Squirrel Cage Jail Museum-

226 Pearl Street, Council Bluffs

Winter hours: Open Saturday 11am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm.


No reservations necessary.

Arrive sufficiently before closing to allow yourself to time to enjoy the exhibits!


Historical Society of Pottawattamie County members: Free

Adults: $10.00; Public Safety Workers $6, Seniors (60 and over) and students: $8.00

Ages 6 - 18: $5.00; Ages 5 and under free.

A quilt displaying Sheriffs' badges from all 99 counties. The quilt is on permanent loan from Stephanie & Kyle Oostra.

The Historical Society's Squirrel Cage Jail Museum has long told the story of law enforcement. That tale is now more complete, thanks to an affiliation with the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association (ISSDA). The story dates back to 1836; it's about lawmen and outlaws of the old west, about progress and setbacks, about sheriffs and deputies from across the plains, of how this unique building played a part in history, and how the State of Iowa made an impact upon the nation.

The ‘Old Cedar County Jail’ in Tipton, Iowa had been the only official ISSDA museum; the Squirrel Cage Jail has been designated as a second official ISSDA museum, the ISSDA West Museum.  The distinction will allow the museum to beome a repository for law enforcement artifacts from across the state. The first donation was from Sheriff Brian Gardner of Linn County, containing 26 unique antique badges along with old shoulder patches from various sheriff’s offices from across the State of Iowa.

The ISSDA has donated a trailer for use as a mobile museum. The mobile museum will provide greater exposure for the exhibits and promote awareness of the Society's unique museum in Council Bluffs.