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Residents of Traer, both past and present, have provided the good, solid foundation for this community. They have established homes, raised children, built businesses, taken risks, dreamed dreams and lived in this space we call Traer. Whether it was on a farm nearby, or a house in town, they have called this community home.


Originally conceived in the 1970s, the Traer Historical Museum took residence in the former Farmers Mercantile Co. building in 1989. The museum houses items relevant to North Tama County, including representative vignettes from the early 1900s and Traer business memorabilia. Special exhibits include a Tama Jim Wilson display, historical editions of the Traer Star-Clipper, and a 3-inch ordinance rifle from 1864. 


Displays from the Civil War to the Vietnam War, are also a part of the museum with stories and items related to northern Tama County soldiers who participated in each.  We have a country school exhibit with items, photos, and stories of rural northern Tama County one-room schools.  The Traer school display shares history as Traer High School developed into North Tama County Community School District.  There are exhibits of former schools in northern Tama County, including Geneseo, Dinsdale, and Buckingham.  Annuals or yearbooks of each school are included in the school displays, respectively.


The museum is a viable part of the community and has offered ice cream and pie during Winding Stairs Festival, visits from Santa during Holiday Happenings, art displays, and participation in community celebrations.

Want more Traer history? Check out issues of the Traer Star Clipper newspaper dating back to 1909.


These digital newspapers are available thanks to a grant to the Traer Historical Museum from The Traer Community Foundation, and the Tama County Historical Society and Genealogical Library.

Tours & Hours

By appointment only, please contact  319.478.2346  or


Become a member of the Traer Historical Museum for as little as $5.00.
Contributions of $10.00, $25.00, $50.00, $100.00, or other amounts are also sincerely appreciated.



The Traer Historical Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Traer 
and northern Tama County and to communicating the values of our past. It is maintained through the 
voluntary efforts of our Board of Directors, and community members, and through voluntary donations.

To make a donation, please contact Sharon Stoakes.

Historical Books Available for Purchase

Those Were the Days & Quasquicentennial – (sold as a set) $10 or $15 shipped 

Soldier Life: Many Must Fall – $30 or $35 shipped 

Tales of the Tombstones – $20 or $25 shipped

All books are available at the Traer Museum, Reuman's Clothing, and the Salt & Pepper Shaker Gallery.

Traer Historical Museum

514 2nd Street, Traer, IA  50675


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Our gallery features the amazing salt & pepper shaker collection of long-time Traer resident, Ruth Rasmussen.

Begun in 1946 with Brookfield Zoo souvenirs, her collection eventually outgrew the two small sheds behind her home. The collection was purchased by the City of Traer in 2008 and fundraising began to create a permanent home for the more than 15,000 sets of shakers.

Today, the Traer Salt & Pepper Shaker Gallery boasts the largest collection of publicly displayed shakers in the Midwest and is designated an "Iowa Great Place." Come see us and Wind Up in Traer!

Salt & Pepper Shaker Gallery

411 2nd Street, Traer, IA  50675


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