Monument to First Trip by Car.

Monument to First Trip by Car

Field review by the editors.

Kokomo, Indiana

Kokomo is known as the "City of Firsts": birthplace of the first canned tomato juice, the first aerial bomb with fins, and many similar original accomplishments. But by far the most important first was the First Trip by Car. It's so important that it has its own monument, which marks the historic starting spot.

The trip lasted six miles, driven by Elwood Haynes on July 4, 1894. The car was his invention, and it was a real car, not a horse buggy with a motor attached to it -- such as the one that Charles Duryea drove in Springfield, Massachusetts, a few months earlier (This may seem nit-picky, but auto historians accept the difference). Several hundred people witnessed Elwood's trip, and 28 years later several thousand witnessed the dedication of the monument, including VIPs such as the governor of Indiana (President Harding sent a letter of apology for his absence). Elwood Haynes was there, as was his car, which he had borrowed back from the Smithsonian. The plaque on the monument is made of super-durable Stellite, a metal that Haynes had invented.

Monument to First Trip by Car.

Elwood's life went downhill from there. Two years later his car company went bankrupt, and six months after that he was dead.

In 1994 the Pioneer Auto Club of Kokomo staged a centennial celebration at the monument. They tried to borrow the original car again, but this time the Smithsonian wouldn't loan it out.

Monument to First Trip by Car

Address:
S. Goyer Rd, Kokomo, IN
Directions:
East edge of the city, on the northeast corner of S. Goyer Rd and E. Boulevard St. Park in the lot of the Grace Community Foursquare Church.
Admission:
Free
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

First Automobile Voyage by Horseless CarriageFirst Automobile Voyage by Horseless Carriage, Kokomo, IN - < 1 mi.
World's Largest Sycamore StumpWorld's Largest Sycamore Stump, Kokomo, IN - 2 mi.
Old Ben, World's Largest SteerOld Ben, World's Largest Steer, Kokomo, IN - 2 mi.
In the region:
Sleep in a Pullman Rail Car, Indianapolis, IN - 48 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Indiana

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Indiana.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

August 21, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Indiana Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Car Smashed By UFO, Warren, Minnesota (Aug 21-27, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Book Online Now

 

Favorite Quirky City Sights