Nominations are now open for King & Queen of the
Madison County Covered Bridge Festival!
Congratulations to our 2019 King & Queen:
Rich Mills and Mayumi Ameku
*We did not have a King & Queen in 2020 due to the cancellation of the festival due to COVID.
The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival Committee is excited to announce that Rich Mills and Mayumi Ameku will reign as King and Queen for the 50th Madison County Covered Bridge Festival celebration!
Rich was born and raised in Winterset and graduated from Winterset High School in 1971. Rich is the fourth generation in his family to live in Madison County. Rich joined the family business, a Chevrolet dealership in 1975; a business Rich’s grandfather brought to Winterset in 1925. In 1984 Rich was the President of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. He inherited a sense of civic pride and passion for volunteerism from his father and served on Covered Bridge Festival planning committees for many years.
Mayumi emigrated from Okinawa, Japan in 1973 with her mother and stepfather when she was 10 years old. She met Rich at a convention in Nashville, Tennessee while she was living in Kansas and working for the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The two had a long-distance relationship for many years before Mayumi eventually joined Rich in Madison County, Iowa. The couple married in February of 2018.
Rich and Mayumi live on 50 acres with their boxer-terrier dog, Bella, very close to Hogback Covered Bridge. In 2011, they launched the Hogback Bridge Dreamer’s Journal, which is a notebook at the bridge that visitors may use to record stories from their travels to Madison County. The first Dream Journal began with a love poem from Mills to Ameku, who was away when he wrote it. A total of 47 completed journals have been collected, with about 300 messages per journal. In the journals, visitors leave messages as varied as they are, but many celebrate romance or mourn lost love. The journals were Ameku’s idea, sparked by a story she once heard about something similar kept near a lake.
Rich and Mayumi also share a love of cycling. Together with the Madison County Cycle Club, they recycle bicycles and find bikes for children in need. Staying active on a bicycle has daily walks have helped Rich and Mayumi recover from illness this past year. Rich has ridden in more than 30 RAGBRAIs since 1976, and in 2012 rode his bike across the country to raise awareness and funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Iowa Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, while gathering signatures for a stem cell petition.
Rich and Mayumi volunteer at the Iowa State Fair in the Madison County booth and encourage people to visit Madison County. They are wonderful ambassadors of our community, and the Covered Bridge Festival is proud to honor them as King and Queen in 2019.
Past Festival Kings & Queens:
2019 — Rich Mills & Mayumi Ameku
2018 — Otto & Maxine Bussanmus
2017 — Larry & Yvonne Ory, Earlham
2016 — Bill Paull & Glenna Finney, Winterset
2015 — Larry & Doris Downs, St. Charles
2014 — Bob & Phyllis Kaldenberg, Winterset
2013 — Jim & Pat Nelson, Winterset
2012 — Carolyn Farr & Don Pettit, Winterset
2011 — Charles & Berta Kordick, Winterset
2010 — Hal & Harriett Jackson, Winterset
2009 — Willard & Eva Short, Winterset
2008 — Charles & Margaret Blair
2007 — Eddie & Daisy Dell Benge, Winterset
2006 — Dwayne & Edna Honnold, Winterset
2005 — Russell & Shirley Leeper, Earlham
2004 — Marion & Bernita Patience
2003 — George & Ethel Berry
2002 — Gary & Shirley Allen, Winterset
2001 — Jack & Florence Thomas
2000 — Mel & Bev Penrod, Winterset
1999 — Marlin & Gretchen Brittain
1998 — Ival & Edith Mease
1997 — Estel & Juanita Welch
1996 — George & Pat Montross
1995 — Gene & Evelyn Trask, Winterset
1994 — Robert & Esther Pilmer, Winterset
1993 — Jim & Wessie Breeding, Winterset
1992 — Lee & Polly Huffman, Winterset
1991 — Ruth Tucker & Lewis Morris, Winterset
1990 — John & Ruth Gorman, Winterset
1989 — R.D. & Maxine Wilson, St. Charles
1988 — Lee & Esther Wheeler, Lorimor
1987 — Carroll & Irene Beverlin, Peru
1986 — Lloyd & Beth Sankey, Winterset
1985 — Bill & Velda Morse, Winterset
1984 — Maurice & Alice Lynch, Cumming
1983 — Les & Beulah Goeldner, Earlham
1982 — Sid & Inez Hartman, Winterset
1981 — Guy & Fern Fogler, Patterson
1980 — Ralph Minard & Mae Lane, Truro
1979 — Frank & Loreah Wilson, Earlham
1978 — Charles & Lois Clark, Winterset
1977 — “Dugan” Eivins & Bertha McKinzie, Macksburg
1976 — Mr. & Mrs. Carl Downs (Wilma), St. Charles
1975 — Mr. & Mrs. Roy Anker, Earlham
1974 — Grace Breeding & Francis Carlson, St. Charles & Truro
1973 — Inez Townsend & Frank Comp, Winterset
1972 — Mr. & Mrs. C.A. (Lon) Clark, Winterset
1971 — Mr. & Mrs Wayne Crow, Winterset
1970 — None