Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa


 

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Bravo Lima clobbers one into the corn.

Bravo Lima clobbers one into the corn.

This is one of our favorite movies and since the site is only five hours away from the Twin Cities, we've been there three times. The Field of Dreams is unlike any other place we've visited.  It's just like the movie said - "If you build it, people will come." - and they do.  Over 60,000 people visit here every year from all over the world and when they walk out on to the field, it's like one big community. There's usually a pick up game of baseball going on which you can just join in. Need a picture? Or a pitcher or a catcher?  Someone will be happy to oblige. Sit in the bleachers used in the movie.  Disappear into the corn. It's all there.

The ball field was built on the 193 acre Lansing farm in three days during the spring of 1988.  The film was shot that summer. There are information panels on the site that talk about the filming, such as how they picked that particular farm.  The stories of how they got a field of tall green corn in the middle of a drought and setup the final scene with all the cars lined up are particularly interesting. 

The Lansing family homestead was used in the movie. The wrap-around porch was added for the film.  The bleachers are left there from the filming.

The Lansing family homestead was used in the movie.

The movie premiered on April 21, 1989 and visitors started arriving shortly thereafter. The Lansing's realized they had something special and have preserved the site as it was in the movie. Admission is free although donations are appreciated. The souvenir stand is manned by volunteers, some of whom have been there for 20 years. Ironically, the Lansings' don't make much money from souvenir sales. They have to pay royalties to Universal Studios for the right to market "Field of Dreams." There is no commercialization and no organized activities are permitted. It has retained its charm as a throwback to a simpler time and place.

 

The Lansing family has owned the farm for a century.  They are still there, working the land, but are ready to move on from farming. Sadly, the farm was put up for sale in the spring of 2010 with an asking price of 5.4 million dollars.  To quote a line from the movie - "Don't sell the farm."  Hopefully, somebody will buy it and preserve this unique and genuine place.

Update: November 1, 2011. The farm has been sold to a private Chicago company called Go The Distance LLC. According to natioanl news services, the company plans to develop the 193 acre farm into a baseball/softball complex with outdoor fields and an indoor training facility. The Lansing house and its famous ballfield will be kept intact and preserved in their pristine state. The selling price was not disclosed. The company says the complex will be open in 2014. So much for the Lansings' No Commercialization policy.

I'm sure the new owners are well-intended but it won't be the same. A big part of what draws people to the Field of Dreams are its simplicity, its slow pace and its out of the way location. If you want to see the real deal, you'd better get down there soon. When the bulldozers show up, this little piece of Americana will be gone forever.

What's it like on the other side, Alpha6?

Alpha6 in the corn.

 

 

 

Geocaching at the Field of Dreams

If You Plant It, They Will Come is letterbox cache right on the site. There are another half dozen or so in Dyersville.  You'll pass most of them on the way out to the farm.

If you are up for a challenge, try the Big Spring Cache in nearby Guttenberg. It's #2 on our list of Top 10 Traditional caches.

You can spend as much time here as you want, but an hour or two is sufficient.  If you're down that way, the Dubuque waterfront is only 20 miles east and worth checking out, especially the Grand Harbor Resort and Water Park. There's also a ton of geocaches in that area.

All in all, this area makes for a great weekend getaway.

The GPS coordinates for the Field of Dreams are 42.497469, -91.054258. Click on the coordinates to bring up an interactive Google Map.

Enjoy...The Cachemanian Devils