Winterset IA July 25, 2017

Tuesday we drove to Winterset to visit the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum.  Wayne was born in the small four room house in 1907 and was named Marion Robert Morrison.  He weighted thirteen pounds! Adjacent to the birthplace is the museum with original movie posters, wardrobes from his films, movie scripts, contracts, letters, artwork and sculptures.IMG_20170725_131909IMG_20170725_13253420170725_14070420170725_141239IMG_20170725_142801

They had his last customized automobile in which the top had been raised to accommodate his height of 6’4”.20170725_135931IMG_20170725_135845IMG_20170725_135735IMG_20170725_14022720170725_13520920170725_13261920170725_132619(1)

Did you know John Wayne got his nickname “The Duke” from a dog? He had a dog named Duke and they were together so much they became known as “Little Duke” and “Big Duke”. Wayne from a Revolutionary War General he portrayed.20170725_145630IMG_20170725_140829IMG_20170725_143003IMG_20170725_142954

There was a small movie theater where we watched a documentary on Wayne’s life and career.  We sat in seats which originally were used at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.20170725_132932IMG_20170725_141608

IMG_20170725_164454Winterset is located in Madison County, Iowa, the setting for Iowa novelist Robert Waller’s 1992 novel The Bridges of Madison County which was also made into a movie in 1995.  Scenes for the movie were shot in Winterset and the town of Adel, Iowa.  People still talk about seeing Clint Eastwood sitting at the lunch counter of the local restaurant!  At one time Madison County had nineteen covered bridges and there are currently six remaining.  The bridges are covered to preserve their large flooring timbers which are expensive to replace.  We drove to the 1883 Roseman Covered Bridge, 107 feet in length and featured in the movie. It is the most popular of the covered bridges and is located far out in the county on a dusty gravel road.IMG_20170725_162848

Before leaving Winterset we also drove to Clark Tower in Winterset’s City Park.  Erected in 1926, it is an unusual monument to the county’s first pioneer family by their descendants.  Constructed of native limestone and 25 feet high, it made for an interesting drive up a very narrow one way road to the top of a hill to the monument.  We climbed to the observation point of the tower but trees prevented a clear view of the Middle River valley below.IMG_20170725_151815IMG_20170725_152200

We really enjoyed our visit to Des Moines and Winterset.IMG_20170725_14274020170725_14352020170725_143528

Next up: Nebraska!

Leave a Reply