I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I found an entry about the L.J. Maasdam wheel art on Roadside America. Most of the photos were small and showed very little of what the sculpture actually looks like, but on a whim, we got off the highway. And I’m here to let you know: it’s better than you could imagine in person.
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 attraction.
Unfortunately Leonard died in April 2003 at the age of 98. But 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.
Maasdam Wheel Art, Take exit 179 off of I-80. Head south for three miles toward Lynnville and turn right (west) on S. 48th Avenue when you reach Bethel Cemetery. The sculpture will be ahead on your right.