On the historical side of Winterset, IA, you will find a wealth of information and fascinating things to see. From the Madison County Historical Complex, to the John Wayne Museum and Monument Park, you will find several things to walk you through history lane.
The Madison County Historical Complex is home to all sort of memorabilia from Madison County history. All donated by local residents and their families, there are pieces in this museum that will give you a glimpse into the fashions of time past, as well as musical instruments that were popular in the day. You will find things from military uniforms to guns to furniture and fine china ware. Can you imagine wearing a mink stole with the head still attached around town today?
Next door to the historical museum is the Bevington – Kaser House and Grounds. This historical site reveals what a mansion, built by Charles “Doc” Bevington in 1856, looked like in Madison County. Several items in the house are original, including the baby grand piano, played by Doc’s daughter Mayme. The house boasts some beautiful stained glass artwork and consisted of limestone, brick and walnut. The grounds around the house are just as magnificent and also sport an authentic dinner bell donated by one of my own ancestors – Walker Bertholf.
In town, you can’t miss touring the inside of the John Wayne Museum. For those that did not know it, John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, and the museum is open year round, showcasing memorabilia from his life and movies. The outside of the museum is adorned with “stars” on the sidewalk, each showcasing the name of a John Wayne movie. Stop in and check it out!
Also in town, just a few steps away from the square, you will find Monumental Park, a memorial honoring those who lost their lives during the Civil War. The only other place I know of that showcases canons and stacked cannon balls is in Washington DC.
This trip to Winterset was full of reminiscing, history, fun and family for me! If you are ever in the Des Moines, IA area, Winterset is well worth the trip 35 minutes south for a full day of history and a walk through time! Be sure to put this small, amazing town on your radar!