The Adair County Heritage Museum is located in Greenfield, the county seat of Adair County. The museum is open six days a week May 1 to October 1. There’s a $10 admission, and it’s worth it—you could spend the better part of a day touring the main museum as well as a one-room country schoolhouse, country church, farm history museum and the home of Governor George Wilson, who was born in Adair County and served as Iowa’s governor from 1938 to 1942.
One of the fun exhibits was a display of memorabilia from the movie Cold Turkey, starring Dick Van Dyke, Pippa Scott, and Tom Poston, which was filmed in Greenfield in 1971.
The movie plot: Hoping for some positive publicity, a tobacco company offers $25 million to any town that quits smoking for 30 days. Eagle Rock, the name given to Greenfield in the movie, accepts the challenge, while the company’s PR man tries to sabotage the effort.
We also drove around Greenfield’s courthouse square and ducked into the Warren Cultural Center, which dates back to 1896 and was once the Warren Opera House. It has been restored to house art exhibits, meetings, and receptions.
The ground floor is occupied by Ed & Eva’s, a shop featuring creations by Iowa artists. It’s a fun place to visit. Around the corner is the historic Hotel Greenfield. Built in 1920, it has been refurbished and features 20 guest rooms with modern amenities and the charm of yesteryear.
From there, we headed to the Greenfield Airport and the Iowa Aviation Museum.
The museum is also the home of the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame. Although we’re not airplane buffs, we found the museum fascinating—we had no idea Iowa held such a place in aviation history.
For instance, did you know that Amelia Earhart was once a resident of Des Moines? We sure didn’t. Turns out she saw her first airplane at the age of 10 at the Iowa State Fair. Coincidentally, another woman with Iowa ties taught Earhart how to fly. Neta Snook, who rebuilt a wrecked airplane in her parents’ backyard in Ames, became Iowa’s first woman aviator.
The stories of these and other Iowa aviators are told inside a hanger filled with 18 vintage aircraft. Some of the planes in the collection are quite rare—including the oldest Curtiss Robin in existence and the only remaining Aetna-Timm Aerocraft, a plane built in 1941 and used as a WWII trainer.
Our visit to the aviation museum flew by…and a quick glance at our watches told us it was time to head for home.
This content previously appeared in the popular “Road Trip” series in Our Iowa Magazine. Learn more about the publication at www.OurIowaMagazine.com.