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.
Wakita, Oklahoma - Twister Movie Museum
Twister is one of my favorite movies, so I had to make a detour to Oklahoma to see the Twister Museum (I also made my family watch the movie the night before we went, so they wouldn't be too confused when we arrived).
The museum was just as fascinating as I'd hoped it would be. It's memorabilia from floor to ceiling, everything from photos, to "tornado debris," to the football Bill Paxton threw around with the locals, to the Twister-themed pinball machine he donated (There's even a poster of the "Moojita" Scale, which is probably only funny if you remember the flying cow... but how could you forget, really).
The main attraction, of course, is Dorothy, the tornado research machine from the movie, in all its scratched, smashed, tornado-damaged glory. The owner was very happy to show us around and talk about the filming and all the items in the museum. There's also a small selection of tornado-themed items for purchase.
When we left the owner reminded us to stop and see the Wakita water tower, which had a brief cameo in the film.[Jeanie, 08/01/2014]
- 101 W. Main St., Wakita, OK
- I-35 exit 222. Drive west on Hwy 11 for 32 miles, then north on Hwy 11A for five miles, then east on Main Street for a half-mile into town.
- Mem. Day - Labor Day, or by Appt. (Call to verify)
Springfield, Missouri - Muffler Car
The previous tipster's description of the Muffler Car mentions that "it used to have a pipe coming out of the front and back so that it looked more like a muffler, but they have been removed for some reason." I just wanted to let you know that they are back, lol.[Whap, 08/01/2014]
Seeburg Muffler and Brakes
- 607 W. Sunshine St., Springfield, MO
- Seeburg Muffler and Brakes. Parked on the northwest corner of W. Sunshine St. and S. Wedgewood Ave., a block west of S. Campbell Ave. and just across the street from the Bass Pro Shops Wildlife Museum.
Blue Earth, Minnesota - Jolly Green Giant
He's very tall and very green. Nice gas stations and places for a quick bite. Ate at Dairy Queen and walked over to the site, which is right in the back. Nice little park-like area, with some information on the big guy, and a small and quaint museum and gift shop. Great place to stop and stretch your legs.[Pam Murack, 08/01/2014]
- Cosby, Tennessee - Moonshine Bar
I used to visit this place all the time in the 1980s. I finally went back last week, the first time in about 25 years. The building was still there, but closed up and overgrown. We found the old Fort Marx sign out front -- half of it had been removed and someone added the word "Restaurant" to it.[JK, 08/01/2014]
- I-40 exit 440. Drive west on Hwy 73, which quickly makes a sharp right onto Wilton Springs Rd/McGaha Hwy. Drive less than a mile, then turn left onto Dark Hollow Rd, which may not have a sign. Drive around two miles; look for the two-tone blue trailer.
- August 2014: Reported closed.
Mammoth Lakes, California - Temple of Folly Monument
This monument is in the town of Mammoth Lakes, near the Hayden Cabin (a museum of the history of the town). It has the following inscription:
"During the heyday of Lake Mining District (1877-1881) there emerged one premiere drinking establishment: The Temple of Folly. It was the brainchild of Andrew J Murphy, who in October 1879 purchased the clothing store of Reinstien and Wolf, located on Main Street in the center of Mammoth City, transforming it into a first class saloon and resort. 'Rock and rye' was its specialty drink, quoted to be a guaranteed remedy for all coughs and colds. Other noted amenities include a reading room and circulating library (stocked with books from Murphy's private collection). Unfortunately, within a few months, the local mines faltered and on November 14, 1880, a devastating fire destroyed half the town forcing Murphy to relocate to Bishop, where he opened a new Temple of Folly. Although its existence was brief, Mammoth's Temple of Folly typified the pioneer spirit of those first residents on the eastern Sierras and will forever be associated with the first days of Mammoth Lakes."
The marker was erected 2008 by E Clampus Vitus, Bodie Chapter No. 64. When you visit, note the objects embedded in the monument. On one side you will see the initials "ECV," as well as a skull (not real), and what looks like a pan used for panning for gold. The organization of E Clampus Vitus is supposed to be dedicated to preserving historical sites of the old West.[Julie Mangin, 08/01/2014]
- 5489 Sherwin Creek Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA
- The monument can be found as you approach the Hayden Cabin historical site. From Hwy 203/Main St. turn south onto Old Mammoth Rd. Drive about a mile. urn left onto Sherwin Creek Rd, then immediately left at the sign for the Hayden Cabin. You'll see the monument in th parking area nearest the cabin.