Living History Farms is a 500-acre open air museum located in Urbandale, Iowa. The museum's mission is to educate visitors and demonstrate the past 300 years of Iowa's agricultural history.
As its name implies, the museum follows the methodology of living history in depicting the lives of people living on farms in the years of 1700, 1850, and 1900, engaging in various agricultural activities.
Dr. William G. Murray, an agricultural economist from Iowa State University and two-time gubernatorial candidate, founded the organization, which opened to the public in 1970. Dr. Murray's passion was not to have a museum where people viewed things under glass, but rather a place where history was lived.
Living History Farms was the site of Pope John Paul II's ecumenical service, mass and homily to an audience of nearly 300,000 on October 4, 1979.