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Ice House Museum

On a hot day, there’s nothing better than a sip of ice-cold water or a lick of an ice cream cone.

Have you ever wondered what life was like before refrigeration?
How were food and drinks kept cold?

Find out about the amazing process at the Ice House Museum.

Built in 1921, this unique round structure was originally home to the flourishing Cedar Falls Ice and Fuel Company.  It stored six to eight thousand tons of ice each year—cut right from the frozen Cedar River.

Now it is the only museum in the United States that combines an original ice house with an extensive collection of ice harvesting artifacts and archives.

Smell the original wooden beams, see the tools that carved the ice, test your strength at lifting blocks of ice, and imagine the chill of working on the frozen Cedar River.

Visit our first floor exhibits to experience an international industry that brought fresh food to the family table.  Explore our River Walk balcony to learn how the Cedar River shaped businesses, culture, and everyday lives in Cedar Falls.

Visitor Information: 
The address for general directions is 121 Center St, Cedar Falls, but there is no entrance to the museum grounds on Center St

To access the museum, enter the frontage road at 
1st & Clay Streets - on the north side of 1st Street just west of the Behrens-Rapp Filling Station

Ample parking is available around the museum in Sturgis Park

Open seasonally, May through mid-October
  • Wednesdays, 1-4
  • Saturdays, 10-4
  • Sundays, 1-4

$5 admission fee; 12 and under free

** Please note that we are not able to process credit cards at the Ice House Museum; we will accept cash or personal checks.

We are in the process of installing restrooms in the museum, but there are currently no restroom facilities.



© 2015 Copyright  Cedar Falls Historical Society

308 West 3rd Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 (319) 266-5149  Email:

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Funding for site provided by the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau