Dyer-Botsford House

A visit to Dyer-Botsford Historical House and Doll Museum, a Victorian mansion, provides both antique lovers and history buffs a look back at Dyersville’s history. Beautiful antiques and interesting displays of artifacts make this historical house a “must-see” on anyone’s list. The doll collection, showcasing over 2000 dolls will remain a great memory for a long time.

James Dyer, Jr., a 27-year old Englishman, came to Iowa in 1847.  James and his wife, Ann, had 3 small children.

Mr. Dyer purchased land in New Wine Township for the purpose of establishing an English settlement, which would be called Dyersville.

James Dyer built the first frame house in Dyersville, described at that time as a Victorian mansion, for his family.

Fast forward to 1988.  The house built by the founder of Dyersville was scheduled to be demolished.  The Dyersville Area Historical Society purchased the historical landmark and restored it to its Victorian elegance. It became a Doll Museum when Mr. & Mrs. Charles Schemmel of Cascade donated their collection of 900 dolls to be put on display. Today, the doll collection consists of over 2000 dolls.  Also displayed are furniture, clothing, toys and other vintage items to make the dolls at home.

Other items in the Dyer-Botsford Historical House and Doll Museum include beautiful antique furniture, vintage wedding dresses, a miniature hand-carved circus, a rare German feather Christmas tree and many unique displays of items significant to the history of Dyersville.