Please note: Due to electrical work on our expansion project, The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum will be closed the morning of Tuesday, October 26th until 1:00 pm. We will re-open in the afternoon until regular closing hours. 

The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum lost a dear friend on June 5th, 2021. Carolyn Farr was for many years the voice and the face of the Birthplace. She was a friend to all of us, and anybody who visited the Museum most likely met Carolyn. She touched so many, and we will miss her so much. God bless you, Carolyn…and tell Duke hi.

The 2021 John Wayne Birthday Celebration will be postponed until May 27th and 28th of 2022. The situation with the pandemic is still too fluid to allow us to proceed this year, and we want to do it right and provide you with the celebration that you’ve come to expect.

We can tell you that the 2022 Celebration will be bigger and better than ever, as we celebrate the Grand Opening of the new addition to our museum. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and our website page for further announcements about an event that will include a special VIP reception in the new addition on Friday evening, along with our regular dinner and auction on Saturday evening. You’ll want to be there!

The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum has been included among the Bonus Features for the French Blu-ray release of John Wayne’s “The Alamo.” With appreciation to producers Roger Riley of WHO-13 in Iowa and Jean-Christophe Jeauffre of Jules Verne Adventures in France.

Copyright: ESC Productions / ESC Editions 2021 EDV 2588, all rights reserved.

John Wayne: The mere mention of his name produces images of courage and patriotism.

The life story of John Wayne began in the small central Iowa town of Winterset. He was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, the son of Clyde and Mary Brown Morrison.

His father, Clyde, was a pharmacist who worked on the south side of Winterset’s historic town square. In his youth, Clyde attended nearby Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. John Wayne described his father as “The kindest, most patient man I ever knew.” Wayne’s mother Mary was of Irish descent, and Duke said, “She was a tiny, vivacious red-headed bundle of energy.” Their modest four-room home has been restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of the actor’s birth.

Since the John Wayne Birthplace Society was established in 1982, more than a million visitors have journeyed to historic Madison County to tour the birthplace home. Guests have included President Ronald Reagan, movie legend Maureen O’Hara, Wayne’s widow and all of his children, and fans from 50 states and 40 foreign countries.

With the opening of the 6,100 square foot John Wayne Birthplace Museum adjacent to the home, visitors now have the opportunity to see the largest diversified exhibit of John Wayne artifacts in existence, including original movie posters, film wardrobe, scripts, contracts, letters, artwork and sculpture, and even one of his last customized automobiles.

The only museum in the world dedicated to John Wayne, the facility naturally includes a movie theater. Relax in comfortable seats (originally from Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood) and watch a documentary on Duke’s phenomenal film career. Be sure to explore our gift shop’s wide assortment of John Wayne merchandise perfect for souvenirs or great new items to add to your collection. You’ll be fascinated as you linger and learn about John Wayne the actor, the private citizen and an American legend.

John Wayne Birthplace & Museum Wins 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award

The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum has been recognized as a 2020 Travelers’ Choice award-winner. Based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, award winners are known for consistently receiving great traveler feedback, placing them in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the globe. 

“We are proud of the facilities and exhibits, but crucial to making the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum an enjoyable and memorable experience for our guests is our outstanding staff,” said Liz Hansen, Manager.

“Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers as the world begins to venture out again.”

Great Gift Idea for John Wayne Fans!

Show your appreciation for a friend or loved one with a custom Tribute Brick in the walkways surrounding the John Wayne Birthplace house—and help us expand the John Wayne Birthplace Museum at the same time, too! Just in time for Christmas, orders placed before December 1st will be acknowledged with a photo of the brick which will be placed in the spring. Your message may be up to three lines with 14 characters per line, including spaces. Even better, the $150 cost for this 4” x 8” is permanent recognition of your support and is entirely tax-deductible! Visit or call us at (877) 462-1044.

Singer, songwriter and celebrated western performer Red Steagall returned to Winterset on November 8th to tape an episode of his award-winning RFD-TV series, Somewhere West of Wall Street.  Steagall was the musical headliner at last spring’s John Wayne Birthday Celebration and afterwards accepted an invitation to feature the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum on his popular cable television show.

While Madison County, Iowa is somewhat east of his usual Great Plains and Rocky Mountains territory, Steagall acknowledged that, since his show features museums that perpetuate the heritage of the American West, the John Wayne Birthplace was a perfect fit. “Small town America is where it happens,” said Steagall. “All types of characters grow up in small towns.”

The John Wayne Birthplace episode of Steagall’s show aired recently to help publicize the 2019 John Wayne Birthday Celebration saluting the 50th anniversary of Wayne’s Academy Award-winning performance in “True Grit.”

New: Souvenir Coins

Now available in the gift shop at the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum, souvenir coins in four designs!


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