Back in January, I wrote about how my first trip out to Davis County to visit my girlfriend resulted in me stumbling up on the American Gothic House in Eldon, IA. I've always appreciated Grant Wood's iconic 1930 painting, but had no idea the house was (a) still standing and (b) in Iowa.

Well, my latest weekend jaunt to southeastern Iowa was perfectly timed because it resulted in me and my girlfriend getting the opportunity to tour the interior of the American Gothic House! It was less a guided tour and more of a free-range walkthrough of the iconic home, with a helpful employee of the house there to answer any and all questions.

Grant Wood's American Gothic needs no introduction. One of the most famous paintings of all time, the 1930 artwork depicts a farmer standing beside his daughter (not his wife) in front of what would be any average farm house for the era despite the presence of a Carpenter Gothic-style window on the second-story. The painting is rendered in such a way that makes the window the focal point, although you wouldn't be blamed if the expressions of the individuals themselves stole your attention.

The American Gothic House itself (also known as the Dibble House) was built in 1881 or 1882 by Charles and Catherine Dibble. In 1974, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house has had a plethora of private owners over the years. However, in 1991, it was donated to the State Historical Society of Iowa by Carl E. Smith. Thousands of visitors stop by each year.

Photo Credits: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credits: Steve Pulaski

Adjacent to the house is a visitor center, which boasts several amenities:

  • An exhibit gallery, with an array of exhibits related to Grant Wood, the house, and the painting itself
  • media room, which shows two separate educational videos
  • Costumes for people to wear, as well as a variety of pitchforks to borrow for photo-ops
  • selfie-stand for lone visitors who want a photo
  • gift shop with a plethora of souvenirs
  • prairie garden which has a lot of plants for nature lovers

Scroll below to see every nook and cranny of the American Gothic House, and be sure to visit them online as well!


Look Inside the American Gothic House in Eldon, IA!

Once a month, the American Gothic House is open to the public. Here's some photos from the open house!

The American Gothic House in Eldon, IA

A collection of photos from my visit to the American Gothic House in Eldon, IA.

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