Monday, October 24, 2016

On the Road Again (John Wayne and Covered Bridges)

Well listen up, pilgrims!

John Wayne statue
One of the planned stops on the trip to Mount Rushmore was Winterset, Iowa, the birthplace of Marion Mitchell Morrison, better known as actor John Wayne. He was born May 26, 1907 and died June 11, 1979.

Winterset is a rural town of 5,100 resdents, about 30 miles southwest of Des Moines. After doing additional research, I learned that Winterset is the county seat of Madison County -- the "Covered Bridge Capital of Iowa."  The county has six covered bridges (at one time there were 19), five of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.

For those who read Robert James Waller's novel, or watched the movie adaptation starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, this is the home of "The Bridges of Madison County."

I had planned to tour the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, but it didn't open until 10 a.m. I had motel reservations in Rapid City, S.D., so I couldn't wait around for nearly two hours. But seeing the life-size bronze statue of the movie icon as well as the birthplace home, it was worth the stop, even it was was raining.

I needed to hit the road for the nearly 500 miles to my primary destination and I had some other planned stops along the way. Such is life on the road. 
Roseman Bridge
I also drove to Roseman Covered Bridge, about seven miles southwest of town, which was featured in the movie. The bridge was built in 1883. There is even a rustic gift shop located on the property. A good time to visit Winterset is in October, for the annual Covered Bridge Festival.

Madison County Courthouse
Before getting back on the interstate, I also stopped by the Madison County Courthouse, a Renaissance Revival structure on the town square, built in 1876. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A few more photos can be seen on my Facebook page by clicking here.

Until the next time (pilgrims!)....

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