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L.J. Maasdam’s Wheel Art near Grinnell, Iowa

L.J. Maasdam's Wheel Art located in a field near Grinnell, Iowa

There’s certainly no shortage of offbeat attractions around Iowa. From world’s largest things to unusual museums and so much more, there’s lots to see in the Hawkeye State. And, if you’re traveling across Iowa on Interstate 80, you’ll definitely want to make a detour to see L.J. Maasdam’s Wheel Art.

Towering 60 feet over Iowa cornfields and constructed using more than 200 steel wagon wheels, this sculpture is truly a sight to behold. Add on the fact that Leonard J. Maasdam constructed it at age 90 and you’ve got the makings of a great roadside attraction.

While Maasdam was a lifelong tinkerer, his family took care to make sure his new structure was sound. In fact, his grandson, Craig, spoke with the authors of Iowa Curiosities and told them that he would come out at night while Leonard was building the sculpture in 1994 to re-weld some of the less-stable pieces he’d put together during the day.

Unfortunately, Maasdam passed away in April 2003 at the age of 98, but his legacy lives on through this captivating roadside art.

Plaque attached to L.J. Maasdam's Wheel Art located in a field near Grinnell, Iowa
Wagon wheel fence around L.J. Maasdam's Wheel Art located in a field near Grinnell, Iowa
Book cover of Secret Iowa: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful & Obscure

Find More Secret Iowa Places

Want to explore even more offbeat places around Iowa? Even at some of the state’s most well-known places, you’ll discover hidden histories and unique stories that are not often shared. Order your copy of the book, Secret Iowa: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure today!

Plan Your Visit to LJ Maasdam’s Wheel Art

L.J. Maasdam's Wheel Art located in a field near Grinnell, Iowa

You’ll find L.J. Maasdam’s Wheel Art a few miles south of Interstate 80 near Grinnell. To get to the sculpture, take exit 179 off of I-80. Head three miles south toward Lynnville and turn west of South 48th Avenue when you reach Bethel Cemetery. The sculpture will be ahead on your right.

Driving down the gravel road through this rural part of the state, it’s easy to spot Maasdam’s work. As you approach, you’ll notice that even more wagon wheel creations line the grassy clearing around this spiraling structure.

L.J. Maasdam Wheel Art, S. 48th Avenue E in Grinnell, Iowa

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Comments (1)

[…] in Newton: Just a few miles southeast of Newton, there’s a 60-foot high statue created from over 200 steel wagon wheels. It was built over 20 years ago by Leonard J. Maasdam […]

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