Last updated: 1/11/2018
Hope, Indiana
Street Address
644 Main Street
Hope, IN 47246
Mailing Address
State Road 9
Hope, IN 47246
Description

By Barb Johnson: The Yellow Trail Museum in Hope, Indiana, is a unique museum in that nearly every artifact in the museum has been loaned or donated to the museum by present or past residents of the community. It tells the history of our unique town.

The name for the building came from an advertising campaign done in the early 1900’s by Elda Spaugh who had built a fine brick garage and filling station in Hope. He planned to become wealthy by servicing all the automobiles in town. However, in 1915, that was a very small number. It didn’t take long until Mr. Spaugh realized that there were not enough cars in Hope to make his business a success. He knew he had to gain his business from outside town, so he traveled to all the towns in about a 50 mile radius around Hope. As he returned from each town, he painted yellow bands around fence posts and utility poles along the route. He then sent out business cards about the size of our modern day credit card that stated “Spaugh’s Garage, The Home of the Yellow Trail”. The public was challenged to follow the Yellow Trail to Hope, Indiana. On the reverse side of the card was a map showing all the surrounding towns with routes leading into Hope. Curiosity got the best of many of those receiving these cards. People would take drives to see if they could actually follow the Yellow Trail to Hope. Since the road conditions were so poor at that time, the drivers often had problems with their cars on the path. By the time they arrived in Hope, they were in need of gasoline, tires, or other car parts. This kept Mr. Spaugh in business until there were enough automobiles in town to keep him busy.

The museum selected that name thinking that people might want to come to Hope to visit the museum. In 1980, parts of the Yellow Trail were repainted by the local high school history club as a project for Hope’s Sesquicentennial. In 1998 part of the painting was redone by new members of the history club in honor of the museum board actually purchasing the building in which the museum has always been housed.

One of the unique and exciting experiences that you'll find at the Yellow Trail Museum is the "Living History" exhibits that link the past with the present. Visit the website and see the gallery which contains pictures of the Soda Fountain, Grocery Store, Doctor's Office, Barber Shop, and other interesting areas found in the museum.

History

The name for the building came from an advertising campaign done in the early 1900’s by Elda Spaugh who had built a fine brick garage and filling station in Hope. He planned to become wealthy by servicing all the automobiles in town. However, in 1915, that was a very small number. It didn’t take long until Mr. Spaugh realized that there were not enough cars in Hope to make his business a success. He knew he had to gain his business from outside town, so he traveled to all the towns in about a 50 mile radius around Hope. As he returned from each town, he painted yellow bands around fence posts and utility poles along the route. He then sent out business cards about the size of our modern day credit card that stated “Spaugh’s Garage, The Home of the Yellow Trail”. The public was challenged to follow the Yellow Trail to Hope, Indiana. On the reverse side of the card was a map showing all the surrounding towns with routes leading into Hope. Curiosity got the best of many of those receiving these cards. People would take drives to see if they could actually follow the Yellow Trail to Hope. Since the road conditions were so poor at that time, the drivers often had problems with their cars on the path. By the time they arrived in Hope, they were in need of gasoline, tires, or other car parts. This kept Mr. Spaugh in business until there were enough automobiles in town to keep him busy.

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We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

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