Chickasaw County Iowa

Old Bradford Pioneer Village and Museum
Of the
Chickasaw County Historical Society
Located on Highway 346, two miles east of Nashua, IA
(adjacent to the Little Brown Church grounds)

Guided tours available
May 1st - October 31st
9am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday
Noon - 5pm on Sundays
Ph: (641)435-2567

The Old Bradford Train Depot
Taken Mid-September 2000

The Old Bradford Train Depot and Railroad Car
Taken Mid-September 2000

The railroad was an important part of the early history of Chickasaw County. This Great Western Railroad Depot originally stood in Fredericksburg on the main line of the Chicago Great Western Railroad. When this structure was scheduled to be removed, it was relocated at the Old Bradford Pioneer Village. The interior contains memorabilia from the heyday of the railroad, including the old potbellied stove, wooden benches and the rack of old timetables.

Log Cabins at the Pioneer Village
Dr Pitts' Office (white building in the middle)
Taken Mid-September 2000

These are authentic cabins furnished with period pieces at Bradford Village, once a thriving village along the wagon trail west. The town was named after Winnebago Indian Chief Bradford and it is said that at one time there were numerous Indian encampments along the Little Cedar River in the vicinity of Bradford. Down through the years, homes, stores, a school and factories were built and in time the Little Brown Church was erected. However, as with many frontier villages, when the railroad came, it bypassed Bradford and eventually the village all but disappeared.

The Museum is a unique collection of reconstructed buildings and displays of the original village of Bradford, first settled in 1840 as an Indian trading post, and tells the story of life as lived by our ancestors. Today the 14 buildings on the grounds give visitors the opportunity to relive the past. The Chickasaw County Historical Society invites you to tour these buildings and hopes that your visit will give you a better understanding of life as it was in the 1800s and early 1900s. In addition to these historical items pictured above, there is much more to see at Old Bradford Pioneer Village:

Heritage House is a former school and now houses many items illustrating early arts and crafts of the pioneers, as well as, exibits of period clothing and military uniforms from the Civil War era to the modern day.

The Kraft School, also known as The Cagley School, is an original one-room school house, equipped as a reminder of how education was obtained on the Iowa prairie of the past.

Dr William S. Pitts' Office: This quaint building was moved from Fredericksburg. During the late 1800s it served Dr Pitts as his office and place of practice. Dr Pitts removed from Wisconsin in 1862, to live and practice medicine in the Fredericksburg area. He had been endowed with wonderful musical talent, having written the song, "Church in the Wildwood", he also taught a singing class at Bradford Academy. Just for the sake of completeness, Dr Pitts first visited Bradford and Chickasaw County in June of 1857. He had come by stage from McGregor. At that time there was no "Little Brown Church", but Dr Pitts saw the vale, the spot where the church was eventually built, and thinking it particularly lovely, he immediately envisioned it as the perfect setting for a church. After his return to Wisconsin from that visit is when he composed the song, which has become synonymous with The Little Brown Church in The Vale.

The County Jail: This building was used by the City of New Hampton to incarcerate those who became troublesome, to be held for a cooling-off period.