“Forgotten Hollywood”- New Museum Honors the Duke…

Posted on May 20, 2015 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Like many rural communities, the Iowa city of Winterset has an idyllic town square, variety stores, and a historic movie theater. But Winterset also has a unique claim to fame: It’s the birthplace of John Wayne, and a new museum opening here is celebrating the late actor’s life, career and local connections.

   Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset in 1907. Although he moved to California at a young age, Winterset has been showcasing his local roots for years. In addition to a new museum, the small wooden house where he was born offers tours, and there’s a large bronze statue of the actor in his signature cowboy hat.


   The new 6,100-square-foot museum officially opens Saturday on the block of his birthplace. The museum displays his film wardrobes, a signed Andy Warhol print of the actor and his customized 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon. It’s parked inside the gallery, near decorative wooden panels from the closing barroom fight scene of Wayne’s final film, The Shootist. Visitors can also see an ashtray from his yacht, his briefcase, his personal address book — with contact information for Ronald Reagan when he was the California governor — and the eye patch Wayne wore in the movie True Grit.

8470-JW_code_T-shirt   The museum was funded over seven years through grants and private donations, including door-to-door pledges from residents of Winterset, population 5,000. The general $15 ticket to the museum includes a tour of Wayne’s birthplace, which has been restored to  when Wayne lived there. The museum also suggests a trail of spots near and around town linked to Wayne’s family. Organizers are packaging the museum as part of an overall experience to Madison County, where Winterset is located. Nearby are the famous bridges that sparked The Bridges of Madison County novel, movie, and Broadway musical. For more info, visit the site by using the link, below:


   Many of the museum items come from a large private collection, and not everything is on display. That means organizers will change exhibits to keep things fresh for returning visitors. Not all museums about celebs remain successful. The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania, has seen a decrease in attendees and financial support over the years. A museum dedicated to Liberace closed in 2010 near Las Vegas after over 30 years in business.

   A recent Friday included visitors from Florida, Ireland, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. We kinda figure The Duke has staying power… I hope we’re right!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 10:07 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.