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Knowing Your History: The Jordan House

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Knowing Your History

The History of the Jordan House

By Michael Conlon, Editorial Intern

The Jordan House has a long history of being an important part of West Des Moines. There are endless stories that revolve around the Jordan House and James Jordan himself. One of the most interesting and important aspects is that the Jordan House was an important part of the Underground Railroad. James Jordan built the house in 1850 and was an open abolitionist, making that known to whoever would listen. He was more than willing to have his home be a stop for the Underground Railroad and he helped countless freedom seekers passing through during their difficult journey. 

Many people used the Jordan House as a stop on the Underground Railroad and because of the heroic efforts of James Jordan, freedom seekers were able to reach their final goal of freedom. How would James Jordan keep the freedom seekers from sight? Many hid in James Jordan’s very small basement or they would hide in the expansive fields around his home or barns.

The Jordan House is located at 2001 Fuller Rd, West Des Moines, it is worth taking a tour to learn all the history it has to offer. I highly recommend a visit with their Executive Director Gale Brubaker. She is an incredible guide. They can be reached at www.wdmhs.org. What an incredible asset to the West Des Moines Community!