We uncovered four interesting museums in Griswold featuring collections of Cabbage Patch Kids, Allis-Chalmers tractors, Farmall tractors and Ford cars and trucks.
Our first stop was Donna Brown’s Cabbage Patch Fantasy Land Museum, located in the country a few miles east of Griswold, consists of a 2,500-square-foot building with shelves crammed full of the dolls—many still in their original boxes.
Donna began collecting the dolls in 1985, when her daughter bought her one at a thrift store. The collection has grown into one of the two largest displays of Cabbage Patch Kids in the nation.
Stop number two took us to Griswold and Royal Bierbaum’s collection of antique Allis-Chalmers tractors and farm equipment. He has about 40 Allis-Chalmers tractors on display, including a Model 10-18 built in 1914. The 10-18 is the first tractor Allis-Chalmers built, and Royal has what’s believed to be the second oldest one still in existence. With a couple turns of the hand crank, the two-cylinder engine of the 10-18 putt-putted to life for us.
Royal also has a 1917 Allis-Chalmers, a number of models from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, plus a complete set of the “D” series—the D10, D12, D14, D15, D17 and D19 built in the late 1950s and ’60s.
Topping off the collection is a beautifully restored 1967 D21. With its orange paint polished to a shine and the gleaming chrome-trimmed grille, it’s easy to see why it’s his pride and joy.
Not far away is Dale and wife Smiley Rush’s IH Antique Farm Display. A sign in the window says, “If It’s Anything Farmall, We’ll Buy It.” So you can imagine all of the old tractors and equipment crammed inside.
Among the items of interest was a one-row cotton picker mounted on a Farmall H that came from a farm in the Bootheel of Missouri. And one of the first attempts at a no-till corn planter mounted on an IH 400—it was a nice try but didn’t work very well because there were few herbicides in those days to control the weeds, says Dale.
Our last stop was just a couple miles north of town to where Dale’s brother Howard farms. Howard and his wife, Doris, are collectors, too—of Ford cars and trucks.
They’re housed in a spacious machine shed, and front and center was parked a 1965 Mustang convertible! Burnt orange, no less! “I always wanted one when they came out,” says Howard. He found this beauty while in Minnesota recently, didn’t hesitate and drove it home.
Howard also steered us to a shiny black ’57 Fairlane two-door hardtop. He explained that it was just like the car he had as a young man when he was dating Doris. He went on to say that Doris lived on a gravel road, and he was concerned about dirt and rock chips when he went out to see her. “I drove awfully slow,” he says. (What a man won’t do for love!)
This content previously appeared in the popular “Road Trip” series in Our Iowa Magazine. Learn more about the publication at www.OurIowaMagazine.com.