Thursday, January 05, 2017

Looks like the Hudson Museum in Shipshewana Indiana, Eldon Hostetler's collection, may have closed since Halloween 2016, he passed away in Jan 2016

Eldon Hostetler surprised his community and his world when he left the Amish religion. The 1st of 13 kids, (and that is a lot of siblings) he had the natural gift to be an inventor and entrepreneur, and eventually stopped creating new stuff but only after  with more than 65 patents to his name,

He had a formal education until the 8th grade graduation (not unusual at the time) and switched from Amish to Mennonite.

His Grandpa had tractors and threshing machines, and he helped his grandfather renovate machinery. He was Amish, but he traded his steam engine in for a gasoline-fired tractor a 20-40 Huber tractor.

The tractor went three times as fast as the steam engine would go in high gear, and it pulled a wagon that he used to haul a 50-gallon drum with his fuel and oil and things on it, for hundreds of miles around the country doing threshing.

Hostetler said that when he was 18, he was helping his Grandpa Shrock in his shop one day when his grandpa told him if he promised never to tell his mother where I got the money, he would loan me $350 to buy my first car, a 1938 Hudson,”

Hostetler said. “I was the only person in our community who had a car, and so I hauled a lot of Amish people around. They paid me so much per mile and gave me gas ration stamps so I could buy gas. It was during World War II, and I couldn’t get tires. I had to recap those tires until I couldn’t recap them anymore.”

So he traded in the 1938 Hudson for a 1940 model with 27,000 miles, the second of many cars he owned in the coming decades.

In 2005 Eldon donated land, a building and endowment fund to start the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum, building the largest collection of rare and unusual Hudsons.
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