Can you imagine living back in the good ‘ol days with no cell phones, the Internet or even electricity? Well…instead of living back then, you can just experience it for a day in the multiple museums and historical locations in Clayton County!
Start your excursion back in time at the Wilder Memorial Museum in Strawberry Point. Home to a collection of over 800 heirloom dolls from the 1700s, military artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War and a wide variety of Victorian furniture and art glass, the Wilder Memorial Museum has something for everyone in the family to “ooh” and “aah” about.
Float on down to the Lockmaster’s Heritage House Museum in Guttenberg, which is the only lockmaster house along the Mississippi River still in its original location. The Lock and Dam #10 was completed in 1937 and is still in operation today. The home has been turned into a museum by the Guttenberg Heritage Society and features early 1900’s style furnishings and medical supplies from the town’s early doctor.
Next on the block, is the Monona Historical Museum, which is home to the world’s largest display of hand carved wooden chains. Other exhibits include a telephone switchboard, victory bell, and other items from city jail built in 1926.
Find the hidden gem known as the Garnavillo Historical Museum Complex. Spend the day browsing the thousands of early manuscripts dating back to as early as 1750, one which includes the death of George Washington. The museum also features Indian artifacts dating back to 12,000 BC.
Swing on over to the McGregor Historical Museum to see memorabilia from the childhood home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Sift through the displays of precious sand bottles and learn about the unique history of McGregor.
Finally, motor or paddle down to Motor Mill along the Turkey River. Built in the late 1860s, it is believed to be the tallest structure of its kind in the Midwest. Once home to an inn, cooperage, icehouse and livery stable, the limestone structure is truly one-of-a-kind.
Written by Amy Bonvillain | Photo Credit to Northeast Iowa Tourism Association