We visited these museums on a recent trip through the Midwest...
RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. Elkhart, IN.- More trailers than cars, The RV Founders Hall displays trailers, photos, and memorabilia reaching back to the 1920's and 1930's. The museum presents chronological and technological advancements in the industry from before WW I to the present. It is a must see for anyone that appreciates the history of the RV industry in America. www.rvmhhalloffame.org
The Volo Museum. Volo, IL- A family owned and operated museum that is also home to Volo Auto Sales, one of the most respected names in the industry. Many of the displays feature vehicles that are for sale, so the collection is always changing. Well organized, labeled, and displayed, this collection is a “must see”! There are iconic classic and muscle cars, and original cars from movies and TV. There are at least a half a dozen Duesenberg cars, a self-playing orchestra, a Disney gallery, and a vast collection of pop culture and Americana artifacts. From boats and scooters to juke boxes and bicycles, there is something for everyone. Eight vintage trailers and RVs are on display; two that were featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine. www.volocars.com
Pioneer Village. Minden, NE- Founded in 1953 by Harold Warp, a Chicago manufacturer, the museum is a complex of 28 buildings on 20 acres with a total collection of over 50,000 items. 100 antique tractors. The world's oldest Buick, a 1902 Cadillac and a 1903 Ford, both designed by Henry Ford. There are 350 other antique cars, all displayed in their order of development. Many look like time stood still in the mid 60’s. The shear quantity of items at this attraction takes a full day to walk through. Only one pre-war Masonite Vagabond trailer on display. www.pioneervillage.org
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI- Experience firsthand the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s formation. Over 80 acres showcase 300 years of American perseverance serve as a living reminder that anything is possible. See the building where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment or the workshop where the Wright brothers repaired bikes and pioneered flight. Take a ride in a real Model T, or a walk through four working farms. The museum has some fantastic cars but also showcases many other aspects of American ingenuity. www.thehenryford.org
Pioneer Auto Museum, Murdo, SD- This long-standing museum featuring 275+ classic cars, tractors & motorcycles was recommended to us by several people in the area. Having recently toured several other similar attractions, this display was the least impressive. I was told “everything is for sale”, but nothing was priced, and most items weren’t even labeled. Most of the cars were behind flimsy hog-wire in a hodge-podge of barns. They had a 1921 White RV that claimed to have traveled from “Ocean to Ocean then Around the World” www.pioneerautoshow.com
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