Sandra Scott Travels: Big or Small, Museums Have A Lot To Offer

Safe Haven in Oswego

Safe Haven in Oswego

Last week I asked: Where can you visit a windmill museum?

At the Kregel Windmill Company in Nebraska.

The Kregel Windmill Company in Nebraska City
The Kregel Windmill Company in Nebraska City

I admit it, I am a museophile.

Big or small, art or history, I enjoy all museums, but I favor the small museum.

They are usually devoted to one topic so that I can learn all I need to know in an hour or so plus they usually are started by someone with a passion for the item.

When John and I were in Nebraska we visited several such museums.

The Kregel Windmill Company in Nebraska City was a windmill factory that was turned into a museum.

Touch screens facilitate the self-guided tour.

The Kregel Windmill Company built and sold windmills on the site from 1903 to 1991.

the Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska
The Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska

On the prairie where there was no reliable surface water so windmills made living and farming possible.

The museum is preserved in its 1939 condition complete with all the furnishings and tools.

We also visited the Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska, with thousands of items relating to racing.

The museum is the collection of “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith’s lifetime love of all things associated with racing.

There are rare and unique items in displays and dioramas that offer a step into the past.

Gary Doss in his Pez Museum
Gary Doss in his Pez Museum

I loved the collection of pedal cars.

My brother had a blue one similar to the one on display.

I wonder where it is today and if it ever made it into someone’s collection.

I love the Jell-O Museum in LeRoy, NY.

The story of Jell-O points out the importance of marketing.

A gelatin product was developed by Peter Cooper in 1845 but it wasn’t a success until, in 1897.

Pearle Wait added flavor and called it Jell-O.

Wait then sold his formula to Frank Woodward for $450.

In 1899 Woodward sent well-trained salesmen, in “spanking rigs, drawn by beautiful horses” with his product to fairs, country gatherings and church socials.

As the saying goes, the rest is history – it became “America’s Most Famous Dessert.”

the Triangle Tattoo & Museum in Fort Bragg
The Triangle Tattoo & Museum in Fort Bragg

If a person has a passion I think it is only natural that they want to share.

When John and I were in Burlington, Calif., we visited the Pez Museum.

Gary Doss opened the museum in 1995 to share his love of the plastic Pez candy dispenser.

He claims to have every Pez dispenser every sold which means he has more than 900 of them plus many more Pez-related items.

He also sells Pez products.

While in California we also visited the Triangle Tattoo & Museum in Fort Bragg.

It was much more interesting than I thought it would be.

It was founded in 1986 by Mr. G. and Madame Chinchilla who are not only tattoo artists but also have written and lectured on the subject.

There are samples of tattoos from around the world including Maori of New Zealand with traditional Moko tattoos and tattooing implements.

“Tattoos without Consent” is a thought-provoking display of tattoos from Germany, China, and Russia.

Safe Haven in Oswego
Safe Haven in Oswego

Small museums are often working in tandem with a similar venture.

Such is the case of the Open Hand Theater’s Museum of International Masks and Puppets in Syracuse.

Besides preforming shows, their museum is a collection of masks and puppets from all over the world.

Not only are there hand puppets but their 12-foot stilt puppets are amazing.

One of my favorite museums is Safe Haven in Oswego.

It is the only place in the United States that housed World War II Jewish refugees.

An incredible story.

Trivia Tease™:  Where can you find a free tour guide? Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!