetary donors will be recognized on a “Wall of Honor” in the Historical Museum . This “Wall of Honor” will highlight the donors to the Center. Every donor to the Center will be featured on this display by engraving each donor’s information on the display.

Multi-year payments (up to 3 years) are an option to assist donors in making their commitment to the project.

The Howard County Agricultural Society is a not-for-profit organization in the State of Iowa and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501-c3 tax-exempt organization. Your gift is considered a charitable donation and therefore could be tax deductible. Check with your tax preparer.


Howard County Agricultural Society

Museum Fund

P.O. Box 83

Cresco , IA 52136 

For further information call 563-547-4996.

E-mail: --- Website: