Mitchell County

Historical Museum

Cedar River Complex

Museum entrance located in the CRC lobby

Visit our newest exhibit

in the Museum!

An unusual display of almost 100 maps from all over Mitchell County

Some old, some older, and all VERY unique

“Are We There Yet? Let’s Check the Maps,” an antique map exhibit that spans 125 years of the settlement and growth of Mitchell County and Iowa, opened April 24, 2022 at the Mitchell County Historical Society Museum in Osage.

The Exhibit Features almost 100 maps ranging from the mid- 1800s through much of the 20th century. The museum has been reorganized to accommodate the display of maps loaned for the exhibit, according to organizers from the Mitchell County Historical Society.

(Edited exerts from News Release, April 2022 by Deb Nicklay)

Original Poem: Are We There Yet?

by Kurt Meyer

for the Map Exhibit Opening Ceremony (Click)

Are We There Yet?

Trails and tracks, roads and routes.

Highways and byways, path and pavement.

Avenues, arteries, alleys.

... Are we there yet?

Boulevards, streets, and lanes,

A turnpike, a toll road,

A freeway, a thoroughfare - essential infrastructure.

... Are we there yet?

Farm-to-market roads, main-traveled roads.

Travel on gravel, past "Lovers' Lane" , till you reach the blacktop.

Where ARE we?

... Are WE there yet?

Where are we going?

How far is it? How do we get there?

Are we close? Are we lost? Where is "THERE"? As in...

Are we THERE yet?

Treasure maps and treasured maps

Putting us ON the map.

Then marching OFF the maps.

... Are we there yet?

Once names, not numbers:

The "Red Ball Route"... the "Lincoln Highway".

The "River to River Road" ... the "Great White Way".

... Are we there yet?

Are we headed in the right direction?

Can we stop and get directions?

Is the center of the universe out in the middle of nowhere?

And ... are we there yet?

In Garland's words ... the TRAIL of the gold seekers, the long TRAIL.

A son (and daughter) of the MIDDLE BORDER; trail makers, back-trailers.

Roadside meetings; companions on the trail; and yes, joys of the trail.

... Are we there yet?

Finally, YOU are HERE! "X" marks the spot!

This hits close to home... home, where the heart is.

Home sweet home, there's no place quite like it; home... at last...

We're there!


The mission of the Historical Society is to keep alive an active interest in Mitchell County history by collecting, preserving and interpreting artifacts, books, papers, records, and other materials relative to the county’s history. The Historical Society cares for over 10,000 items at its seven different sites, including one of the largest clothing collections in Iowa.

History of MCHS (Click)

The Mitchell County Historical Museum was established in the last remaining building of the Cedar Valley Seminary in 1966. The "Old Central" building, located at North 6th Street and Mechanic Street (Osage, IA) was leased to the Historical Society by the Osage Community Schools. The Osage Community Schools were in discussions of expanding their school on the former Seminary Campus site and Old Central was going to be demolished. Around this same time, the Historical Society lease was about to expire, The Mitchell County Historical Society saw an opportunity to join in a 28E agreement group planning the Cedar River Recreation and Fine Arts Complex. This would be the answer to "Where do we go with the Museum"?

The iconic "Old Central" building was rescued from destruction by a newly formed "Cedar Valley Seminary Foundation". On June 24, 2016, the Cedar Valley Seminary (Old Central) was moved to 200 North 7th Street where it stands with dignity. A full restoration and repurposing of The Cedar Valley Seminary, on this beautiful site, welcomes visitors with many gatherings and events today.

A Grand Opening was held April 24, 2010 for the Cedar River Complex. The Mitchell County Historical Society Museum was secure in its beautiful new home. The museum is located just inside the main entrance to the Cedar River Complex (which houses the Krapek Family Fine Arts Center and auditorium, fitness center, and swimming pool.). Their mission is collecting, preserving artifacts and telling the story of the Mitchell County lifestyle of past generations. This Accessible Museum consists of two floors full of vintage exhibits and the research library. Displays are often changed, using the local treasures from this extensive collection, to keep the experience fresh. "What you didn't see on your first visit, you may on the next".

Cedar River Complex, 809 Sawyer Drive, Osage, IA

Museum Hours:

Wednesday through Saturday

1 pm to 5 pm

Phone: 641-832-2574