A new museum that organizers hope will tell the story of Iowa’s involvement in transportation is under development in Grinnell. John Swanson is the executive director of the Iowa Transportation Museum that’s taking shape in the buildings that once were used to manufacture Spaulding cars. He says they’re going to develope a comprehensive facility that he says will have the museum at its core and include a research facility and a restoration facility that will allow the public to view the restoration. The museum recently aquired what’s believe to be the last existing model of the Spauling cars that were built in Grinnell in the early 1900’s. That car will be one of the exhibits of the museum, but Swanson says there’ll be a lot more. He says they want to tell the complete story from the Native American pathways and waterways that formed the initial transportation system to the stagecoach and railways and the highway development an on to air transportation. Swanson says it’ll take a little time to get things up and running. He says they’ve aquired the buildings, raised a little over one million dollars in funds and are doing building restoration. He says it could be a year to 18 months before they have something ready to open. Swanson says the initial work was made possible by grants from the Iowa Department of Transportation funded by the Federal Highway Administration, U-S Department of Agriculture and the State Historical Society of Iowa plus private donations.
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