West Branch Travel Guide

  • West Branch
    by leics
  • West Branch
    by leics
  • West Branch
    by leics

West Branch Things to Do

  • Birthplace Cottage

    Herbert Hoover, the first President born west of the Mississippi River, was born in a small two-room cottage on August 10, 1874.The cottage was built by Herbert's father Jesse and grandfather Eli Hoover in 1871. The Hoover family lived in the cottage until 1879.

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  • Blacksmith shop

    Jesse Hoover, Herbert's father, owned and operated a blacksmith shop similar to this one from 1871 to 1879. One of several blacksmiths in the community, Jesse advertised in the local newspaper that horse shoeing and repairing plows were his specialties.

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  • Historic Neighborhood

    The Hoovers lived on the edge of town. A part of that town from the 1880's exist in a street of homes (now offices) that have been restored to their original appearance when the Hoovers lived here.

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  • Visitor Center

    The visitor center is an easy way to start your visit. You'll find a lot of information about Hoover and his times. The staff will be glad to answer your questions and give you insights into this unique person. There is also a gift shop.Summers are hot and humid, spring and fall are mild with moderate temperatures, winters can be cold and snowy....

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  • GRAVESITE

    Herbert Hoover’s 90 year-life ended on 20 October 1964. He is buried here under Vermont marble with his wife, Lou (she was also a Stanford geology graduate). Their graves overlook Herbert’s Birthplace Cottage, a lifetime of adventure and service at an end.

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  • STATUE OF ISIS

    The Goddess of Life, this statue was a gift to Hoover from the children and citizens of Belgium in gratitude for his humanitarian work on their behalf during and after the First World War. The statue was originally placed on the campus of Stanford University but later moved by Hoover to overlook the Birthplace Cottage in 1939.

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  • FRIENDS MEETINGHOUSE

    Hoover was born into a Quaker family – one that helped to settle West Branch. The Quakers, or Religious Society of Friends, enjoy a long history of personal inspiration. Members come together, sitting together quietly until one is moved by the Spirit to begin talking. Herbert’s mother, Hulda, was a recorded Quaker minister and she often spoke out...

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  • BLACKSMITH SHOP

    Across from the Birthplace Cottage is a reconstruction of Herbert Hoover’s father, Jesse Hoover’s blacksmith shop operating it from 1871-1879. He sold the shop and opened a farm implement store at the same time moving his family into a larger home. Only a year afterwards, Jesse died of a heart attack. Herbert was only six.

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  • BIRTHPLACE COTTAGE

    Built in 1871 by Herbert’s father and his father, this 14-by-20 foot house was home to the Hoover family until 1879. It was here that Herbert was born 10 August 1874 in this simple two-room cottage. On the hill behind the cottage, lies Hoover’s gravesite, the circle of life complete.

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West Branch Hotels

West Branch Restaurants

  • SallyErickson's Profile Photo

    by SallyErickson Written Mar 28, 2009

    Herb and Lou's is an independent pizza restaurant and bar. It is definitely not fancy but the pizza is great.

    Favorite Dish: Try a Light Lou's (vegetarian) or a Herb's Heaper (all meat). One of the best things about the pizza is the delicious thin crust.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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West Branch Travel Guide
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