Local history lovers can fill their plates this weekend with an 18-museum tour sponsored by Iowa Heartland Resource, Conservation and Development Inc. (RC&D). The museum crawl will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Indianola-based Iowa Heartland RC&D museum crawl will take in local history museums in Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk and Warren counties.
“It’s amazing how diverse the participating museums are,” said Sheila Navis, executive director of Iowa Heartland RC&D. “From the Wagaman Mill and Forest Park Museum to the John Wayne Birthplace, all vividly illustrate the history of our small towns across the region. Many of these gems don’t have normal hours of operation, so it’s a unique opportunity to explore our past during this time.”
Museum crawlers can develop their own itinerary for the two-day event, with most of the museums offering free admission. Many will also be offering snacks and beverages, including an ice cream social at Runnells on Sunday. Participating museums include:
- Coal Ridge Church and Museum, Knoxville
- Colfax Historical Society Museum, Colfax
- Dexter Museum, Dexter
- Forest Park Museum, Perry
- GAR Lodge and Museum, Redfield
- Iowa Fire Museum, Perry
- Iowa Quilt Museum, Winterset
- Jasper County Historical Museum, Newton
- John Wayne Birthplace and Museum, Winterset
- Madison County Historical Complex, Winterset
- Marion County Historical Society, Knoxville
- Melcher-Dallas Coal Mining and Heritage Museum, Melcher-Dallas
- National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, Knoxville
- Redfield Museum, Redfield
- Runnells Historical Society, Runnells
- Voas Museum, Minburn
- Wagaman Mill and Museum, Lynnville
Navis said visitors can also pick up a “passport” to qualify in a drawing for an original piece of art from Iowa artist Laura Lengeling and a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine. For more information, visit the IHRC&D website.
The museum crawl is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Day Live!, which provides two free tickets to local museums. An online brochure offers full details, including the days and times the museums are open.
The IHRC&D is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of improving the region’s quality of life through economic development and resource conservation. Recent Iowa Heartland RC&D activities include establishing a Regional Cultural Council, developing master plans for the expansion of the Central Iowa Trails and forest health activities and building the Iowa Heartland region’s capacity for arts, history and culture.