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Handbook shows there's a hall of fame around most every corner

THE BALTIMORE SUN

As the futurist think tank known as Danny & the Juniors predicted in 1958, "Rock 'n' roll is here to stay." The proof is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which opened earlier this month in Cleveland.

Multimedia blitz to the contrary, the world doesn't entirely spin around pop music. In fact, the world of halls of fame doesn't either.

Here's a look at some distinctive halls where the lines aren't quite so long.

The information that follows is distilled from the just-out "Volvo Guide to Halls of Fame" (Paul Dickson and Robert Skole, Living Planet Press, $12.95). It's subtitled "The Traveler's Handbook of North America's Most Inspiring and Entertaining Attractions" and offers a sometimes nifty, sometimes strange look at about 220 honored places.

* National Agricultural Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame, Jackson, Miss.

The full name is the Jim Buck Ross Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry/National Agricultural Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame, but what we're looking at is crop dusting -- actual planes and spray systems, as well as photos. Also here: a collection of 20,000 arrowheads.

This museum is at 1150 Lakeland Drive (on the grounds of the Heritage Center arboretum/history complex), Jackson, Miss. 39216. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission (to entire complex): $3; $2.75 for 60 and older; $1 for ages 6-18; 5 and younger, free. Details: (800) 844-TOUR, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays.

* Barbie Doll Hall of Fame and Doll Studio, Palo Alto, Calif.

Barbie was first introduced in 1959, and this is the shrine to the figurine that has since become America's favorite doll.

You'll find examples of almost every one of the hundreds of Barbie models ever made; her pals and clothes are here, too.

The Barbie Doll Hall of Fame is at 433 Waverley St., Palo Alto, Calif. 94301. Hours: 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (also open 10 a.m.-noon Saturday). Admission: $4 (all ages). Details: (415) 326-5841, noon-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

* Bull Hall of Fame, Plain City, Ohio

This institution honors a dozen male bovines for their high-quality semen and output. Marble tombstones around the grounds mark where each stud is buried. More than 1,000 live bulls, each a potential hall-of-famer, are in residence here.

The Bull Hall of Fame is on U.S. Route 42, in Ohio's Union County. Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays; call for tour appointment. Admission: free. Details: (614) 873-4683, hall hours.

* National Business Hall of Fame, Chicago

This portion of Chicago's fabled Museum of Science and Industry is sponsored by National Junior Achievement; inductees are selected by Fortune magazine. The 166 men and women honored here range from Alexander Hamilton (first U.S. secretary of the Treasury) to Frederick Maytag (the washing-machine man) and L. L. Bean. There are try-your-hand-at-management computer games to investigate, too.

The Museum of Science and Industry is at 57th street and Lake Shore drive in Chicago. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, to 5:30 p.m. Saturday through Sunday and holidays. Admission: $6; $5 for 65 and older; $2.50 for ages 5-12; 4 and younger, free. Details: (312) 684-1414, anytime.

* Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Our neighbor to the north has its own country heroes, from Hank Snow to Ian Tyson (of Ian and Sylvia). They're honored here, through portraits and personal effects.

You'll find this hall at 1100 Fifth Ave. N.E., Swift Current, Saskatchewan S9H 4X7. Admission: $4; $3 for senior citizens.

* U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame, Washington, D.C.

Here's a large -- and quiet -- room with plaques and photos of 21 players and displays illustrating the history of American chess, from 1492 onward. There are also chess books and a chess computer to play.

The Chess Federation Hall of Fame is at 1501 M St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. Hours: 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon-6 p.m. Saturday. Admission: free. Details: (202) 857-4922, hall hours.

* Clown Hall of Fame, Delavan, Wis.

The original Ringling brothers were from Wisconsin; circus roots still run deep. The Clown Hall of Fame offers shows (Clown Encounters) in a 180-seat theater; inductees honored range from Emmett Kelly Sr. to Red Skelton. The Clown Hall of Fame is at 114 N. Third St., Delavan, Wis. 53115. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, through Dec. 31. Admission: $2.50; 5 and younger, free. Weekend clown show: $3.50; $3 for ages 4-18 and 55 and older; 3 and younger, free. Details: (414) 728-9075, 1 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

* National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Hereford, Texas

Mattie Goff Newcome (a trick rodeo rider of the '20s), country star Patsy Cline, Annie Oakley and others are honored in this small-though-crammed facility. The 126 honorees are celebrated with artifacts, duds, paintings, etc.

It'll be relocating to more urbane Fort Worth, Texas, soon -- they're not sure when -- but for now it's 45 miles southwest of Amarillo, Texas, at 525 Avenue B, Hereford, Texas 79045. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and by appointment on weekends. Admission: $3; 12 and younger, free. Details: (817) 626-4475 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays.

* Crayola Hall of Fame, Easton, Pa.

This is inside the Binney & Smith Inc. plant where these famed crayons are manufactured. Tours are booked solid this year; schedule your visit for 1996, when the hall-museum dedicated to the waxy cylinders is moving to larger digs nearby. (The eight colors retired in 1990 are, by the way, displayed as 5-foot replicas.)

Binney & Smith is at 1100 Church Lane, Easton, Pa. 18044-0431. Details: (610) 559-2632, anytime.

* Dog Musher's Hall of Fame, Knik, Alaska

Yes, this is on the route of the famed 1,150-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome. The hall is in a museum, which is in an old pool hall. Among the artifacts are sleds donated by inductees. Also here: a Dog Hall of Fame, honoring heroic sled pullers.

This site is at Mile 13.9 of Knik Road, Knik, Alaska 99687. Hours vary. Admission: $2. Details: (907) 376-7755.

* Exotic World: Burlesque Hall of Fame & Museum, Helendale, Calif.

This is on a ranch in the Mojave Desert, midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Its collection of costumes and props by the "movers and shakers of the world" include Sally Rand's fans, Gypsy Rose Lee's cape and various performers', uh, costumes.

Exotic world is at 29053 Wild Road, Helendale, Calif. 92342. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission: free. Details: (619) 243-5261, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

* National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Hayward, Wis.

You gotta have your picture taken here: This hall is inside a model of a muskie that's five stories tall and half a block long. Inside are 400 mounted fish, 200 historic fishing rods, etc.

The NFWFHF is on Hall of Fame Drive, Hayward, Wis. 54843. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission: $4; $3.50 for 65 and older; $2.50 for ages 10-18; 9 and younger, $1.50. Details: (715) 634-4440, hall hours.

* Gallery of Also Rans, Norton, Kan.

Horace Greeley, Barry Goldwater, Winfield Scott . . . this is a shrine to the 55 or so people who have run unsuccessfully for president -- including defeated incumbents Jimmy Carter and George Bush.

It's in the First State Bank, 105 Main St., Norton, Kan. 67654. Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Admission: free. Details: (913) 877-3341, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.

* Hall of Flame, Phoenix

Firefighters are honored here: There are more than 100 pieces of equipment, plus other exhibits -- illustrations, uniforms, axes, etc.

The Hall of Flame is at 6101 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85008. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $4; $3 for 62 and older; $1.50 for ages 6-17; 5 and younger, free. Details: (602) 275-3473, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays.

* National Jousting Hall of Fame, Mount Solon, Va.

Jousting has been a sport in the Old Dominion since 1821. It's not the lethal Dark Ages variety, but a matter of tilting with lances. This hall honors competitors from Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. It's in Natural Chimneys Park, Box 286, Mount Solon, Va. 22843. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Admission: free. Details: (703) 350-2510, hall hours.

* Labor Hall of Fame, Washington, D.C.

America's labor leaders are honored here . . . George Meany, Samuel Gompers, Eugene V. Debs, Mother Jones and the rest. The 18 folks inducted each have a kiosk; push a button and a video tells you about him or her. It's chaired by former Secretary of Labor William J. Usery Jr.

It's in the Frances Perkins Labor Department Building, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. Admission: free. Details: (202) 371-6422, hall hours.

* Marbles Hall of Fame, Wildwood, N.J.

Wildwood has been home of the National Marbles Championship since 1922; the largest room in the local historical museum has been converted into the Marbles Hall of Fame. There are trophies, photos -- and, of course -- lots of marbles.

The Marbles Hall of Fame is at the George F. Boyer Museum, 3907 Pacific Ave., Wildwood, N.J. 08260. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays and 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, through Oct. 31 (10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, November through April). Admission: free. Details: (609) 523-0277, hall hours.

* Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, Orchard Lake, Mich.

Inductees include Stan Musial, Phil Niekro and Tony Kubek. It's on the second floor of Dombrowski Fieldhouse on the campus of St. Mary's College. Admission is free; there are no set hours (call ahead). Details: (810) 683-0536, anytime.

* National Rivers Hall of Fame, Dubuque, Iowa

Rivers themselves aren't center stage -- the folks who found, tamed and played them are. Inductees include Mark Twain, Lewis and Clark, etc.

It's at Third Street in Ice Harbor, Dubuque, Iowa. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Admission: $6; $3 for ages 7-15; 6 and younger, free. Details: (319) 583-1241, 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. weekdays.

* RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame and Museum, Elkhart, Ind.

Elkhart is where RVs and manufactured housing are made, so it's fitting the home-on-wheels is honored here. The museum has many in showroom condition and others under restoration. Catch the 1935 Gilkie -- one of the first tent trailers.

This hall of fame is at 801 Benham Ave., Elkhart, Ind. 46516. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; open weekends for groups (by appointment). Admission: free. Details: (219) 293-2344, hall hours.

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