The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

The John Wayne Museum

There was one more place that we didn't want to miss in Winterset. The town of Winterset is the birthplace of John Wayne and they are very proud of that fact. They have a great museum as well as the birthplace home. We showed up as soon as the museum opened so we would have plenty of time to tour before we headed down the road.

The first thing we saw were the marble blocks listing all the movies John Wayne appeared in. I thought I had seen most of his movies but I was wrong because I didn't recognize all the titles.

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, the son of Clyde and Mary Brown Morrison. His father Clyde was a pharmacist. Wayne said his father was a kind and patient man and his mother a tiny, vivacious red-headed bundle of energy.

Exhibits were set up based on movies to tell the story behind the scenes.

In the early 1950's, John Wayne began making and engraving special mugs for the cast and crew of each of his movies.

One display showed Wayne movies interspersed with historic events.

Many of the outfits worn by Wayne in his movies were on display.

Many firearms as well as special tribute models were on display.

Wayne's 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari Station Wagon was on display. You can see that the roof and doors/windows were raised to accommodate Wayne's 6'4" height.

Wayne was married to Josephine Saenz from 1933-1945. His second wife was Esperanza Baur from 1946-1954. He was married to Pilar Pallette from 1954 to 1979.

He had seven children: Ethan, Patrick, Michael, Marisa, Aissa, Melinda, and Toni.

Wayne with a few of his close friends.

The Freedom Rock was painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorenson and is a beautiful and moving tribute to veterans. 

Marion Robert Morrison was born in this tiny four room house on 26 May 1907. Always a big man in so many ways, Wayne weighed in at over 13 pounds.

There are pictures of Wayne's family on the walls.
He spent his first two years here.

Wayne's nickname "The Duke" actually came from the family dog Duke who followed him to school every day when he was 10. The firemen he passed on the way knew the dog by name and eventually called the boy Duke also. Wayne was proud to have the nickname.

Wayne's birth announcement in the paper.

Typical ice box and sink.

Mary Jane and I both enjoyed the town of Winterset, the covered bridges, and the John Wayne Museum. We planned to be on the road at noon but we were slightly delayed when I picked up a large screw in my RV tire on the way out of the park. Fortunately, when I called Good Sam Roadside Service, they had someone there in about 40 minutes. The incoming campground hostess was prepared to have her husband change the tire if needed so that was a really nice gesture from a local Winterset family.

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