So far on this trip we have stopped by a number of interesting, small local museums. Many I found on roadsideamerica.com, others we just saw, and decided to check out.
Sure you will see more headline history in the bigger more prestigious ones out there. But they will be missing the personal touch. They will feel like a history textbook and not have much meaning, at least not so nearly directly as the little ones. The ones that are run by groups of volunteers in a community, the ones that are free, because they are not “worth” charging for are the ones to see. Some are only one room in size, others might be much bigger. All though give you much better living look into the people that live there, or lived in that area. Like today, in a very small Museum 20 miles South of Devil’s tower we stopped in Upton, the small town self dubbed “The best town in the world”. It it I saw an old metal crib. One that was made locally, many years ago, and had been used for five generations. That same place had a two headed calf, and many historical pictures of the town, and it’s people. I was also able to talk to the passionate volunteer working there for a long time about the town. I was able to get a much more personal view and perspective of history. It was more of an experience really.
Earlier in the day we had stoped at another small Museum called “Rock Pile Museum”, in Gellet, WY. It is a wonderful hodge podge collection of antiques of all sorts from the area, including old buggies railcars and many other things used in the daily lives of locals. It even had a Crosley Icyball!! Yeah that’s right, bet you don’t even know what that is, go google it now.
What really makes these places great is that they house and show all the stuff that the big places will not, things that mean something to to the locals or in some cases just the person collecting the stuff. So next time you see a small sign or road marker pointing to a Museum that you never saw on your tour guide STOP, it might be the best way to learn something cool and new to you.