John Wayne Birthplace and Museum
The small little white home above was the birthplace of John Wayne. John Wayne began his life in Winterset in 1907. His family lived in this small four room house just a few block off the town square. The house is a square house with the entrance and front porch built on one of the corners, which I think gives it a very interesting look. We were able to take a tour of the house and a docent inside the house shared some stories about John Wayne. John Wayne was named Marion Robert Morrison and only took on the name John Wayne when he went in to acting. When Marion was a young boy his parents moved to California. When he was about 10 years old he would walk with his dog Duke and some fireman at a local station knew the name of the dog was Duke but didn't know the boys name. When he would walk by they would say here comes big Duke and little Duke. Marion liked the name and convinced his parents to let him go by the name Duke in school. The name stuck through the years.
Here is a photo of my husband, a big John Wayne fan, sitting in front of the John Wayne museum. We enjoyed our visit to the museum. The museum is 6100 square feet and opened in Winterset in 2015. It features a gift shop, a theater (where we watched a 10 minutes feature on the films of John Wayne) and a large room full of memorabilia from the movies and career of John Wayne. It was interesting seeing things like the surrey that was in "A Quiet Man" and various shirts and uniforms that Wayne wore in different movies.
City Park Winterset
The Clark tower is also in the park. It is a castle like structure that you can climb for a view of the surrounding area. A plaque on the tower says it is in memory of the Clark's, a pioneer couple in Madison county in the 1800's. We drove up a winding road through the woods to reach the tower and I enjoyed climbing and photographing the tower.
Bridges of Madison County
The bridge at the beginning of this article is Cedar Bridge. It can be seen on the cover of the novel "The Bridges of Madison County". This bridge was originally built in 1883, but was destroyed by arson. The photo I took is of the replica which was dedicated in 2004.
The bridge above is the Hogback bridge. It is located just north of Winterset and was first built in 1884. It was renovated in 1992. This bridge is 97 feet long.
The Holliwell bridge above is the longest of the bridges at 122 feet. It is featured in the movie "The Bridges of Madison County".
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Scenes from Madison County Iowa Calendar by mbgphoto
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