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) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
765-948-4555
Admission:
Donation ~$5.
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Visitor Tips and News About James Dean and Jim Davis Exhibits

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Jim Davis Exhibit.

James Dean and Jim Davis Exhibits

A $5 admission fee is now requested for admission to the museum, so have it ready when you go in. The upper level has local history; the lower level is almost exclusively devoted to an extensive James Dean collection with movie memorabilia, personal items, and his own artwork.

A side room is devoted to Jim Davis, with his art supplies, early strips, and display cases of merchandise. There is a gift shop that includes, among many other things, switchblade combs.

Staff advises that for the best experience, visitors come on Mondays when more guides are available. The James Dean-themed Garfield (from the Garfield Trail collection) stands to one side of the front porch.

[Kitsa, 06/18/2021]

Rebel Without A Cause Garfield.

James Dean and Jim Davis Exhibits

A historic old building houses the museum with history on the town and military veterans, but 95% is about James Dean (and a little about Jim Davis, Garfield creator).

[Rose, 08/04/2017]

June 2021: Photo added.

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:
KokoMantis, 17-Foot-Tall Bug, Kokomo, IN - 26 mi.

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