On January 28, 2023, the National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in Animosa, Iowa, made a shocking announcement. After 22 years, the museum’s Board of Directors—currently led by chairman and museum co-founder Jill Parham—plans to permanently close its doors in September, 2023.
The post states the reason very plainly: “We have struggled for several years to cover wages and utilities partly due to low visitation,” it reads. The tentative closing date mentioned by the post is September 5, 2023, a move the Board has made to give Sturgis visitors and those who attend the Blackhawk MC meet in Davenport a chance to visit the museum one last time.
John and Jill Parham, the founders of J&P Cycles, initially established the museum in Sturgis, where it lived the first 12 years of its life. In 2001, the couple moved the museum to Anamosa, which was also the home of J&P Cycles. John Parham died in 2017 at the age of 62 after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
The National Motorcycle Museum is a non-profit organization, and as such, says it has retained counsel to ensure that it goes about closing in the correct way. Some of the bikes were lent to the museum by their owners, who have already been notified about the museum’s plans to close. Additionally, the museum says that it plans to liquidate the motorcycle collection it owns at auction in order to pay its outstanding bills.
Current plans are also for “much of the Parham Collection” to be sold this way as well. Over the decades, John and Jill Parham were fixtures in the motorcycle world, and amassed an impressive collection of motorcycles and memorabilia along the way.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Museum, planning your trip before its closure in September, 2023, or signing up for its e-mail list to know when it plans to sell its bikes, you can check out the link in our Sources.
The hours of the National Motorcycle Museum (current as of January 30, 2023) are as follows: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum will remain closed on Sundays and Mondays through the month of March.
Sources: National Motorcycle Museum, Ames Tribune