Illinois June 24, 2017
This Roadside Attraction In Illinois Is The Most Unique Thing You’ve Ever Seen
History and art come together in the most unexpected way in the most unexpected place. A shrine to 1960s and 1970s pop culture and politics sits in Illinois’ largest Amish community serving as both a memorial and a time capsule.
Most people have never even heard of this roadside attraction, but it’s something everyone should see. Check it out:
Currently located in downtown Arcola, Moomaw America's One & Only Hippie Memorial celebrates the culture of the 1960s while showing disdain for Ronald Reagan and the 1980s.
It was originally created by Bob Moomaw, who started the project in 1992 and worked on it up until his passing in 1998. Once on his own property, the memorial was relocated and dedicated in 1999 during a Hippie Festival.
Moomaw was not known as a hippie, per se, but he was known for something else. He had a hobby of creating signs with messages and putting them up on the side of his building for passersby to read.
The messages would change multiple times per week. One such sign read, "America you're turning into a nation of minimum-wage hamburger flippers. Rebel. Think for yourself. It works!"
The memorial wall begins with depictions of the Great Depression, World War II, and 1950s hypocrisy. It then moves into the Kennedy years and the rise of the hippies.
Peace signs and other symbols, bright colors, and pop culture mentions such as Woodstock and Star Trek are found throughout the wall.
There are also depictions of the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, and plenty of bright green station wagons to represent the 1970s.
The last segment depicts the 1980s and Reagan, and the artwork turns into rusted scrap metal, representing Moomaw's feelings of where America was going.
The entire wall is 62 feet long, which is one foot for each year of Moomaw's life. You'll also find a copy of the speech given by his wife at the dedicated of the memorial.
This unexpected attraction has a place to pull your car off on the side of the road and take pictures. It's a slow, quiet, Amish community, so you'll likely have the place to yourself.
Moomaw America’s One & Only Hippie Memorial is located on Oak St. in Arcola, and you can get more information on the attraction’s
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