Clayton County is full of rolling bluffs, beautiful communities, friendly people, scenic rivers, and history!
The Wilder Memorial Museum is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sunday to Thursday hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday have extended hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, in May, September, and October, the museum is open on weekends. Appointments are also available.
The Wilder Memorial Museum was open in 1970 in reaction to trying to save a collection of over 500 heirloom dolls that were originally supposed to be donated to the Iowa State Historical Society. In order to keep the dolls in Strawberry Point, which belonged to two local sisters, Blanche Baldridge and Gladys Keneally, the community came together. The City of Strawberry Point donated land, and money was donated by the Mary Wilder estate to create the Wilder Memorial Museum.
In the 1980’s, the Marcey Alderson Addition was added. This addition houses Victorian furniture and art glass and a display of Meissen and Dresden porcelain.
The Munter-Knight Wing was added in the 1990’s which houses a textile display with quilts, spinning wheels, and a handmade loom circa 1847. There is also a doctor’s exhibit with doctors bags, original medicine bottles, and a chair from the mid-1800s. Local artist Myrwyn Eaton has an Impressionist paintings display in this wing as well.
The Wilder Memorial Museum went through a makeover which was completed in 2014. Walls were torn down, moved, and built to make room for new exhibits including Local Iowa ARTists, Creamery, Faith related, a little girl’s room, and toys. Other exhibits such as Military, Music Room, Dr. Office, Prairie Kitchen, Rocks, Geodes, and Indian Artifacts were redesigned.
Written by Amy Bonvillain; Photo Credit to Wilder Memorial Museum