Located near the Little Brown Church on Hwy 346, the Bradford Pioneer Museum has it’s roots all the way back to 1836 when the area was an Indian trading post. Originally Bradford was the hub of activity, it was the the county seat of Chickasaw County and the area possessed and abundance of natural resources. Water for mills, trees for lumber land for grain and the potential of the railroad coming through town encouraged growth. The town once boasted 4 hotels, mills, blacksmith and the Bradford Academy. One of the first academies in Iowa, the Bradford Academy was the academic equivalent to High School. William S. Pitts, author of the song “Church in the Wildwood” or “The Little Brown Church in the Vale,” who was both a physician and music director, taught at the academy.
In tribute to those early pioneers, the Bradford Pioneer Museum shows a glimpse of what it was like to live in the area at the time with period buildings and exhibits.