Sunday, May 4, 2014
Walt Disney's Hometown Museum - Marceline MO - 4/25/2014
Visiting Marceline and the Walt Disney Hometown Museum has been on our short list of day trip adventures for several years. The weather has been pretty dreary for weeks now and we saw a nice day coming up so we decided to enjoy it as much as possible. This was also a chance to take the new Honda Odyssey on it's first road trip.
You never know what you are going to find when you visit a small town and especially a small town museum. We had read articles in the newspaper that gave fairly promising reviews of the efforts to create the museum and how nice the collection of Disney items was for a small museum. It was worth a try.
Edel DeMaria joined Sigrid and me on the trip as she often does. It was a gorgeous day.
The museum is located in the old Santa Fe Railroad station building in the heart of Marceline. The main line tracks still run next to the building and they are busy. The frequent rumbling of the ground from passing freight trains added to the atmosphere inside the building.
This little car is one of the originals from the first Disneyland Autopia ride. Walt made sure that Marceline got lots of memorabilia for display
The big clock at the ticket window in the station was the "standard time" for all the railroad workers in the area. At the beginning of their shifts, they had to synchronize their watches to this clock. Staying on time in the old days was highly important unlike today's Amtrak operation.
Here is a photo of Walt and sister Ruth when they were children in Marceline.
This nice bronze was given to the city by the Disneyland Resort cast in 2002.
This photo shows Walt's parents, Elias and Flora.
The museum has a number of wall sized displays of Walt's life. As so often happens in museums with glass cases, the reflections were unavoidable. I took photos anyway just to illustrate what the museum has to offer.
Just about every time the city had a dedication ceremony, they invited Walt and he accepted most if not all of the invitations. Walt loved getting back to Marceline because of his very fond childhood memories.
Walt carved his initials into his elementary school desk. Many years after the carving and at Walts request, the desk was found. Walt's initials are the small "WD" near the center of the photo.
This flag once flew over Disneyland.
Walt had a great love of trains. It most likely came from his days in Marceline. More trains later in the posting. This is a carved wooden set that is pretty rare.
Sigrid and Edel pose with Mickey.
Do you think Walt is enjoying himself? Remember, the entrance to all the Disney parks begins at the train station where you can catch a ride all around the park before you actual start walking.
Even trains in the movies.
One of Walt's early landmark cartoons.
Hi ho, hi ho, its off to work we go. An autographed picture of the Seven Dwarfs.
A conductor or switchman's lantern.
Walt's dad, Elias, was good friends with Walter Parr, a Chicago minister when they lived there before coming to Marceline. They each named their sons after one another. If you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it, you may be able to read the story in the black and white print area.
I got excited when I read this since I have a cousin named Arnold Parr. Arnold has done extensive genealogical research so I immediately contacted him to see if he was related. He was aware of the Chicago Walter Parr but has found no linkage to his family yet.
On the upper floor of the museum, they have a miniature replica of Disneyland that covers several tables and it is amazingly well done. I understand that it took the artist who created it 40 years to complete. He may not have called himself an artist but I am.
These nice ladies greeted us and gave us a brief tour of the lower level of the museum and the life story of Walt Disney. Great job Brenda and Ellen!
The main street of Marceline was the inspiration for Disneyland's Main Street USA.
One the recommendation of the museum staff, we had lunch at Ma Vic's Corner Cafe and it was fantastic. It was the best small town meal that I ever recall eating.
My tenderloin sandwich. There is something very wrong or very right about this sandwich depending on your perspective on life.
Walt has funded several projects in Marceline. This park has a nice lake and swimming pool complex.
This is the original farm house that Walt and his family moved in to when they arrived from Chicago.
After lunch, we had to have a treat before leaving town.
We were totally impressed with the museum and the town and would recommend a visit if you like history, cartoons, or neat little country towns. Another great day!