History Comes to Life

at the Madison County Historical Complex
during the annual

Covered Bridge Festival!


Highlights from the 2013 Annual Covered Bridge Festival




Family Fun for everyone!




Highlights from the 2012 Annual Covered Bridge Festival





Highlights from the 2011 Annual Covered Bridge Festival

A lucky young fellow gets the chance to win a prize playing Madison County Trivia at the

Storytelling Tent on the square.


Leaning Tree BC's were at the Museum Complex with pups.

We're not sure who fell in love first - the pup or the little one!


A crowd gathers at the Storytelling Tent on the square in Winterset, Iowa.


Participants in Passport to the Past were treated to  lesson in Tusha School, a one room

schoolhouse on the Madison County Historical Complex.


The Confederate Camp at the Madison County Historical Complex.


The Community Band played marches while everyone joined in the dancing.


The BEST homemade ice cream!


NEW this year - small engine displays featuring Maytag engines.


George Washington Carver, a.k.a. Paxton Williams, appeared at the festival as part of

Passport to the Past on Saturday.  Do you know what significance Winterset had in George's life?


"Uncle Henry Wallace", a.k.a. Bob Kaldenberg, shared his experiences and had a corn shucking contest for kids. 


Our festival King and Queen, Charlie and Berta Kordick visit the Storytelling Tent


These lucky girls had their picture taken with Susan B. Anthony, a.k.a. Thea Nicholas.


The Civil War Camp participants were in the parade riding on the tractor shuttle.




Mark your calendars now!

2012 Covered Bridge Festival dates are

October 13th & 14th



Storytelling Tent
Carver Park Civil War Cannonfire


The 2010 Festival was October 9–10, 2010.

"Passport to the Past" kids activities during our annual Covered Bridge Festival in 2010.
Here’s more information—click on the images to view full size:


Passport to the Past 2010 page 2


For more information, visit www.passporttothepast.com or call 515-462-2134.



Here’s some photos and information from the 2009 Festival:

The 40th Anniversary of the Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, Iowa was held October 10-11, 2009. This was a historical weekend event, not only because of the anniversary, but also because of a record snowfall of 3” on Saturday. Even though the snow cancelled many events, spirits were good and those who braved the cold temps and snow had a great time. 

Abe LincolnPassport to the Past activities were altered due to the snow, but were well attended. Carver Park activities were relocated to the Winterset Public Library meeting room as well as Abe Lincoln with his presentation from Monumental Park. 

Thanks to a grant from Humanities Iowa, George Washington Carver met with guests telling everyone about his time spent in Madison County, the uses of the peanut, and his work with plants. The “Nature Walk with George” at the Cutler Covered Bridge had to be cancelled due to the weather but he did take those interested on a nature walk around the courthouse on Sunday. He talked about the many uses of the peanut and sweet potato he discovered along with his time spent here in Madison County, Iowa. All appreciated his attention to detail and how he related himself to everyday life in Iowa. Since he wasn’t able to do the Saturday nature walk he visited the Winterset Middle School Monday to do presentations in the classrooms. This was well received by the teachers and students alike. 

Other activities over the weekend included Abe Lincoln (Stan Dehaan) speaking at the library meeting room, local historian Walt Libby at Monumental Park, numerous local storytellers sharing in the Storytelling Tent, and Mayme Bevington (Maureen Korte, State Historical Society) sharing stories of growing up in Madison County. 

Sheep herding Farrier

Horse ShuttleThe museum complex was host to a sheep dog herding demonstration, horse farrier demonstration, tractor show, and free horse shuttles between the museum complex and the town square. 

We had over 200 children participate in the passport program this year with approximately 120 redeeming their passport for a prize.  Numbers are about half from last year but we feel this was still a great turnout despite the snow. We feel the project was successful in reaching the audience that attended. Of course we had planned for a much larger crowd, but the lack of attendees was due to the weather.

The “Passport to the Past” program has become synonymous with the Covered Bridge Festival over the past 5 years. Through grants received from Humanities Iowa it has been possible to bring in professionals such as Paxton Williams as George Washington Carver. We look forward to planning the 2010 Passport to the Past program and hope for better weather next year!

There was a FREE horse wagon shuttle to the museum complex for a step back in time. Activities enjoyed included:

  • Buy penny candy at the Field Mercantile
  • Get a free balloon at the Martin Bros. Station
  • Stop by the train show in the 1800’s Winterset Depot
  • Enjoy an old fashioned school lesson at Tusha School (station on the “Passport to the Past” program)
  • Visit with Civil War soldiers at the Civil War encampment located north of the museum (station on “Passport to the Past” program)

Be sure to visit the two-floor museum and 1856 Victorian Bevington-Kaser House.

“Passport to the Past”

Passport stations are an opportunity to learn more about the history of Madison County by meetinig and listening to famous historical figures, scavenger hunts, activities and storytelling experiences. Complete a station and receive a gift. Complete 4 of the 8 activities and receive a GRAND PRIZE!

History and learning CAN be fun!

For more information and photos from previous years activities visit: www.passporttothepast.com