Stanley 'Slim' Maroushek was born of Czechoslovakian immigrants and began his woodcarving art in 1982. Slim was inspired as a child by the famous Bily Brother clock carvers and grew up across the road from their Ridgeway, IA shop. As a small boy, he had a chance to watch them as they carved, The Folk Art flavor of his statues represents his personal style of woodworking which is rooted in European, realistic and Caricature carving, Slim Maroushek has taught woodcarving around the world and is a nationally recognized woodcarving artist winning numerous awards.
Slim's woodcarving art pieces home to over 4,000 pieces, collected and/or created over a 60-year span by owner Stanley Maroushek. There are pieces here chainsaw-carved from logs and tree trunks, down to matchsticks and toothpicks.
Notice a two-story tall totem pole, a cowboy, and an Uncle Sam statue , all carved from logs, of course. There is to be seen an extraordinary collection of everything imaginable carved from wood.
There are pieces from the U.S., Czechoslovakia, Germany, Russia, and Japan, just to name a few. The impressive collection is a lot to take in, especially considering they are all handmade.
During the 45 to 60 min. guided tour, you will learn about all the different types of carvings and wood species. There is an antique store, a gift shop, and a workshop where visitors can learn the ins and outs of the art of woodcarving, by Slim himself. One of the museum biggest attractions is the Caricature Carvers of America's 120-piece, full two-ring circus. What really stands out is the detail, considering it was all hand-carved and hand-painted.
Outside of the museum, woodcarvings can be found all over town in Harmony, and in neighboring towns as well, including musicians, animals, a Nativity scene, and the Three Stooges in next-door Spring Valley.
And just on the north side of town is the Hobo Camp, a collection of Slim's woodcarved hobos, gypsies, and vagabonds, located at Trailhead Park, where the Harmony-Preston Valley BikeTrail comes through town. The concept here is to commemorate the life of hobos who traveled the rails throughout America, which of course led through Harmony at one point.
Slims Woodshed is definitely worth a stop if you ever pass through the area. Slim himself will likely be the tour guide and will often give demonstrations on his craft. It is a fun little find in this hidden gem of a town in an amazingly beautiful part of Minnesota.