Museums throughout the West pay homage to such unexpected things as mountain bikes and casino legends.
Who invented the electronic mouse? You'll know if you go to the Computer Hall of Fame. The mountain bike? There's a Hall of Fame for that, too. All sorts of vocations and avocations now have shrines devoted to their superstars. Here are some of the public tributes you can visit throughout the West.
CASINO LEGENDS HALL OF FAME Las Vegas. From ornate showman Liberace to billionaire recluse Howard Hughes, more than 70 gamblers, showgirls, developers, and entertainers who helped to shape Las Vegas show up in photographs and memorabilia at the Tropicana Resort & Casino. (888) 826-8767, www.tropicanalv.com.
COMPUTER HALL OF FAME La Mesa, Calif. The Computer Museum of America salutes World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart, Apple Computer cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and other high-tech mavens. (619) 464-8220, www.computerhalloffame.org.
HALL OF FLAME FIRE MUSEUM Phoenix. Along with its impressive collection of fire trucks and rescue equipment dating back to the 18th century, this institution also features the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, a collection of photos and stories of firefighters who have died in the line of duty. (602) 275-3473, www.hallofflame.org.
MOUNTAIN BIKE HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM Crested Butte, Colo. The biographies of luminaries such as Fred Wolf, organizer of the first mountain bike race, and Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze, innovators in bike design, line the halls of this museum. (800) 454-4505, www.mtnbikehalloffame.com.
NATIONAL MINING HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM Leadville, Colo. Engraved metal plaques display the names of some 200 individuals, including John Wesley Powell and former U.S. president Herbert Hoover, who influenced the development of the mining industry. (719) 486-1229, www.leadville.com/miningmuseum.
TELEVISION HALL OF FAME North Hollywood, Calif. Bronze statues of comedian Bill Cosby, The Price Is Right emcee Bob Barker, and other TV celebrities decorate the outdoor plaza at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, where pioneers of the medium are recognized. (818) 754-2800, www.emmys.tv/awards/hall-fame.
WORLD SPORTS HUMANITARIAN HALL OF FAME Boise. Speed skater Bonnie Blair and golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez are among the athletes recognized for their charitable work with displays highlighting their civic contributions and sports-related memorabilia—including a Heisman Trophy—at Boise State's Bronco Stadium. (208) 343-7224, www.sportshumanitarian.com.
Illustration by Michael Klein
This article was first published in January 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.