The Museum Set To Shut Down By September Of This Year
The highly acclaimed National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in Anamosa, Iowa will permanently shut the lights off in September of this year, according to an announcement released by the museum in late January.
In a social media post made by the museum last weekend, the 34 year old establishment will target September 5, 2023 as their last date to be open, after which the museum will permanently close its doors. In a decision reached by the Board of Directors and chairman/co-founder Jill Parham, it was stated that “We have struggled for several years to cover wages and utilities partly due to low visitation.”
The September date was decided so that attendees at the Sturgis Rally and Blackhawk MC Meet would have the opportunity to visit the museum one last time before closure. Originally established in 1989 in Sturgis, SD by John and Jill Parham, the museum relocated in 2001 to Anamosa, the home of J&P Cycles, of which John and Jill were co-founders. The Parhams were well-known and loved in the American motorcycling community, and amassed an impressive collection of over 500 motorcycles, thousands of historic memorabilia, and even a cool old bicycle collection.
In 2017, John Parham passed away at age 62 after an arduous battle with pulmonary fibrosis, and Jill carried on with the museum’s work and causes. The past few years of the pandemic and the struggling economy adversely affected the famed museum, contributing to the closure.
The National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame is one of about six motorcycle museums across America that are operated as a non-profit, and as such, the museum has been utilizing professional and legal counsel to aid in the closure process. So far, all of the owners of loaned motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia have been contacted, and the items remaining that belong to the museum itself will be auctioned off, including much of the Parham’s personal collection, to pay the bills and close the books.
For those interested in the auction, they encourage signing up for their email, which will inform subscribers of the exact date(s) and items to be on the auction block. Their website will also post updates and hours as they prepare to shut down. If you have the opportunity, you really should visit this amazing motorcycle exhibit before they permanently turn off the lights and lock the doors. Click the link below for their main site:
*Photos by National Motorcycle Museum and Travel Iowa
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That’s a damn shame… Lost history.
It is indeed, Robert. Hopefully some other museums and collections will buy them up, make them accessible to the public again. Lots of history to showcase.
If you have never been there, you have missed a big part of MC history.
Strongly encourage everyone to make a trip and visit before the closure, so much to see.