When the original Museum opened, it was to house the collection of hundreds of heirloom dolls belonging to two local sisters Blanche Baldridge and Gladys Keneally. They had intended to donate their collection to the Iowa State Historical Society, but when the community realized that they were about to lose this important local collection, a committee was formed, money was donated by the Mary & Frank Wilder estate, the City of Strawberry Point purchased the land, and the original Museum was constructed. In the 1980’s, the Alderson Addition was added, followed by the Munter-Knight wing in the 1990’s, and now in 2014 we just completed a Make-Over Project that was started this past winter. We tore down walls, moved walls, and added walls. New exhibits include: Local Iowa ARTist's, Creamery, Faith related, little girls room, and toys. Redesigned exhibits throughout the Museum including Military; Music Room; Dr Office; Prairie Kitchen; Rocks, Geodes, and Indian Artifacts are just a few of the many updates you will find. We would like to invite everyone to come and discover our many changes for yourself.
Blanche Baldrige, Gladys Keeally,
and Mary Wilder
The Wilder Memorial Museum was constructed in 1970 as part of a community effort to save a collection of over 500 heirloom dolls belonging to two local sisters. The sisters, Blanche Baldridge and Gladys Keneally, originally intended to donate their collection to the Iowa State Historical Society. When the community realized that they were about to lose this important local collection, money was donated by the Mary Wilder estate, the City of Strawberry Point purchased the ground, and the first room of the museum was erected. The original building now houses the heirloom dolls, dollhouses, toys, and other treasures.
The Alderson Addition
In the 1980's the Marcey Alderson addition was added to house an astounding collection of Victorian furniture and art glass, as well as an impressive display of Meissen and Dresden porcelain. Marcey Alderson taught piano in Strawberry Point, Iowa for over fifty years. He was considered an outstanding pianist and organist and many of his students became accomplished musicians. Marcey is sometimes described as eccentric, although what cannot be denied is his exquisite taste in glass, furniture, and porcelain. Several rooms of Victorian furniture showcase Marcey's love of that era. Interestingly, Marcey was skilled in needlepoint and petit point, as he was taught by his mother. Many of the chairs and framed samplers were completed by either Marcey or his mother.
The Munter - Knight Wing
The museum continued to grow in the 1990's and the Munter-Knight Wing was added. Local residents, Duane Munter and Harold and Leonore Knight donated the money and land to have this wonderful addition built which showcases a textile display including quilts, spinning wheels, and a handmade loom from 1847. Our prairie farm exhibit highlights items such as covered wagon hoops and a goat treadmill. The doctor s exhibit, dating to the mid 1800's, includes a mid-nineteenth century doctors chair as well as doctors bags with original medicine bottles. Also on display in this wing is a wonderful collection of Impressionist paintings by local artist Myrwyn Eaton.