Article of Clothing Inspires New Exhibit at Jordan House Museum

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A special donation has given rise to a new exhibit at the Jordan House Museum.

The Jordan family donated an article of clothing that was worn by the last family member who lived in the house, Robert Ray Jordan Jr.

It is a hand-painted bomber jacket that he wore while stationed in Italy during World War II. The family restored the jacket. On the back, you can see a map of where Robert Ray Jordan Jr. traveled while serving overseas.

West Des Moines Historical Society Executive Director, Gale Brubaker said the piece inspired the museum to create “West Des Moines at War.”

The exhibit focuses on locals who have fought for the country, starting with the Spanish American War to the present day.

“It is not just an exhibit that focuses totally on battles. It focuses also on the story of the people behind the scenes still here at home who help support the war effort,” Brubaker said.

People will learn about victory gardens and scrap drives that communities held to help with war efforts from the United States.

“The whole victory garden push was a really federal government-led push to try and get people to grow their own foods so more manufacturing food could be sent overseas to support people that were in battle. That was a tremendously successful program,” Brubaker said.

There are items in the exhibit on loan from a variety of places to complete the exhibit.

“West Des Moines at War” will be open until the end of 2019.

People can view the exhibit at the Jordan House at 2001 Fuller Road during normal business hours. Summer hours include Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

For more information call (515) 225-1286.

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