GREENFIELD, Iowa -- In a small town about 60 miles west of Des Moines sits a large collection of American history
“We try to collect it all,” said Greg Schildberg, Iowa Aviation Muesum.
Stored in their cargo bays are toys from the 30’s, artwork from the 40’s and even medals of the highest honor.
“We want the stories. We want the stories of Iowans to be preserved and shared,” said Schildberg.
Their stories took flight before Iowa landed its statehood in 1846.
“Everything begins in 1830, when we first had a balloon rise in Iowa over Burlington and from there things just snowballed,” said Schildberg.
The Iowa Aviation Museum got its start in 1990. Parked in their hangars are a few of the rarest planes in country from the oldest Curtiss Robin plane known to exist, to one flown in the U.S. Air Mail system.
“It didn’t last very long. It started in 1926. It only lasted for about two years,” Schildberg said.
the rich history of flight in the state is one that put Iowa on the map and Greg has worked tirelessly for over 25 years to secure a space for it in the future.
43 “This is what life is all about. We all have to find out place in the world to leave our mark,” said Schildberg. “To me preserving all those marks made by individuals in aviation is something I can help with. My father would have been proud of that I know it.”
Also an avid collector and a pilot himself, Greg earned his wings from his father, John Schildberg. Despite his love for the art of flyin, Greg has his reasons for staying grounded in Greenfield.
“They all ask the same question why here? Of course I have to answer, because this is where my father started it all,” says Schildberg
It’s hard to put a price on how much these pieces of the past would cost today but for Greg the relationships he’s building are worth the price of admission
“We have people from New Jersey, Florida, Wyoming, from California. That see our sign from the interstate and every single one of them that pulls in here leaves with a leaves with a big smile on their face,” said Schildberg.