Private Collections That Became Tourist Attractions
Collecting things is a lot of fun. That’s why so many people have private collections. Collecting is an excellent hobby because it’s almost like a scavenger hunt. Collectors often find items to collect at flea markets, antique shops, yard sales, and online. It’s easier than ever for people to complete their collections now that technology like laptops and cellphones lets them search for their favorite things everywhere.
The only problem with collecting things, especially for a long time, is many collectors eventually find their collections are too big to keep to themselves. Some collected items, like cars, are too big to fit in houses anyway. Others, like comic books, are small individually, but when a collector has lots of them, they begin to take up space. Sometimes, a collection is so large, or a collector just wants to share it with other people so much that their collection becomes a tourist attraction. The collector might open their home to visitors, open a museum, or loan or donate part of a collection to a museum that is already open. Here are some examples of what people collect and collections that became tourist attractions.
What People Like to Collect
There is no one thing everyone likes to collect. Collections of all different things are popular. Some popular things to collect are jewelry, decorations, or items people can trade with each other, like and patches.
There are also people who collect things like:
- Movie and TV Show Memorabilia
- Collectibles Relating to Certain Animals or Symbols
You never know what people might like to collect. Sometimes collections come from things adults liked when they were kids. Other times collections might remind people of a certain time in their lives. For example, a former athlete or sports fan might have a house full of sports collectibles. Here are some interesting private collections people turned into tourist attractions.
The Cat Museum in Kraków, Poland
The cat museum opened in 2019. It is owned by a couple from the Ukraine. It contains about 1,000 cat collectibles. It’s not the only cat museum either. There are museums like it in many different countries because so many people love cats. Most of those museums have started out as private collections.
Island of the Dolls, Mexico
There is an island in Mexico called Island of the Dolls. The whole island is covered in many different types of dolls. The legend of the island says a young girl once died there. The island’s caretaker decided to start hanging dolls around the island so her ghost could play with them. Other people have also visited the island and left dolls over the years, so the collection keeps getting bigger as more tourists go there.
Tiny Chair Museum in Georgia, USA
If you are ever in Stone Mountain, Georgia, you can visit a very strange roadside attraction called the Tiny Chair Museum. It started because a woman named Barbara Hartsfield saw a tiny chair one day while out shopping. She thought it was cute and bought it. Soon, she was collecting them as a hobby. Today, her hobby has grown into the world’s largest collection of tiny chairs. Many of them are not just chairs. Some have other purposes, like tiny chair-shaped salt and pepper shakers. She has them all displayed in her roadside museum.
Isett Heritage Museum in Pennsylvania, USA
The Isett Museum is in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. It contains the private collection of Mel Isett. Mr. Isett has been collecting all sorts of everyday items from the 1800s and 1900s for years. His museum now houses over 40,000 household items preserved so people in the future can see them, such as:
- Kitchen Appliances
- Railroad Collectibles
Finding Fun Private Collections Turned Tourist Attractions
Ask your mom and dad to take you on a day trip, and you’ll probably find some private collections turned tourist attractions not far from your own home. They are everywhere because so many people love to collect things. Some you might just happen to pass while riding in the car. You can find others ahead of time by looking online for interesting private collections that have turned into public attractions. Either way, you’ll find it fun to see all the great things people collect.
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