the wagon wheel tower

L.J. MAASDAM Wheel Tower (1994)

Over two hundred welded wagon wheels

S 48th Ave E, Grinnell, Iowa, 50112

At the age of 90, on a farm near Grinnell, Iowa just 45 minutes East of Des Moines, Leonard J. Maasdam (1904-2003) completed a nearly 60 foot tall wheel tower in the middle of some corn fields. While there isn’t much else to see, the wheel tower gives off tremendous strength and energy the moment you see it over the hill, but especially as it towers over you when your up close staring up at the mesmerizing rust colored wheels.

There is not a lot out there about L.J. Maasdam. There’s no one out there to ask. But the story goes that Maasdam had been collecting wagon wheels for years, he would weld during the day and his kids would re-weld to fix it up at night without telling him because well, ol L.J. wasn’t much of a welder. “Now that’s true love.”

A really awe inspiring, beautiful art environment that’s worth the 5 minute detour off Interstate 80.