April 16, 2010 / 2:49 PM / 9 years ago

Cowboys, croquet, insurance in U.S. halls of fame

NEW YORK (Reuters) - While Halls of Fame that honor sports heroes and rock and roll idols generally receive the most attention, they’re not the only facilities that laud those that are at the top of their field.

Cody Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta, wrestles a steer in the Steer Wrestling event during the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in Calgary, Alberta, July 5, 2009. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) has put together this list of 10 unusual Halls of Fame in the United States that cover a gamut of hobbies and professions.

“It there’s a profession or hobby out there with any kind of following, chances are there’s a hall of fame for it,” said website general manager Giampiero Ambrosi in a statement.

“From the funny to the inspirational to the seemingly mundane, it’s amazing how many different halls there are.” This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Roller Derby Hall of Fame; Brooklyn, New York

A by-appointment only museum located in the Brooklyn home of what must be the world’s most devoted roller derby fan, this Hall of Fame not only honors legends of the game but includes memorabilia like jerseys, tickets, and programs.

2. Buckaroo Hall of Fame; Winnemucca, Nevada

The no-frills, grittier version of cowboys, buckaroos are lauded here for their no-nonsense approach to the “Western” way of life. Along with tributes to the inductees, the hall houses memorabilia like saddles and lariats.

3. Croquet Hall of Fame; West Palm Beach, Florida

If you think you won’t be familiar with any of the names on this list, think again. Comedian “Harpo” Marx, legendary Hollywood producer Darryl Zanuck, and French silver screen legend Louis Jordan are all honored here.

4. Insurance Hall of Fame Museum; Tuscaloosa, Alabama

While the subject may seem dry, this facility has drawn over 250,000 visitors in its 18-year history. Exhibit highlights include an insurance magnate’s retirement medal as well as one given in recognition of another inductee’s perfect exam score.

5. Agricultural Hall of Fame; Bonner Springs, Kansas

The names here read like a “Who’s Who” of American industry: Eli Whitney, George Washington Carver, and even Abraham Lincoln are all honorees. Also on the grounds is the National Poultry Museum which, not surprisingly, traces the evolution of poultry from hobby to industry.

6. Freshwater Fish Hall of Fame; Hayward, Wisconsin

While the hall honors those who’ve made their mark in this challenging sport, perhaps the real (or in this case, reel) bait here is the over four-storey high “Shrine to Anglers.” A giant muskellunge fish known as the “Big Musky,” it can hold up to 20 people in its enormous mouth.

7. Paper Hall of Fame; Appleton, Wisconsin

The inductees here range from those who made their mark almost 2,000 years ago to present day paper heroes. Once you’ve read about the men and women in this hall, head over to the Paper Discovery Center for exhibits like “Fiberscapes: Experiencing Paper in 3D” or workshops about pop-ups.

8. Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame; Energizer World Headquarters, St. Louis, Missouri

As inspirational as it is interesting, this hall of fame honors “stick-to-it-iveness” in all its forms. Honoring people who just refuse to give up, the hall includes everyone from children to octogenarians.

9. International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame; Arlington, Texas

In addition to honoring the legends that make the game great, this hall of fame also pays tribute to the journalists who devote so much ink to the sport. The facility’s interactive museum traces the history of bowling from the time of ancient Egyptians to the present day.

10. The National Mining Hall of Fame; Leadville, Colorado

Perhaps the only hall of fame to include “rascals” in its list of eligible inductees, this hall also honors journalists and teachers who have made contributions to the ultra-dangerous world of mining. The accompanying museum offers a “Mining Town Railroad” as well as dramatic displays of gold and crystal.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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