Hopewell was a small village just east of Oskaloosa near the North Skunk River. It was on the main overland route to Oskaloosa from Iowa City, and this building connected to a stage coach stop in its early years. It also housed the post office for village residents from 1851 to 1877. Over its lifespan, it became an active store for residents and housed a country doctor. Hopewell slowly died out after the railroad decided to build a station in Rose Hill. The only remains of Hopewell is the cemetery, located north of Rose Hill.
The building was refurbished by James Sprague and was the last building left in the community of Hopewell. Sprague donated it to MCHS and it was moved in 1992.