“A star trek fan's mecca”
The museum chronicles the town's history and has an entire room devoted to Star Trek where you can learn about the town's ties with the Star Trek franchise. In the town square you will find the USS Riverside NCC-1818, a scale model of a starship designed after the Starship Enterprise. It is not an exact replica of Kirk's ship, due to licensing issues, but it's hard to ignore the similarities.
The Voyage Home Museum is home to historical items about the town of Riverside, Iowa, but more importantly, collects any and all Star Trek paraphernalia (they also have a gift shop). Be sure to pose for a photo with the U.S.S. Riverside out front!
The staff were very friendly, if not exactly experts on the series. It's exactly as campy as you would expect it to be.
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, asserts in his book The Making of Star Trek that the character of James Tiberius Kirk had been born in the state of Iowa. In March 1985, when the city of Riverside was looking for a theme for its annual town festival, the Riverside City Council decided their town was going to be the birthplace. So they put up a monument, started a festival and just claimed it. It's non-canon, but several references have since been made to it.
The marker is a nice marble affair that's situated in a little park behind a hair salon. You have to hike down an alley to find it. It's almost hidden. There's also a little museum that's heavy on the cheesy/homemade vibe, but with a lot of memorabilia. Heavy on the toys and books.
They also have their town history museum in the same place and are quick to herd you in there after seeing the Trek stuff. The town was also the unwitting stars of a Spike reality TV show in 2004 where Shatner came to town under the guise of filming a scifi movie. They took the joke in good spirits and made THAT memoribilia a part of their collection as well. I don't know if this town is just the most relaxed group of people in the world or if they'll pimp anything to bring a little commerce to town. Everyone in the town seems to send you on to the next business. The museum suggested the other museum, then the restaurant, who suggested the marker, etc.
Although I was late, I could see through the windows that they had lots of interesting things!
I'm not a Star Trek fan but still thought it would be a fun stop. I felt very welcome there and there was tons of Star Trek stuff as well as Riverside historical things. The coolest thing about this place is the bathroom for sure. It's like your in a spaceship and makes for an out of this world bathroom experience. One of the coolest bathrooms I've been in. So if you need to go, I suggest here for a different bathroom break.
We came out of our determined route to visit this place and we were not disappointed. We arived when the museum was scheduled to be open but was closed for some reason but they left phone numbers on the window for after hours tours. We were able to call and were quickly responded too and were let in. The museum is quaint and filled with very neat exibits, though it is quite small. The gift shop had very reasonable prices for the items that are sold there. Overall we were very happy with the service and hospitality of the Voyage Home Museum.
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The Voyage Home Museum
- Thu - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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