The Museum started in the 1980's with a box of artifacts. The reality of a hobo museum took hold when the Chief Theatre was purchased by the Hobo Foundation with money willed to them from an unknown hobo. Collections have come from all over the world. Books written by hobos, music recorded by hobos crafts created by hobos are all available at the Hobo Museum. Recently classes from Iowa State University came in and renovated both the building and exhibits. Every year a Hobo Convention is held, where, aside from meeting hobos, there is a flea market and carnival. Visiting hobos stay at the "hobo jungle" that is located near the train tracks in Britt, IA. On the Saturday of the convention, an election is held for the new "King of the Hobos", where the candidates are selected by a panel of former kings. The citizens of Britt vote in the elections. Kings and Queens of the hobos can also be buried in a Hobo Cemetery. The burial is free for them. Friends of hobos who wish to be interred at the hobo cemetery can make an application to the Hobo Foundation for inclusion. The cost of the interment is the responsibility of the family.
Totally worth stopping for! It's a really informative exhibit with so many artifacts. It's small, but again, it was really enjoyable to learn about the hobo way of life. It took us maybe 30 minutes to see everything.
Guys... it's a hobo museum. If the name alone excites you, then you'll love it. It's everything you'd expect. Loads of fun exhibits on the hobo culture.
Beware, it's only open regularly from june through august, but you can call ahead and they'll open it up for you.
Only open June 1-August 15 or by appointment
Greg Newkirk's review is spot on. We were here in April, called the phone number on the door and a guy named Bill came in a couple of minutes to let us in. He, more than the exhibits, was informative about hobo life.
About half of the museum's collection consists of photographs; those of hobo jungles are interesting and informative; those of hobos at their annual convention, which takes place in the town, less so. The other half of the collection, the artifacts of hobo life, and interesting but there are no descriptions of what you're looking at. Fortunately, we had Bill to describe what we were looking at.
It's only $3 to get in; I'd say it's easily worth that.
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- Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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