The Monon Connection in Monon, Indiana is thought to be the largest detailed train museum in the world.
After spending two hours in this White County museum, and still feeling like maybe we let some things slip through, I can’t imagine anything larger.
Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana
The Monon Connection Museum was absolutely amazing. I love when our travels take us somewhere that just blows us away. We left in absolute awe.
Originally we wondered if the large freight cars of various sizes, colors, and kinds outside were the museum. Boy, were we wrong. The Monon Connection Museum is connected to the Whistle Stop Restaurant.
It’s amazing to think that this super tiny Indiana town (with a population under 1800) boasts the largest collection of train stuff anywhere.
Indiana Train Museum
Harold Harvey, our tour guide, (who also designed the new Monon town logo) knew absolutely everything about the various pieces in this Indiana museum. Not only a tour guide, Mr. Harvey was the guy who happened to sell owner Dale Ward the first train piece that got the whole thing started in the first place.
That’s how it began. One train lantern. Funny how things work out like that, don’t you think?
We learned several new facts about trains, the Monon train, and the way these companies worked. For example, did you know that each of the various train lines had their own dining car china, a pattern specific to them, that differed between regions? They sometimes used the region they were in as inspiration. You’ll see what I mean when you make the trip.
The museum has extremely rare patterns and pieces. In one instance, out of three remaining demitasse cups, they have two.
There’s a video to watch, cases inside the larger portion of the museum to ogle, and items hanging everywhere. The most popular exhibit and a hit with kids recreated the old Illinois Depot. With loads of detail, from the tickets to the timetable, it’s all tucked inside a recreation of an office and the station. You will find baggage and train components here too. This was a unique life-sized peek into the past.
Whether you consider yourself a train fanatic or just find Indiana history interesting, I would definitely encourage you to check out the Monon Connection Museum. If you have kids–bring them.
They may not want to spend hours and hours here, but they will still enjoy the things they see. After all, the more you take your kids traveling, the better travelers they become, and the more they learn to enjoy the things around them.
Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time. We may have spent two hours there, but we still didn’t have enough time to see and read everything. Follow the Monon Connection Museum on Facebook for updates, any unexpected closings, and other general information.
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
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