Tips, leads, stories from travelers, plus Roadsideamerica.com Team reports on quirky museums, ironic monuments, and must-see oddities! Trip planning caution: Some tips may not be verified. Over time, attractions change, move, burn down. What's a vacation without a little risk? Submit your own tip.
Haines, Alaska - Hammer Museum
The Hammer Museum, located on Main Street, has over 1,400 hammers on display. This unique museum is easy to find as there is a very large hammer in front. On display in four rooms are various collections of hammers from ancient times through the industrial age.[Margie Hovde and daughter Brinn, 07/29/2007]
April 2008: Owner Dave Pahl now has more than 1,700 hammers. The ex-homesteader has hired an intern and wants to expand his building and (someday) attract a corporate sponser.
Anniston, Alabama - Hitler's Tea Service and Spy Weapons
Highly recommend this stop if passing through Anniston. Very neat collection of crazy cool spy weapons....a flute pistol AND Hitler's tea set?! That in itself should be enough to capture your attention. Well worth the $5 admission fee. Small enough to stop and look without delaying your trip.[Liz Armato, 09/18/2014]
Berman Museum of World History
- 840 Museum Drive, Anniston, AL
- Berman Museum of World History. I-20 exit 185. Turn north onto Hwy 21. Drive 6.5 miles. When US Hwy 431 splits from Hwy 21, turn right into Lagarde Park, then immediately turn left. Museum will be up ahead on left.
- T-Sa 10-5, Su 1-5 (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
- Anniston, Alabama - Adolf Hitler's Tea Service
The Berman museum is located on the main drag in Anniston, just before you get to the first Ft. McClellan gate. The items in the museum were donated by COL Berman (ret), an ex OSS officer in WWII. Some of us suspect he obtained the items in his collection by trading food to starving Germans at the end of the war. A number of the items in his collection really belong in the Smithsonian; Hitler's travelling silver set, gold/jewel encrusted swords, a greek helmet, etc.
This museum is really worth a visit (on my last visit there 2-3 years ago, the museum was only about 75% finished). I've heard he has since died and the rest of his stuff moved in. The building to house his collection cost over a million bucks, so you can imagine he had quite a private collection.[Mark T., 05/05/2001]
Also on display in the museum is Col. Farley Berman's collection of spy weapons, which includes a flute that fires bullets and a pen that can fire a .22 or a capsule of poison gas. The gift shop sells a DVD of the late Colonel firing his spy weapons.
Dora, Alabama - Tim Hollis' Pop Culture Museum
Tim Hollis has been collecting since 1981, and in 2008 had to build a 4,200-square-foot, two-story addition to his home to accommodate his remarkable pop culture horde. There are over 25,000 items that range from toys to the crib in which he was placed when he was brought home from the hospital when he was born, complete with his teddy bear and his hospital bracelet.
The first floor is dedicated to toys, books, records, and youth whimsy. "I started buying things that I had when I was little and set out to preserve my own memories, and now I seem to be preserving everyone's memories," he said.
The second floor is directed more at Christmas and Halloween collectibles, roadside signs, early restaurant menus and items, maps, brochures, photos, and posters. He and his family's personal history, including their first color TV from 1969 and a 1970s avocado green refrigerator, is also on this level.
What makes this place so unique is that Tim has added photos of himself (at various ages) with many of the objects he has on display, making this a very personal, wide-ranging collection. This is not officially a "museum" and is open only by calling or emailing Tim in advance. He will personally walk you through and explain each item. His memory is as solid as his collection and his passion shows! I spent several hours totally enjoying the collection and Tim's stories.[casaflamingo, 11/30/2014]
- Forkland, Alabama - Sculptures Made of Haystacks
On a rural stretch of Alabama highway 43, there is an open field with a collection of sculptures made of haystacks, such as a pink car atop four haystack wheels, an octopus, and several other less recognizable animals with big smiley faces. A tall wooden gate leading down a dirt road in the center of the field says "BIRD." It's a fascinating and mysterious site.
The hay sculptures are between Eutaw and Demopolis on Hwy. 43. One who has been to Demopolis lately says they're "kinda falling apart now," and he thinks the farm belongs to a Bird family.[Julie Bell, 09/12/1999]
- Demopolis Hwy, Forkland, AL
- The field of art stretches along about a half-mile on the west side of US Hwy 43/Demopolis Hwy, either 2.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 41/69 at Forkland, or nine miles north of the intersection of US Hwy 80 in Demopolis.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour