Saturday, January 27, 2024

2021-06-26: Visiting the RV Museum and Hall of Fame in Indiana

So today was one of those "checked an item off the bucket list" kinda day! Since owning my first motorhome way back in 2005, I've always wanted to visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. Now that I'm in the process of purchasing another motorhome I finally get the chance. It was a wonderful journey back through time. So come and step back in time with us as we look at RV's through history.

We continued our road trip journey from yesterday finishing a few stops in Ohio. Two quick geocaches were found in Williams County at the Fountain Grove Cemetery (GC60CNV, GC358WN). There are over 7500 internments but I didn't spend anytime looking around.

From there we drove up to the NW corner of the county. That corner also happens to be the intersection of three states: Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. We found the virtual geocache at that location (GC2018). Even though the geocaching website has it located in Michigan, in reality it is located in Indiana. There's also a traditional geocache (GC3499B) there but we didn't have any luck finding it.

One more quick geocache (GCM8N1) at a cemetery in LaGrange County. The Riverside Cemetery in the town of Howe, Indiana has over 2300 internments dating back to 1816. The one grave to point out was the one detailed by the geocache hider. Christina Irene Hahn D' Sullivan was more commonly known as "Crissy the Skunk Woman." She was born in 1845 and died in 1925. She had many pets throughout her life. By the time she reached her 70's, she had many skunks as pets living inside her house. For the full story, click on the GC# link at the beginning of this paragraph.

And finally we arrived at my bucket list item, and there's a geocache there too (GC33Y84). The RV Hall of Fame and Museum first opened in 1991. The current 100,000 square foot facility opened in 2007. The museum is located right off of I-80/I-90 between Elkhart and Bristol, Indiana. There are about 50 vintage and antique RV's on display dating back to a 1913 Earl Trailer and Model T Ford. It is believed to be the oldest non-tent travel trailer in existence.

I'll highlight a few others in coming photos. The information I'm providing comes from the display boards at each RV.

This one is a 1916 Telescoping Apartment built on a 1915 Model T Ford. Selling for $100, these Telescoping Apartments were built in San Francisco as aftermarket camping accessories for early trucks. To travel, both side-cabinets slide in and the rear section telescopes into the main compartment and is secure for travel. Warm water for the shower is produced by radiator heat from the engine.

This is a 1931 Chevrolet based custom made "Housecar" was one of the enticements offered by Paramount Studios to get Mae West to leave the Vaudeville circuit and begin to make movies for them. It is designed as a chauffer driven lounge and not as a "camper" unit.

It features a small hot plate stove, an icebox, and a small table to enjoy lunch or a spot of tea. It was used for several years to transport Miss West from her home or hotel to the shooting locations. The story indicates she had a rocking chair on the back porch where she could enjoy the breeze when appropriate.

I could see myself owning and driving this one down the road! The Star Streak II is the second of two custom, all aluminum motorhomes built by Paul Jones. Built in 1988 using a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado chassis and a 1976 Oldsmobile Toronado 455 cu. in. engine. It was designed and built specifically to fit in a standard residential garage door. Length is 270 inches, weight 5400 pounds, and height 83 inches.

Made in upstate New York, a 1929 Wiedman Housecar built on a 1928 Stuart Truck chassis. These camper bodies were available either as accessories, shipped directly to a purchaser for installation, or mounted by the factory on a chassis of the buyer's choice. The large panel on the driver side was the platform for a fold-down bed with a canvas cover on the more deluxe models. It is bolted in place on this model.

This is one of two scale model displays of various RV's. They go back to the early days of diecast models and RV toys.

So that's it for today. Another bucket list item checked off. Tomorrow we explore my father's hometown of Gary, Indiana. And while there we stop by a worldwide celebrity's childhood home a few blocks away from my fathers. Until then...

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course by clicking the "Follow" button to the right. And there's also my main website at AwayWeGo.US for the complete index of my traveling adventures going back to 2005. But also by using one or more of your favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditTwitterGETTRInstagram, and TruthSocial. These all link directly to my profiles. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

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