The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History was recently recognized as a 2013 Editor’s Choice winner in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England for having the best car and motorcycle collection. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors who choose selected attractions, restaurants, and lodgings in New England to the exclusive list.
The Wood Museum is home to the Esta Manthos Indian Motocycle Collection, with motorcycles dating back to the earliest days of the Springfield-based company. The Museum also includes the largest and most extensive collection of artifacts and archives covering the company’s heyday in manufacturing and its competition with Harley-Davidson. The Museum also hosts an annual “Indian Motocycle Day,” an outdoor rally and motorcycle show which brings collectors and Indian enthusiasts from across the region to the Springfield Museum grounds. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 21.
The Museum also boasts vehicles from the very beginning of gas-powered travel in America, including a replica of the Springfield-built Duryea, the first successful gas-powered automobile in the United States, which is on loan from Richard Stevens. Other examples include models from Springfield’s earliest car companies, as well as Springfield-built Rolls-Royces including a historic single-owner 1928 Phantom I and a 1925 Silver Ghost.
Holly Smith-Bovè, President of the Museums, commented, “We are thrilled and honored to be recognized by Yankee Magazine in this fashion. This award further cements our reputation as one of the region’s foremost tourist destinations.” Yankee’s editor Mel Allen added “Every one of the 300-plus places we highlight contains an untold story about someone striving for perfection, having a dream, and having the vision to make a difference. Those are the qualities we look for and reward when we say ‘Best of New England.’”