John Wayne Birthplace & Museum

Grand Opening

Grand Opening John Wayne Birthplace Museum May 22-25, 2015

The Grand Opening was a great success!
Thanks to all those who attended!

Photos from the Museum Grand Opening Event




Ranch Rodeo

Madison County Fairgrounds


featuring Ashton Mount

Madison County Fairgrounds


7am - 11am

Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast

Fire Station


John Wayne Museum & Birthplace Tours
Reservations required; click here

John Wayne Birthplace Museum


John Wayne Birthplace 5K Run/Walk
Starts at the John Wayne Museum, corner of John Wayne Dr. & Washington St.

John Wayne Birthplace Museum Plaza


Iowa Military Veterans Band Concert
Bring your lawn chairs!

John Wayne Birthplace Museum Plaza


John Wayne Birthplace Museum Ribbon Cutting
with keynote by author Scott Eyeman

John Wayne Birthplace Museum Plaza


Cowboy Mounted Shooters

Madison County Fairgrounds


John Wayne Museum & Birthplace Tours
Reservations required; click here

John Wayne Birthplace Museum

John Wayne Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner
Behind Agriland FS building, corner of 10th St. & Buchanan St.

Doors open at 5pm

5-7pm, a fabulous Dinner by Jethro’s BBQ.
Welcoming speeches followed by
an Auction of unique John Wayne collectibles
Concert by Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives



Cowboy Church

Madison County Fairgrounds


John Wayne Museum & Birthplace Tours
Reservations required; click here

John Wayne Birthplace Museum


Cowboy Mounted Shooters

Madison County Fairgrounds

MONDAY, MAY 25 (Memorial Day)


John Wayne Museum & Birthplace Tours
Reservations required; click here

John Wayne Birthplace Museum

Click here for a .pdf version of the schedule.
Note: The free John Wayne movies will not be shown as the Iowa Theater has been closed.

Musical headliner for the 2015 John Wayne Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner country music legend MARTY STUART

The John Wayne Birthplace is thrilled to announce that our musical headliner for our John Wayne Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner will be country music legend Marty Stuart. Marty is a life-long John Wayne fan and an early supporter of our museum and says he’s looking forward to helping us ”wave the flag” at this historic event.

Years from now when they’re talking about the great personalities in country music—Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe—they’ll include Marty Stuart. He’ll be among those personalities because he’s never been afraid to follow his vision to stretch the boundaries of country music. When country strays too far from its heartbeat, he’s been there to snap it back.

Marty went solo after working with Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash and dragged country music into the 1990s clinging to the tassels of Lefty Frizzell and hollering like James Brown. Along the way, he got a Golden Globe nomination for scoring Bily Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses, collected five Grammys, married beautiful country music legend Connie Smith, joined the Grand Ole Opry, brought together his Fabulous Superlatives—Kenny Vaughn, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin—unveiled the Marty Stuart Show on RFD-TV and took the last photograph of Johnny Cash.

He’s a songwriter, unsurpassed performer, outlaw, student, teacher, star-spangled instrumentalist, photographer, philosopher, historian, and ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” master.

In addition to a sumptuous meal, you’ll enjoy the Auction of unique and one-of-a-kind John Wayne collectibles including artwork and film wardrobe.

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime event! Reserve your tickets for the Dinner NOW!

#8775, 2015 John Wayne Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner & Auction Saturday, May 23rd, 5pm


Click the “Add To Cart” link above to buy here, or call toll-free (877) 462-1044

Chris Mnitchum in "Big Jake"
Chris Mitchum

Christopher Mitchum in Big Jake (above left, lower right corner). Photos courtesy of Christopher Mitchum.

Imagine co-starring in a movie in which John Wayne plays your father and Maureen O’Hara plays your mother. That distinction belongs to our special guest Christopher Mitchum who played Michael McCandles alongside Wayne in Big Jake (1971). In his 50 year film career, Mr. Mitchum has acted in some 60 films including appearing with Wayne in Chisum and Rio Lobo. The son of legendary film star Robert Mitchum (who starred with Wayne in El Dorado) Chris Mitchum is also a writer, businessman, Pro-Celebrity Rodeo competitor and citizen politician. Please join us in welcoming Chris to both the Grand Opening ceremonies at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum and the Benefit Dinner later that evening.


Barry CorbinBarry Corbin’s got to be the busiest man in the movies; with 160 film credits, he rivals even John Wayne. Corbin starred alongside Robert Duvall in Lonesome Dove, Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men, John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, Clint Eastwood in Honkytonk Man and Any Which Way You Can and Matthew Broderick in War Games. Small screen hits include One Tree Hill and Northern Exposure. He's been described as “Hollywood’s first enlightened redneck” and he only regrets that, with his longtime admiration of John Wayne, he never had the opportunity to work with his hero. Please join us in welcoming our friend back to Winterset for the Grand Opening of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum.

The Iowa Military Veterans Band (
will perform in concert at 11am on Saturday, May 23 before the ribbon cutting ceremony.


Scott Eyman
Saturday, May 23rd
12 Noon
Birthplace Museum Plaza

Scott Eyman, New York Times bestselling author of John Wayne, The Life and Legend will be the keynote speaker at the ribbon cutting to officially open the new John Wayne Birthplace Museum.

Book Signing: Mr. John Farkis will be signing copies of his soon-to-be-released book Not Thinkin’ … Just Rememberin’ … The Making of John Wayne’s THE ALAMO during the John Wayne Birthplace Museum’s Grand Opening.

Special Reduced-price Tours of the John Wayne Birthplace House and the New Museum

Due to the anticipated popularity of tours over the Museum Grand Opening weekend, you’ll need to get tickets for a specific time slot over the three days of the Celebration. Each ticket is a combination tour of both the Birthplace house and the new Museum. You will be able to visit both locations as you wish within your time slot. Tickets are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Reserve your tickets below or by calling us toll-free at (877) 462-1044. Don’t wait—get the time you want early for best selection!


2015 Ranch Rodeo

The Ranch Rodeo will be returning to the Madison County Fairgrounds on Friday, May 22 beginning at 6:30pm.

Ashton Mount

Following the arena activity will be aDance at 9pm just east of the Rodeo arena, featuring Ashton Mount.

Food and beverage service will be available throughout the evening.

Tickets for the Rodeo and Dance are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Preschool and younger are free. Advance tickets ($15 for adults and $8 for children) are available at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Cowboy Mounted Shooters

At noon on Saturday May 23 and again at 10am on Sunday May 24 at the Madison County Fairgrounds, the Iowa Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association will hold one of the fastest-growing equestrian sports in the United States today.

Mounted contestants compete in this action timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition following courses of fire set in a variety of patterns. It’s fascinating to watch as the riders (mostly in traditional western style or the old time style of the late 1800s) race their steeds through the course to get the fastest time and the highest scores!

COWBOY CHURCH Everyone is invited to Cowboy Church at 8:30am on Sunday, May 24 also at the Madison County Fairgrounds.

Hannah Hilsabeck
Jessica Hanrahan
On hand throughout this year’s John Wayne Birthday Celebration and Museum Grand Opening will be Madison County’s own Hannah Hilsabeck (left) and Jessica Hanrahan. Both are competitive equestriennes; Hannah reigns as Miss Rodeo Iowa and Jessica is the Iowa Horse Fair Senior Cowgirl Queen. And both look forward to meeting, greeting and being photographed with as many John Wayne fans as the weekend will allow.
Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast
John Wayne 5K Run/Walk

Firemen's Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, May 23th, 7am-11am
Fire Station, one block east of the Courthouse Square/John Wayne Drive, 2 blocks north of the Birthplace house on Court
Saturday kicks off with the great Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast at the fire station. Just $6 per person will nab you all you care to eat with pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee. It’s a great start to your day!

John Wayne Birthplace 5K Run/Walk

Saturday, May 23rd, 9am
John Wayne Museum
The tradition of the John Wayne Birthplace 5K Run/Walk continues at 9am, starting at the Birthplace Museum at the corner of Washington and John Wayne Drive .For more information, contact Robert Kaldenberg at (515) 462-4731 or at

WATCH THIS PAGEómore information will be added as details are finalized!

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