American Gothic House ~ Eldon, Iowa

On our way to our friend’s house in Southern Illinois, we decided to take a slight detour off our course from Des Moines to Saint Louis and visit the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa as it only added a few minutes to our trip overall. I’d stopped in once before on my own, but Andrew had never been. We were battling the rain and storms all morning, but luckily had a slight break to allow us to snag a few photos.

The American Gothic House has a small visitor center that is part museum and part gift shop. Both times I’ve stopped I haven’t had a chance to do the museum part, so I can’t say much on that aspect of the center.


The American Gothic House itself is located just outside the center with a walkway out to it from both the gift shop, or just off the parking lot, so you could stop by to visit without the center being opened.


We posed for a few goofy pictures of our own before heading into the visitor center to grab our appropriate attire.

Inside the visitor center they have the proper costumes for you to don should you want more authentic American Gothic photos to more accurately depict Grant Wood’s famous painting. The guides inside will also offer to take photos for you, although on our day, our volunteer was rather cranky. Maybe it was the weather or maybe she was annoyed we didn’t have time for the museum and just wanted a photo op, either way, she was far less friendly than the lady the first time I ever visited.


Despite her crankiness, we did get our photo, and that’s what really matters. This is a fun little roadside stop and for me is worth the detour to be able to replicate Grant Wood’s famous painting. That being said, don’t use Google Maps to get you there, as it won’t lead you to the appropriate place, but rather just follow the signs in town. Eldon isn’t that big, so you’ll find it no problem once you make it to town!

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