Finding Your Home’s History

A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference session about researching your historic property.  Paula Mohr from the State Historic Preservation Office provided a great presentation.  You may view the presentation she shared with us below.

***You may access the Sanborn maps through the DMPL website here.  You just need your library card and PIN numbers (PINs are sometimes the last 4 of your phone number).

2 Responses

  1. Hi, I am interested in your post and researching the history of a 1928 home in the Grand View Park neighborhood. Do you have any suggestions, or could you send the powerpoint directly – it isn’t allowing me to view here. Thanks for your help. 🙂

  2. Thanks for replying to this post. I’m sorry you are having problems viewing this document online.

    I’m interested in why you can’t view the Power Point (actually in PDF form) online. Does it give you a message? Would you let me know if there is one, that way I can try to troubleshoot it. Do you know what browser you are using?

    I’ll e-mail the document to you. If you still can’t read it, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader software at

    Here at the Central Library, we have city directories, which will tell you who lived in the house and sometimes the person’s occupation. We also have a vertical file with neighborhood information in it, as well as the Des Moines Register on microfilm. You can start by searching our newspaper index for you house address and see if anything comes up. This index is not comprehensive, but it is a starting place:

    We also have city and county histories, biographies, some information on architects. There’s a lot of good information in the attached presentation. I hope it helps you out.

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