Perhaps our most treasured artifact, this tapestry was donated by Carl Martin to the museum, who discovered it while deconstructing the old German Halle in 1959 to make way for our new high school. We believe it to be from the early 1880s.
Walnut has had many inventors, most of whom were active in the late 19th and early 20th century. Our most recent display documents our many inventors, inventions, and home-made devices.
Donated by Steve and Jean Epley, former owners of the local newspaper, our collection includes well-preserved originals of most editions of the Walnut News (1878-1882) and the Walnut Bureau (1883 - 2015), which were published weekly and contain a written record of our history. In addition, our local Genealogy Society has commissioned the digitization of this collection.
Walnut's History in Photographs
Our collection of old photographs documents the buildings, shops and influential people of Walnut from 1870 to the 1940s. This bound annotated compilation, 261 pages of 8.5"x14" size, is currently in its 6th edition and is available for viewing at the museum, or may be purchased.
Walnut Bureau photographs 1946-1972
The Walnut Bureau collection donated by the Epleys also included a box of negatives which have now been scanned into four bound photographic compilations. The negatives were from the new Bureau camera which was purchased in late 1946. These collections are available for viewing at the museum or can also be purchased.
A Baseball Town
Our collection includes many artifacts and photos related to sports, and especially baseball. Also available is a compilation of Walnut Bureau photos related to baseball, and a set of four videos entitled "Walnut, Iowa: A Baseball Town", which document our rich baseball and non-sports-related history from 1871 to 1955.
The Rock Island
Walnut was founded as a stop on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1869. Less than 100 years later, the last rail was torn up as Interstate 80 changed forever our lives and the way we traveled and transported goods.
Walnut's Independent School District was organized in 1872, and the Walnut Community School was closed in 2016. Our museum includes many artifacts and photos from our city and country schools over the decades.