Museums & History
From superheroes to classic cars, riding the rails, or your houses on wheels, Elkhart County has museums to excite the imaginations of the adventurous traveler. For the cultural explorer and avid historian, you’re able to explore and learn about the diverse cultures of our community from when it was first settled and discover a way of life you’ve only read about by interacting with our gracious Amish families. Elkhart County museums offer plenty of opportunities to learn by seeing, touching, and experiencing.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame
For more than a century Americans have been hitting the road in style and on their own terms thanks to the iconic RV. The RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart takes you down the fun road of history and shows you how far the small and not so small homes on wheels of today have come since the 1920s.
Studebaker National Museum
Top-down, chrome shining, fresh air filling your lungs. The classic American road trip needs an authentic classic car, and you can find them at the Studebaker National Museum in close by South Bend. In addition to getting up close to the cars that filled the parking lots of drive-up diners, you’ll also learn about Studebaker’s past, which stretches back to the mid-19th century, long before cars were hitting America’s superhighways.
National New York Central Railroad Museum
All aboard for fun! Kids of all ages will love the National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart. This line once used 11,000 miles of track, each with its own story to tell. Elkhart was a central juncture linking the Atlantic seaboard to the midwest for travel and commerce. Here you get up close with an authentic engine from back in the day and see how travel happened in America’s golden age.
Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum
For the young and the young at heart, you have to check out the Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum in Elkhart. Whether you’re a Marvel or a DC fan, the Hall of Heroes is the only Superhero and comic book museum in the world preserving and showcasing memorabilia spanning the entire 80 year history of superheroes in comics, toys, film and animation.
There’s no better way to make this feel like your home away from home than by connecting with our community. Elkhart County Historical Museum houses more than 30,000 historical artifacts dating back to the first settlers in the region. Engage with the people who came before you as you see their diaries, photos, and maps, linking our present to their past. Then head over to Middlebury and visit the Middlebury Community Historical Museum. The exhibits change from year to year, but there’s always a celebration of spirit, honoring the early citizens who toughed it out to build the community, as well as our gritty local sports teams.
Next, you can walk in the paths of the area’s early standout families, by visiting Ruthmere and Havilah Beardsley House. Once home to the Beardsley family and a center of social life, it’s now open to the public to explore and imagine the best life had to offer more than a century ago.
The Midwest Museum of American Artin Elkhart highlights what makes American art so unique. The collection includes items from today and as far back as the 18th century when America was finding its artistic voice. A 6,000 piece collection has about 900 items on display at any one time, including signed lithographs from Mr. Americana himself, Norman Rockwell.
Learn the culture of our Amish neighbors with a trip to Menno-Hof in Shipshewana. Trace their religious history back to its Swiss roots, and see how they made a community for themselves in America and northern Indiana.