Wheels O’Time runs full steam ahead
Picture an era when roads were dotted with old Ford Model T’s, factory-fresh Studebakers, and other vehicles that today’s general public classifies as “classic.” For those yearning for a bit of nostalgia, more than a dozen Bradley alums have joined forces to preserve and exhibit cars, Caterpillar tractors, Avery agriculture equipment, and other timeless machines and memories at the Wheels O’Time Museum in Peoria.
Gary Bragg ’58, one of the founders of Wheels O’Time, credits his love of old Packard cars with the initial concept of the museum. “Co-founder John Parks and I collected Packard automobiles, but our collection grew too large. We needed a place to put the Packards, and at the same time we had the idea of sharing them with other people. We decided we were going to build a bigger building, and people liked the idea. One day at church, one of our members wrote us a check to start it. We couldn’t turn him down.”
“We look at ourselves as a museum of the 20th century,” notes Bragg. “We specialize in Peoria-area manufactured items, but we like to display anything that will relate to people and the things they use that were manufactured, as opposed to natural history. We’re pretty eclectic and hands-on.”
The museum is open May through October, Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Knowledgeable volunteers, including several dedicated Bradley alums, have been instrumental in constructing exhibits and hosting tours through the interactive displays and extensive grounds. “We like to entertain as well as educate the young and the young at heart. We provide a great place to socialize for like-minded people,” Bragg said.” We have built a place to share our hobbies, collections, and artifacts with the public while creating an appreciation for the past.”
For more information, visit the museum’s Web site at wheelsotime.org or call 309-243-9020.
Point of pride
Dr. Jeffrey Huberman, dean of the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, was invested as a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre during ceremonies at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
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