8 small, unique museums worth the trip
Monday, June 11, 2018
Quirky museums can be much more fun than big, impressive museums.
Maybe it’s the fact that small museums can be someone’s personal collection. There's also the stories that come with small-town museums. Whatever the case, these museums are well worth the stop. Here are eight museums that I like.
1. Museum of Osteology — Oklahoma City
There is nothing but bones here in this private museum. But…wow! The 300+ skeletons are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Delicate bones and interesting structures make for a fascinating afternoon. Adult fee = $8.00.
2. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum — New Orleans
Perhaps it is the love potions and other voodoo medicine, or it could be examples of early medicine with cocaine or arsenic along with medical instruments like the amputation saw. Or maybe it is the leeches. But a visit here is both instructional and creepy! Adult fee = $8.00.
Live leeches in the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
3. Abita Mystery House — Abita Springs, Louisiana
Only an hour's drive from the Pharmacy Museum is a completely different museum. It is art in the folk art tradition. Or, at least some of it is art, while most of it is just strange.
This includes the Bassigator and the Swamp Ghost. Personally, I like the House of Shards. Adult fee = $3.00.
Bassigator at the Abita Mystery House
The Andy Griffith Museum
4. The Andy Griffith Museum — Mount Airy, North Carolina
Ah, the memories! Or maybe they are just short-term memories from the reruns of both "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock."
Andy Griffith was born in Mount Airy and is celebrated with this museum containing artifacts from his career and life. I particularly like the statue in front. Adult fee = $8.00.
5. American Wind Power Center — Lubbock, Texas
Billed as the largest windmill museum in the world, the grounds are full of early versions of wind mills to the latest wind turbines.
I had no idea of the variety of wind mills. The largest wind turbine actually powers the museum. Adult fee = $7.50.
Wind mills and turbines at the American Wind Power Center
6. Bill's Old Bike Barn — Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
The fact that most of the museum is one man’s collection is staggering. While motorcycles are the focus of this museum, the place fills you with nostalgia with various collections (cameras, music instruments, Elvis memorabilia, and toys are just some examples) centering on the 1940-1970’s.
How did they cram all this in? How do they dust it? The mind boggles! Adult fee = $5.00.
Some of the telephones at Bill’s Old Bike Museum
7. Billy the Kid Museum — Fort Sumner, New Mexico
Again, this museum is mostly one person’s collection. The museum has several items related to Billy the Kid, like his rifle and a curtain from near where he was shot.
But it really shines with multiple rooms filled with artifacts from that era. My favorite is the hearse. Adult fee = $5.00.
8. Plantation Agriculture Museum — Scott, Arkansas
One wouldn’t normally think of art when discussing an agriculture museum, but the old equipment looked like art to me. There is much to learn with samples of different grades of cotton and a small, working cotton gin.
Besides a museum, there is a gin building, a seed warehouse and even cotton growing outside. Adult fee = $4.00.
Some of the mechanical equipment in the Plantation Agriculture Museum
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