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Hillsboro, Texas: Roadside America Museum

1940s and 1950s nostalgia, and lots of Grapette soda relics. Also here: the dug-up casket of the Big Bopper, who died with Buddy Holly. Not associated with Roadside America the travel guide.

212 E. Elm St., Hillsboro, TX
I-35 exit 368A, then west into town on Hwy 286/Country Club Rd, which turns into Franklin St. Turn left onto Church St. for one block, then left onto Elm St.
Best to call first, but usually open 10-6. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $10.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Roadside America Museum

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Big Bopper's Casket

The Big Bopper -- Jiles Perry Richardson Jr -- was a 1950s Texas DJ who had a hit record ("Chantilly Lace") and then, in 1959, died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly. In 2007 he was dug up out of his grave in Beaumont, Texas, and reburied in a new casket in a nicer part of the cemetery. His old casket ended up as a display in the Texas Musicians Museum -- which abruptly closed in May 2018 (The landlord said the museum didn't pay its rent). The Musicians Museum owner was a friend of Carroll Estes, owner of the (mostly automobile-and Grapettte-focused) Roadside America Museum, and so until the Musicians Museum finds a new home, the casket is in the Roadside America Museum.

[ Team, 12/06/2019]

Big Bopper casket.

Big Bopper's Casket

The wife and I went in 2017, but the attraction was closed on Sunday. I still was able to get a photo through the window. The whole story behind that casket is bizarre. The Big Bopper's son (born after his death) got to see his father for the first and last time when they exhumed him. He said at one point he might put the casket up for sale on eBay. Wild stuff!

[David A Cole, 12/06/2019]

The Big Bopper's son died in 2013 before he got the chance to sell the casket. And the museum's owner, Carroll Estes, lives on the property. If you'd called, he probably would have let you in!

Roadside America Museum Opens

On Saturday, September 29, 2007, the Roadside America Museum opened in Hillsboro, Texas. It has nothing to do with this Roadside America, or with this Roadside America....

[10/06/2007] Complete News Story

Nearby Offbeat Places

Low Rider T RexLow Rider T Rex, Hillsboro, TX - < 1 mi.
Jail Where Elvis Was Locked Up For Being DrunkJail Where Elvis Was Locked Up For Being Drunk, Hillsboro, TX - < 1 mi.
20-Foot-Tall Wooden Nickel20-Foot-Tall Wooden Nickel, Carl's Corner, TX - 6 mi.
In the region:
9/11 Flight Crew Memorial, Grapevine, TX - 64 mi.

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