Museums are interesting for the entire family, children and adults alike. They hold all kinds of historical information and memorabilia from the past. Plan a trip to Northeast Iowa this fall, and make sure a few of these museums are on your itinerary.
Inside the Tudor-style mansion on 2nd Street SE in Mason City is a collection of 19th and 20th century American art. This house is also home one of the largest collections of marionettes, puppets and all the props that might be related to these in the country. These were all done by puppeteer, Bill Baird who was better known for his creation of Charlemagne, the lion. The museum has motor coach parking as well as being accessible to people with disabilities.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma but started operating this branch of the museum in 2010 in Waterloo. The museum houses a hall of fame named after the 1948 Olympic champion, Glen Brand. The museum itself is named in honor of the legendary wrestler and coach, Dan Gable. It is used as a entertaining and educational exhibition of wrestling.
This museum opened November 2008 and honors the sacrifice Iowa veterans made in wars from the Civil War to present day. With an electronic Wall of Honor, traditional exhibits and interactive activities, this facility takes you into the lives of those who served by telling their stories and sharing their experiences. There are over 1,500 interviews collected by the Voices of Iowa Oral History Project featured in the museum.
Located in Spillville, thirteen miles southwest of the town of Decorah, is the Bily Clocks Museum. The clocks included in the museum are ones hand carved by two brothers, Frank and Joseph Bily (bee-lee). Their woodworking skills will amaze you when you realize this was all done before the technological advances of today. On the second floor is an exhibit in memory of the Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak. He and his family lived on this floor of the building in the summer of 1893.
The Hub City Heritage Corporation Railroad Museum is located in Oelwein on 2nd Avenue. It opened in 1987 and features a collection of locomotives, pump handcars, yard offices and towers, rolling stock, employee records and pictures. The Hub City Heritage Corporation's objective is to promote the preservation of railroad memorabilia that pertains to the Oelwein area.