A community is a place where people live. In Iowa people live in rural areas, towns or cities.
Iowa has more communities — large and small — than almost any other state in the nation. Explore how these communities developed. Discover how our communities tell the story of the people, ideas and industries of the state.
Explore Iowa history milestones and their connections to U.S. and world events. Compare and contrast events across different themes in history. View Iowa's past in a whole new way.
Create your own story of Iowa history. Are you ready for a challenge?
Iowa Past to Present Online Teacher's GuideView the guide
Iowa Heritage Series Now Online!
The Iowa Heritage, a resource often only available to teachers in VHS or film form, is now available FREE online! The Iowa Heritage covers Iowa's history from prehistory through the present and provides a vivid and personal look at Iowa's development, culture and achievements. Watch the videos
Iowa Pathways teacher resources support a wide variety of educational needs. Strategies, events, lessons and activities are classroom ready. Find it all in Teacher Resources.
Explore Iowa History
The story of Iowa started long before people ever lived on the land. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and ice helped form the landscape of this area for over 1 billion years. Nomadic people roamed what is now Iowa nearly 12,000 years ago, hunting large mammals like mammoths, mastodons and caribou. About 2,500 years ago, people gradually started settling near rivers as they learned farming techniques, beginning our agricultural tradition. The rivers turned into transportation routes for trade, which brought European trappers, traders and explorers in the late 1600s.
The past 200 years have seen settlers coming to Iowa from across the world to farm the land, make a home and become Iowans. Small towns and big cities flourished. New immigrants continue to change the face of our state. Iowa's foundation in education continues to develop workers, artists, innovators and leaders. The people, products and ideas of the state continue to change our nation and the world.
After thousands of years of Iowa history, there are many stories to be told. There are stories about schools and businesses, people and communities, wars and government, artistic endeavors and transportation systems, agricultural enterprises and environmental changes. All of these things make up Iowa history. But the true story of Iowa is your own.
What is your Iowa story? Find your Iowa pathway.
Search, sort, and view hundreds of photos, videos, and more. You may be surprised at what you uncover.
Iowa Pathways: Iowa History Resources for Students and Teachers
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