The Harlan-Lincoln House museum is currently closed for public entry. To request a Spring or Summer tour please email or call (319) 385-6319. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Harlan-Lincoln House Update

To ensure the safety of all museum visitors and staff we ask that patrons observe the following procedures:

  • Complete a provided Health Screening, including a Temperature Check, before entry
  • Use provided Hand Sanitizer Station before entry
  • Face Masks/ Shields are required for visitors and staff
  • Practice social distancing, at least 6 feet, from others in the museum
  • Harlan-Lincoln House materials will be distributed in pre-bundled packages
  • Gift Shop items will be available for viewing upon request


  • Thank you for not touching museum artifacts and leaving food and drink outside

For the latest information on Iowa Wesleyan University’s response to COVID-19 and current safety procedures, see

Harlan-Lincoln House


The mission of the Harlan-Lincoln House and its collection is to interpret the site to the public for its significance to the Harlan and Lincoln families, to reinforce the relationship to Iowa Wesleyan University, and to fulfill the home’s vital role in the living history of the University and the community.


The Harlan-Lincoln House, located on the north side of the Iowa Wesleyan University campus, has been maintained as a museum since 1959. The museum includes artifacts belonging to the Harlan and Lincoln families; fragment of the coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing during his assassination, a mourning veil worn by Mary Todd Lincoln, Senator James Harlan’s desk, bound Congressional Records, and a door measuring the heights of the Harlan grandchildren in 1883. The home at the corner of Main Street and Broad became the Harlan family’s permanent residence in 1876 upon remodeling after Senator Harlan retired from national politics.  Harlan’s daughter, Mary, married Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln and they brought their three children to spend summers at the house in the late 1870s and 1880s.


Volunteers are the foundation of the Harlan-Lincoln House and key to realizing its mission. Their unique talents and interests support the museum during tours, behind the scenes, and at public events.

Docents provide tours of the Harlan-Lincoln House for daily visitors and groups

Collections Assistants
Assistants provide support documenting, researching, and maintaining the artifacts of the Harlan-Lincoln House collection.

Event Committee
Committee members assist in planning and implementing public events hosted by the Harlan-Lincoln House.

Sharing Your Skills

Interested in sharing your skills through volunteering? Contact the Director of the Harlan-Lincoln House at or (319) 385-6319 for additional information.

Please note some volunteer positions require training sessions.