Fairmount, Indiana: James Dean and Jim Davis Exhibits

Fairmount Historical Museum devotes most of its first floor to Dean. See the hand-and-footprint he made at age 12 when he predicted he'd become a movie star. Davis gets a small room; see his first failed comic strip character (a bug), and the evolution of Garfield.

Fairmount Historical Museum

Address:
203 E. Washington St., Fairmount, IN
Directions:
Fairmount Historical Museum. On Washington St. between Walnut and Sycamore.
Hours:
May-Nov. M-Sa 10-5, Su 12-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
765-948-4555
Admission:
Donation.
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James Dean Museum Collection

The Fairmount Historical Museum, and really the town in general, is simply enchanting. It's mainly devoted to hometown movie star James Dean.

I visited the museum on a Saturday and was greeting by two elderly women who remembered "Jimmie" quite well. I perused the impressive collection of James Dean artifacts, many of which were helpfully labeled with index cards. The two ladies took pride in this particular feature.

In addition to James Dean, there is a comparatively smaller area dedicated to Fairmount's other famous son -- Jim Davis, creator of Garfield. As Mr. Davis is still with us, his collection has not reached shrine level and contains mostly stuffed characters of the orange feline and his friends. There is an impressive Garfield statue in front of the museum, as well as cutout of James Dean.

The museum is free, but donations are accepted. I found this out when, while checking out one of Jimmies motorcycles, I heard the women discussing how I had not made a donation when I signed the guest book. Lest they think me a wastrel, I made a donation and purchased a few postcards on my way out.

[Faye Travis, 05/31/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

James Dean GalleryJames Dean Gallery, Fairmount, IN - < 1 mi.
James Dean's GraveJames Dean's Grave, Fairmount, IN - 1 mi.
Oil Derrick Street SignsOil Derrick Street Signs, Gas City, IN - 5 mi.
In the region:
Lobby Display of Big Game Taxidermy, Greenfield, IN - 36 mi.

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