John Wayne Birthplace & Museum Wins Outstanding Attraction at 2016 Iowa Tourism Conference

Congratulations to the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum on the tourism award they brought home last week. The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry at a ceremony in Davenport during the 2016 Iowa Tourism Conference, and the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum won “Outstanding Attraction.”

Brian Downes accepted the award on behalf of the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum. Photo by Teddi Yaeger, Madison County Tourism Director.

Click to see a full list of 2016 Iowa Tourism Award recipients.

“The Duke of Iowa” by Life to the Max TV

WCCO-TV, Channel 4, Saturdays at 11:05 PM

After the 1995 release of the movie, “The Bridges of Madison County,” Winterset, IA, achieved international notoriety as the home of the covered Bridges of Madison County. Winterset is also the birthplace of Marion [Robert] Morrison–better known as John Wayne, “The Duke!” Guest host Greg Thunder hits the road to show us Wayne’s birthplace home and a museum of this international film and television icon. Thunder visits museum Director Brian Downes, former writer for the Chicago Tribune, who once interviewed “The Duke” in 1977.

Iowa Quilt Museum to Open in Winterset

A dedicated group of local civic boosters have been working to add a third museum to Winterset. In addition to the Madison County Historical Complex and the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, the Iowa Quilt Museum (just around the corner) is set to open in May 2016 just in time for the annual John Wayne Birthday Celebration.

Culturally, the gallery will promote the understanding of quilting history in America as well as an appreciation of quilt styles specific to the Midwest. The museum will also provide quilt enthusiasts opportunities to learn more about what many historians consider America’s premier folk art.

“The Iowa Quilt Museum promises to be an aesthetically beautiful and culturally valuable institution, not just for Madison County but for all Iowans as well as visitors from the world over who find their way to the heart of the Midwest,” says founding member and renowned quilter Marianne Fons.

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