Museums & Attractions


Lower Morse Lake Grassland & Bird Conservation Area
Morse Lake Area
The Lower Morse Lake Grassland & Bird Conservation Area should be on your see and do list. The area was established in 2009 and includes over 3,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat. There are more than two dozen public access areas which are available to help visitors to watch and enjoy hundreds of birds, animals, and insects. Wright County Conservation offi cials tell that  bird watching in the county is becoming more and more popular. To enhance the enjoyment of bird watchers, a newer Bird View Blind, just north of the Lake
Cornelia’s enclosed shelter, was built at the end of year of last year. There are three feeders to attract even more birds for watchers to identify and enjoy. This is just one of many county facilities which the conservation staff invites residents and visitors to enjoy.

Underground Railroad Quilt Block Driving Tour
Tour Across Wright County
Travel across Wright County to find fifteen barn quilt blocks, telling the story of how slaves fleeing to freedom knew how to ‘read’ the quilts hanging on clotheslines as they fled. Pick up a brochure at many of
our public facilities to fi nd the various locations and learn about the history of each block at the same time. Travel across the county and enjoy the scenic drive as you go. Watch for many other quilt blocks which are springing up across the county, as you drive. 

Wright County Freedom Rock
Dows
A must see - The Rock, located in Dows on its East Ellsworth Street, is #32 painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen
II. The Freedom Rock, honoring all Veterans of Wright County, was painted in August 2015 and depicts two scenes. The front has a Civil War Union soldier and a present day serviceman; the other scene is dedicated to the Vietnam Veterans who deserved to be “Welcomed Home.” Surrounded by engraved pavers honoring
servicemen/women from all branches of the military and encompassed by recently installed retaining walls, the ‘rock’ has two sidewalks leading up to the tribute. Wright County residents continue to show their support of their veterans with fl ags from the various branches of the military, flying high above the monument. The nighttime lighted view is breathtaking. Paid for by generous donors with no government funds.

Jenision - Meacham Memorial Art Center & Museum
Belmond

1179 Taylor Avenue
Two miles north of C-20
www.belmondartscouncil.org

The Jenison-Meacham Art Center, located on 120 acres of farmland and opening in 1983, is owned and operated by the Belmond Arts Council. Its mission is to preserve and exhibit objects related to the Wright County area. The farmstead, preserved to represent farming in the early 1900s, includes a restored farmhouse, a large 1900 barn, antique farm equipment, as well as many agricultural artifacts.  Guest artist’s works are exhibited each month in the museum. Photography, watercolors, woodcarvers, quilters, sculptors, and rosemaling exhibits are some of the works which have been displayed. The museum also includes artwork and collections of Cloe Jenison. Open hours are 1:30 – 4 p.m. on Sunday from May through October. Other times can be arranged by appointment, call
1-641-444-4635 or 1-515-571-6838 or 1—641-444-4319.

Belmond Historical Museum
Belmond

223 East Main Street

Learn about Belmond, its past, present and future at the Belmond Historical Museum. Learn the impact the sugar beet industry had on the community one hundred years ago. Belmond’s veterans are saluted. Revisit the chaos of the 1966 devastating Belmond tornado. Walk down memory lane with Belmond and its residents. Be sure to visit our restored Rural School in River Park. Open by appt. or Saturdays, May - October from 10 a.m. to noon. The Belmond Chamber of Commerce makes its home in the Historical Museum. Open hours are weekdays Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Saturday from May– September from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Belmond Chamber of Commerce - 1-641-444-3937.

Santa House
Belmond
Main Street
Volunteers built its Santa House at its permanent home in 2003. Annually, hundreds of children visit the Jolly Old Elf in his Belmond home. It opens to the public Friday after Thanksgiving, immediately following the annual lighted Christmas parade. Santa’s House is open at scheduled times throughout the Christmas season. The Christmas theme, decorated house, sports the December holiday all year. The facility is available for rent by non-profi t groups on a daily basis. Contact the Belmond Chamber of Commerce for more complete information 1-641-444-3937.

Heartland Museum
Clarion
119  9th Street S.W.
www.heartlandmuseum.org
Heartland Museum has more than 30,000 square feet of display area. The north building displays more than 4,000 collector toys on a balcony level. The main floor displays 16,000 square feet of original and restored farm machinery, some rare and unusual items. Find an extensive collection of horse-drawn equipment and early farm implements. New for 2017: “It Takes An Iowan” display. Also included in the main building are a one-of-a-kind Teddy Bear International Designer Museum; and Iowa’s Hat Lady Alvina Sellers’ unique hat collection. The teddy bear museum features more than 1200 one-of-a-kind bears created and made by artists from around the world. Alvina’s hat collection is located on the Victorian streetscape. A separate building, the Big Red Shed, sits across the street from the main museum and houses Big Bud, the world’s
largest farm tractor, as well as other one-of-a-kind tractors in the building. Heartland Museum goers come
from many states and countries each year.  Both museums are open any day by appointment for groups. Summer hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day from Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Call 1-515-602-6000 for reservations or for more information.

Wright County Historical Library, Inside Heartland Museum
Clarion
The county historical library, which is supported by local historical societies in the county, is located inside the Heartland Museum. For more information on Wright County’s history, or use the library for research, visit Heartland Museum, or to learn how to become a member of the county historical society, visit the museum’s web site at www.heartlandmuseum.org.

Rock Island Depot
Clarion
302 South Main
Clarion’s Rock Island Depot was built in 1898 and restored in 1984, after it had fallen into disrepair. Originally built for the Burlington Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway, the tracks and depot were later taken over by the Rock Island Railroad. The museum values the community’s history and railroad heritage. The building, which now houses the Clarion Chamber & Development, is available for rent for meetings (use is free for members). Tours are available by appointment; offi ce hours and open times are weekdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more complete information, call 1-515-532-2256. 

4-H Schoolhouse Museum 
Clarion
200 West Central Avenue (moving to the Heartland Museum's property in late 2017)
Wright County is the birthplace of the nationally-recognized four-leaf clover 4-H club emblem. The Lake Township #6 rural schoolhouse, where the idea for the emblem was born, was moved to the downtown Clarion park in 1952 to preserve its rich history. The museum, which houses 4-H memorabilia and Wright County treasures, is open Saturday mornings June - August from 9 a.m. - noon, hosted by county 4-H clubs. Other times by appointment. Contact the Wright County ISU extension office - 1-515-532-3453.

Evans Prairie House
Dows
Historic District
The Ingebert Evans’ family immigrated to the United States, moving to Dows. The Evans’ family descendents have restored the two-room, two-story 14’ x 16’ home which includes original furnishings. The home is open year-round for self-guided tours. Stop at the Welcome Center for guided brochures and to access the home – 1-515-852-3533. Can’t be toured during the winter months.

Mercantile Building
Dows
Historic District
122 East Ellsworth Street
Another of three National Historic Register buildings is the Dows Mercantile Building, located one block south of the Dows Welcome Center & Depot. Originally known as the Fillmore Building, it was constructed in 1884. Shop at one of the three floors of antiques from area dealers and collectors. Among the other treasures which can be found are Iowa-made products, Iowa wines, gift items and souvenirs. The Crème de la Crème lunch area, located within the building, is a great stop for ice cream, homemade soups, sandwiches, and other sweet treats. Contact phone number – 1-515-852-3533.

Quasdorf Blacksmith Shop Museum
Dows
Historic District - Across the street,west of the Dows Depot/Welcome Center
The Quasdorf family owned and operated the Wright County blacksmith shop, beginning in the 1880s, and
operated for nearly a century. This is the third building on the National Historic Register. Visitors are asked to step back in time when they enter the shop. Displays include the machines, tools, belt-driven and electric welding equipment, original wagon wheels, blacksmithing items, forge, and huge bellows; left much like it was in its fully-operational days. Each year during Dows Annual Corn Days, the fi rst full weekend in August, a blacksmith is in residence demonstrating how the work was done a century ago. Said to be one of the best-equipped blacksmith shops in the Midwest, there is no admission charge for the self-guided or guided tours of the museum. Tours can be arranged by appointment; most days volunteers are available at the blacksmith museum. For more information, contact the Mercantile at 1-515-852-3533.Can’t be toured during the winter months.

Vernon Schoolhouse #5
Dows
Historic District
The Vernon Schoolhouse #5, located south of the Dows Welcome Center & Depot and northeast of the Dows Mercantile, is a prime example of rural schoolhouses and education of young students in Iowa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Moved from its original rural setting into Dows, it is now part of the community’s Historical District. Visitors step back in time with the memorabilia that graces the walls and shelves of the school. Contact the Welcome Center to tour the facility – 1-515-852-3533. Can’t be toured during the winter months.

Welcome Center & Rock Island Depot
Dows
Historic District
100 West Train Street
One of three Dows’ buildings on the National Historic Register, the Rock Island Depot also houses one of Iowa’s Welcome Centers. Built in 1896, it was the fi rst depot built to serve the residents of Wright County. It operated until 1980. Now the restored depot is furnished with railroad memorabilia and historical items. Hundreds of visitors register at the Dows Welcome Center annually. Amenities include public restrooms,
travelers’ information, internet access, and a gift shop with handmade items, Iowa souvenirs, and gifts. Open from April 1 – November 1 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed during the winter months, but would be open by appointment. For more information, call the Rock Island Depot Welcome Center at 1-515-852-3533. Can
not be toured during the winter months.

Wright County Freedom Rock
Dows
Located in Dows on its east main street, is #32 painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II. The Freedom Rock, honoring all Veterans of Wright County, was painted in August 2015. Wright County residents continue to add to the freedom rock display: benches, circled by retaining walls, lighted fl ags of the military branches. It is an awesome opportunity to salute Wright County veterans across the years.

Eagle Grove Historical Museum
Eagle Grove
401 West Broadway
Eagle Grove’s Carnegie Library is the home of the Eagle Grove Historical Museum. Built in 1903, the museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. Work on the museum has continued for a number of years and is ready for visitors to enjoy. For information regarding the museum, contact Joe Halverson at 1 515-448-4475.

Boone River Rapids
Goldfield
River Park
One of the most improved areas in the county in the past few years. A nearly destroyed dam area has been
transformed in a 120’ long river rapids, in west Goldfi eld. It is now available for water rafting and tubing, depending on water levels. Also completed in the last two years are canoe access areas, a new shelter house, new picnic tables and benches. There is additional lighting for night water floats in the summer time. For
more information, contact Greg Soenen –1-515-603-9011 or Joe Skinner – 1-515-825-3192.

Crossroads Youth & Family Center
Goldfield
502 North Main
This family fun center is a great placeto meet friends of any age in a controlled and safe environment. OPEN: Family Night and Saturday evenings (6:30 – 8:30 p.m. for young people eighth grade and
under; 8:30 – 11 p.m. for high schoolers) and open afternoons on ‘early outs’ from school. They are also open for yoga and exercise classes. Other times by appointment or for scheduled events. Amenities include: Snack Bar - Pizza, burgers, sandwiches, chips, sports drinks and more. All games are FREE - Pool, air hockey, ping-pong, foosball, carpet ball, & Wii. BIG SCREEN television is for viewing favorite sports or events with
plenty of seating in our commons area. 750 Watt music system for entertainment. Full HD, Surround Sound Movie experience on our 100” movie screen for all the community to enjoy. Outside courtyard has a full basketball court and grass area for volleyball/dodge ball and other outdoor games. For more information, or
to rent facility for birthday parties, private parties, and other group events call Craig Carlson at 1-515-825-3383.

Log Cabin
Goldfield

North Main Street
Known as the “Log Cabin” by Goldfi eld residents, it was built in 1926 and restored by Goldfield Boy Scout
Troop #49 in 1976. Located on the east side of Main Street, the building is open daylight hours for viewing by contacting Goldfi eld’s City Hall –1-515-825-3613; open annually during Goldfi eld’s Fountain City Days in July.

Rowan Historical Museum
Rowan
107 Main Street
The Rowan Historical Museum Society has worked hard to provide a location to learn more about Rowan and the surrounding rural community and its past. Currently open by appointment. Contact Lennea Groom at 1-515-293-1657 or lennea.groom@gmail.com for more information.