I admittedly didn’t spend a lot of time in Indiana. I really only crossed through the northern tip of the state. So my Indiana experience is fairly limited. But there are some pretty cool museums that I was able to visit along the way. For some reason, they were all vehicle related. I guess that some states just have their thing.
RVs, Then and Now
Even though this particular outing isn’t a road trip in an RV, RVs are still made for road trips. Wanting to find out more about them, I decided to side track a little to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In case you aren’t in the know about these things, RV stands for Recreational Vehicle and MH stands for Motor Home. The original RVs date back to roughly 1910 when the Pierce-Arrow Motor Company introduced what is basically a pop up campsite and demoed it at Madison Square Garden. Now motor homes and RVs range in size from a small camper on the back of a truck to a Class A motor home which can be nearly 50 feet in length and feel larger than some NYC apartments. Approximately 1 out of every 10 households in America that own a vehicle also own an RV. In real numbers, that’s roughly 10 million RVs on the road in the US today. This guy was really surprised that I was road tripping and didn’t own an RV.
Hudson, The Original AMC
The Hudson Motor Car Company was in existence from 1909 through 1954 when they merged with the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form the American Motor Corporation. This was, at the time, the largest merger in American history. I wanted to see this place because the US military owned quite a few vehicles made by AMC before switching the majority of their contracts to GM. The Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Hudson Motor Car Company and is the largest of it’s kind in the world. It was really cool to see how the old cars were put together and how things started to become standardized over the years. For instance, the steering wheel changed sides of the car a few times in the early years before being standardized to the current driver’s side. I also learned that during the first few years of cars being in existence, you had to register your car with the government to get your cars license number. But you had to make your own license plates. As a result, there are quite a few cars with different style plates scattered throughout the museum.
The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, an iconic American automobile manufacturing company, was originally focused on making vehicles for farmers, miners, the military and other more working class vehicles. In fact, there were a number of hearses (black sideways vehicle and white vehicle for children in the pictures section below) throughout the museum. Utility vehicles seemed to be their big sellers early on. Interestingly Studebaker was almost not a car company. Until 1902 when their first vehicle was produced, their board of directors had quite a few debates about whether or not to venture in to the automobile manufacturing realm. There was only one person on the entire board that wanted to do so, everyone else thought cars were just a soon to be short-lived fad. Clearly the direction they took worked as Studebakers were a household name in cars for many years. Studebakers were also well known at the time for doing record breaking long haul trips across the US like New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles to New York. In other words, they were also reliable, fast, and cool looking road trip cars.
In Line With the Amish
Being that I camped out in a small town in Indiana, I wasn’t really expecting much in the way of special food. So when I went to a restaurant that had a line out the door (of mostly Amish people and mennonites), I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong about the food. I ended up ordering something called the Village Mash. It was a mixture of eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, cheese, biscuits and sausage gravy all mashed together. It was disgustingly good. The kind of good that is so heavy that you borderline regret eating it. The sausage is a specially made spiced sausage picked up specially at the Lagrange Meat Market (the waitress said it like it was world famous and not a local but very tasty barn full of meat in the next town over). Although the food was really good, my favorite part of the meal was hearing that Amish parents are just like regular parents, they still need to tell their kids not to climb on things and ensure their chores were done. Only when an Amish parent talks about chores, it’s about whether or not the wagon wheels were greased and tightened so they can drive home safely.
The Chosen Ones
Here are a few random images from the day’s activities:
The whole gallery of pictures from Indiana is available on Google Photos.