Rolla, Missouri: Memoryville USA and Antique Car Museum (Closed)

A good compulsive-collector attraction, probably the only one that has displays on both Donna Douglas (Ellie May Clampett) and Hitler.
Hours:
Reported closed in 2009.
Status:
Closed

Visitor Tips and News About Memoryville USA and Antique Car Museum

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Memoryville U.S.A.

Memoryville U.S.A. was a staple of my childhood. My aunt worked in the shop for years, and I would spend the occasional day hanging out with her and exploring the museum below. Sadly, it did close in 2009 following the death of George Carney and subsequent handover to his son Steve. It is now home to Big O Tires and Nature Girls herbal/coffee shop.

In a related note, the annual festival George Carney headed up called "Ozark Extravaganza" on the grounds of the Rolla/Vichy airport is also no longer in existence. Donna Douglas appeared there every year, dressed in her "Elly Mae Clampett" best and signed autographs.

[Christina Anderson, 02/21/2012]
Memoryville USA and Antique Car Museum

OH My Gawd! We accidentally stumbled upon this dusty relic after having a burger at Steak-n-Shake. Incredible! George L. Carney went to "art school" to learn how to do portrait painting. While attending school, he met a young aspiring actress -- Donna Douglas. After they graduated, he decided to collect antique cars and Miss Douglas became America's beloved "critter cutie," Ellie May Clampett of Beverly Hillbillies fame. George decided to open a car museum in Rolla, and with the help of his old friend Donna Douglas, drummed up Route 66 business using her association as a tie-in. You can still buy Donna Douglas LP's as you exit the museum -- they are six bucks and we doubt anyone has bought one in years, as the they are quite dusty and faded (I asked the lady in the gift shop if they were available on CD and she barked at me...."What for??" ) When you enter the museum, there are lots of antique cars and old '50s glamour mannequins with no arms arranged next to them. My favorite was a Natalie Wood-style mannequin, wearing a ripped mini-skirted wedding dress with go-go boots, stepping into a 1900's Model T.

Descend the stairs into musty darkness, it's "Memoryville USA," a night time recreation of a supposed 1900's Mainstreet -- complete with "The Entertainer," playing non-stop and too loud, over and over -- as you browse the "olde town square" filled with malt shops and shoe stores. And there's a 1900's storefront that proudly displays a real super dusty collection of Donna Douglas -Ellie May Clampett collectibles (there was actually a spider crawling on Elly May's boob in the display).

You travel on down several dimly lit levels -- past the silent film theater, the antique televisions, the Hitler collection, the blacksmith shop, until at the very end....there is an antique car restoration garage, where the paint fumes will almost kill you." Exit to the gift shop. We haven't seen a good "compulsive collector" attraction like it in a long time.

[Michael Beatty, 08/14/2004]

We've ignored the signs for Memoryville USA for years when passing through Rolla, steering instead to the town's Stubby Stonehenge. What were we thinking?

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