Monday, June 26, 2017

(34) A day at the Museums

(34) June 26, 2017 - A day at the Museums

Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen Indiana
"The Sweetest Place in Town."

Tonight it is back to camping. Perhaps a shot of inspiration at the RV and Motorhome museum in Elkhart, Indiana was all we needed. Whatever it was, it's good to be back in the tent trailer. Linda slept well in the motel, but me, not so much. This seems like an interesting swap as originally I was the thought we be staying in motels every night. I guess I acclimated sleeping beneath the canvas roof.

Studebaker Museum
La Porte, Indiana

From Merrillville, Indiana where we spent the night we first drove through La Porte and then on to South Bend.

At South Bend I toured the Studebaker Museum while Linda walked the grounds of the adjacent Oliver mansion. Linda enjoyed looking at the Oliver mansion and I enjoyed looking at the Studebaker displays.
Studebaker has a long and proud history. Studebaker began by making wagons in the nineteenth century.
Studebaker Wagons
The company then shifted to the production of electric cars and then cars powered by internal combustion engines. Studebaker was never as big as General Motors, Ford or Chrysler but they certainly were a player. It's sad that such a proud name has gone by the wayside.

Studebaker, a force to be reckoned with
It's easy to play "what if" with Studebaker and the other independent automakers. I don't know if Studebaker could have survived had conditions and circumstances played out differently, but perhaps it could have. The big three automakers required their dealers in the 1950s to exclusively carry one product. In other words a Ford dealer could only sell Fords. A Chevrolet dealer could only sell Chevrolets and so on. The smaller independents could not survive with independent dealerships. There was a market for the independents, but not a sufficient market to support dealership networks. Had the big three or the big four allowed their dealers to carry independents and dealers might have been able to make money off of carrying the smaller independents as a secondary line. Like I said, it's easy to play what if.

It's safe to say that no one will be offering a model called 
"The Dictator" anytime soon.
RV Museum

Not so different from ours.

After South Bend we traveled to Elkhart to tour the RV Museum. The museum displayed both modern RVs, and early RVs. Linda and I were both surprised to see that the museum displays of tent trailers looked much like the tent trailer that we are sleeping in every night. Perhaps ours belongs in a museum as well. I guess I'm just stuck in the past. At least I'm stuck in the 50's and 60's and not in the 70's where shag carpeting and harvest gold decorated the interiors of motorhomes.

The "Long, Long Trailer."
Trailer Park Heaven

The caption on the back says:
Elkhart, Manufacturer of band instruments

Land o' Goshen

Fortified Police Booth in Goshen

From South Bend we traveled to Goshen, Indiana. We looked at the street of downtown Goshen and compared it to the image on an antique postcard that we have. We also looked at the police booth that was designed to protect the city against gangsters. While this may sound like an overreaction, it was not. Indiana was close to Chicago and there were many brutal and vicious bank robberies of banks in Indiana. The city fathers of Goshen installed the police booth to protect the two banks in the city. Later, after the threat of gangsters had passed the police booth provided a convenient police presence downtown.

Main Street Goshen today
Main Street Goshen 100 years ago

Cade, an outstanding host at the oldest
Candy shop in town and a great
representative of Goshen! 
The Olympia Candy Kitchen in downtown Goshen has provided premium dipped chocolate candy since 1912. Olympia provided chocolate turtles to two presidential Inaugurals. The candy kitchen and soda fountain are maintained in much the way they looked in the early twentieth century. Cade, was behind the counter and prepared Linda a hot fudge sundae, and me a milkshake. He has been working there for approximately two years. I'm sure that he will go on to bigger and better things after he graduates from high school. He sure made us feel welcome.

At the Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen, Indiana

Blue Lakes Indiana

From Goshen we proceeded to our campsite in Blue Lakes, Indiana. This was a commercial campground. It was nice, but I continue to be amazed at the diversity of ways that people enjoy camping. Here people have moved in for the summer. The campground was similar in appearance to a village of summer cottages. Some of the RVs were surrounded by grass, outdoor barbecues, outdoor eating areas as well as drinking areas. I was intrigued, I'm sure that this goes on in Idaho and other places, but I'd not seen it before.

Tomorrow we will drive through Fort Wayne, Indiana and then it will be on to Ohio.

Our new friends, from Goshen... 2 of the 57
amazing life sized bronze sculptures by  
Seward Johnson.


  1. Next time order an extra milkshake for me!

  2. Bill and Linda, We are enjoying following along on your journey via your blog. Your writing style, your pictures, your history lessons, your sense of adventure all add to the fun. Looking forward to learning some things about the Yellowstone Trail. I know, I know, that's jumping ahead.