The Higgins Museum, one of Okoboji’s more unusual attractions, is devoted entirely to the history of national banking in the United States from 1863 to 1935. Exhibits of national bank notes from Iowa and adjoining states illustrate the heyday of America’s use of hometown paper money, along with an extensive collection of turn-of-the century Iowa postcards, and a numismatic research library.
Money, money, money! Currency doesn’t just happen, it develops through a history of people, events, banks and choices. Visitors to the Higgins Museum have the opportunity to view and enjoy the largest collection of National Bank Note issues on permanent exhibit anywhere in the country. The Museum, which opened in 1978, is purposed with the acquisition, preservation and display of the notes, related artifacts and pertinent reference materials relating to the National Bank Note issuance era.
Many people regard these notes as America’s commemorative paper money. The landing of Columbus, the embarkation of the Pilgrims, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and other great events of our history are illustrated on the notes of the first charter period. All of the notes honor the towns, the banks, and many thousands of individuals who played key roles in the development of our country and its resources.
We feel fortunate to have this Museum and these great reminders of our heritage, and we hope you will come and enjoy the fascinating story of this chapter of the American banking system. Open daily, except Mondays, from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, 11am to 5:30 pm. Group tours are also available by appointment.
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