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National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa closes

Part of the reason we started this digital magazine was to keep the history of all things grease alive. Future generations should see the mechanical marvels that have evolved over the years so they can better appreciate the future. And for us old folk, it is a love of the memories these places bring us.

It is why we were heartbroken to hear that the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa has decided to close their doors. On September 4, 2023 they made the difficult decision to close. They noted that lower attendance has impacted the financial resources to be able to keep it going.

As with most museums, the National MC Museum is a nonprofit. In recent years, these organizations in all industries have been facing an uphill battle in keeping things going. Families are spending less on non-essentials and donors are becoming harder to find.

Many of the items from the museum were auctioned off, so hopefully everything will be going to a great new home. Those with items on loan took their loaners back.

chopper display at motorcycle museum in iowa

About the National Motorcycle Museum

Founded in 1989, the purpose of the 501(c)3 museum was to present their passion for others to enjoy. They created a variety of exhibits built around the history of the bikes they secured and restored.

The museum featured over 500 motorcycles. Some were on loan from various private collectors from all over the world. They also had a large collection of memorabilia like toys, photos, and posters.

The museum was founded by John and Jill Parham. Sadly, John passed away in 2017, leaving Jill to try and keep the museum running. The two also founded the major motorcycle retailer J&P Cycles in 1979.

john parham
National Motorcycle Museum of Iowa

The museum has entertained people from all over the world. Even presidential candidates like John Kerry and Dr. Ben Carson have enjoyed the displays.

We are sad to see this museum close – we can only imagine what a hard decision it was. The website is still available and has lots of great information. We did notice their Youtube channel was removed though.

It looks many of the items that were owned by the museum were auctioned off. Some items were on loan from other owners so they want back to the original owners.

All image credits: National Motorcycle Museum

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