|The Covered Bridges Scenic Byway offers visitors a journey into iconic America. Dotting the classic Iowa landscape are the famed covered bridges of Madison County, immortalized in the novel, movie and musical, The Bridges of Madison County. At the county’s center is an authentic and thriving historic town square. Tour the birthplace of legendary actor John Wayne and the only museum in the world dedicated to The Duke. Or explore the Iowa Quilt Museum and quilt shops in the town where Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting was created. Created after we traveled there on an American Bus Association Familiarization tour in January of 2020. We know you will fall in love with the small town charm! |
John Wayne Birthplace & Museum - The only museum in the world dedicated to the legendary actor John Wayne. The 6,100 square foot museum features a theater complete with seats from Hollywood. After touring the museum which is filled with original movie posters, film, wardrobe, and scripts, visit the modest four room house where he was born. • Guided Tour of the Bridges of Madison County - On the two hour covered bridge tour, we will see three of the covered bridges, as they are spread out in the countryside and we want to have time to walk through them. • Roseman Covered Bridge - Built in 1883 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster, Roseman is 107 feet in length and sits in its original location. It was renovated in 1992 at a cost of $152,515. In Robert James Waller’s novel, The Bridges of Madison County, and the movie of the same name, Roseman is the bridge Robert Kincaid seeks when he stops at Francesca Johnson’s home for directions. It is also where Francesca leaves her note inviting him to dinner. Also known as the “haunted” bridge, Roseman is where two sheriff’s posses trapped a county jail escapee in 1892. It is said the man rose up straight through the roof of the bridge, uttering a wild cry, and disappeared. He was never found, and it was decided that anyone capable of such a feat must be innocent. • Holliwell Covered Bridge - Built in 1880 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster, Holliwell is the longest covered bridge, measuring 122 feet. It remains in its original site over the Middle River southeast of Winterset. Holliwell was renovated in 1995 at a cost of $225,000. It is featured in “The Bridges of Madison County” movie. • Culter-Donahue Bridge - Built in 1870 by Eli Cox, the Cutler-Donahoe bridge is 79 feet in length and features a pitched roof. Originally located over the North River near Bevington, it was moved to its present site in Winterset’s City Park in 1970. Cutler-Donahoe was renovated in 1997 at a cost of $35,538. • Iowa Quilt Museum - Located on the square in the old JC Penny storefront, and showcases the art of quilting both in modern and vintage times. • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum - One of fourteen presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. On November 6, 1928 Herbert Hoover was elected the 31st president of the United States. He was inaugurated on March 4, 1929. President Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover returned to private life March 4, 1933 where they both remained very active. Begin their tour of the permanent galleries in a rotunda area where a 16 foot red granite map of the world contains 57 brass sheaves of wheat – one in every country where Herbert Hoover fed people. Eight foot glass etched portraits mounted on the rotunda walls depict “the Great Humanitarian” from West Branch at the start and near the end of his fifty years of public service. The exhibits in the Museum galleries tell the life and times of Hoover from his birth, to his life as an engineer, Secretary of Commerce, President of the United States, and his post-presidential work.