Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana: All Aboard

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Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana: All Aboard

Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

Vintage Train Schedules and Brochures at the Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

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

Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

One of Many Full-Size, Actual Train Cars Outside the Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

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.

Go There

Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

Monon Connection Museum in Monon, Indiana

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.

Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

Monon Connection Museum
10012 U.S. 421
Monon, Indiana 47959
There is an admission fee.
Tuesday – Sunday: 12 PM – 6 PM

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About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."


  1. Jessica Nunemaker January 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Lucy Sands January 23, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Very nice post. I absolutely love this website. Continue the good work!

  3. V E May 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    We had driven by this for the past few years, but had never stopped. We went today and were amazed. The railroad-themed restaurant was delightful – fair prices, good food, friendly servers. Then we went through the Monon Connection itself and were blown away by the collection and the information shared by Harold Harvey. Between eating and touring, we were on the site for almost three hours, and didn’t see it all. Allow plenty of time when you go.

  4. Jessica Nunemaker July 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Exactly! Harold is a font of information — pretty cool stuff.

    Thanks for stopping by little Indiana. It’s amazing what you can find out there! 🙂

  5. Steve July 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I agree with you 100%! I have a casual interest in trains. I had no idea the Monon Connection existed until last month, when I happened to drive by it on my way back to South Bend from Crawfordsville. The museum is amazing. Harold’s knowledge is incredible, and his enthusiasm is contagious. I knew I was looking at some neat things, but I had no idea how important and interesting they were until Harold started explaining the history and meaning of the items to me. Then everything took on a while new depth. In addition, the Whistle Stop restaurant is pretty good. Having it in conjunction with the museum makes the whole place a destination worth going out of your way to see. I recommend it highly. It was great to find your write-up about it here.

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