Friday May 1 (May Day!)—”Hallelujah, I’m a Bum!

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The Tramp is Coming! From Punch, 1879. Courtesy the New York Public Library, [1].

Friday May 1 (May Day!)—”Hallelujah, I’m a Bum!”

First Friday at the Main Street Museum.
Opening Reception for our Summer Series 6 - 8 p.m.!

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me

"Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune
Here a great personal deed has room ... The road is before us! —Whitman

I'm a man of means, by no means - King of the Road —Miller

“Tramps, Hobos, and Transients at the Edge” Our opening reception features readings and discussion of museum artifacts, displays, jazz with the Goog Smith Trio! Cupcakes, champagne and snacks!
Plus “Mopey Dick and the Duke,” original artwork by Denys Wortman showing tramps on the loose in America in the 1930s, from the archives of the Center for Cartoon Studies.
See their website here!

Exhibits of artifacts, photos and artwork on display until August, 2009. Free admission.

The Artifacts

  • Black boots repaired with ductape and cast off by a street band from New Orleans
  • An old can of hash found on the railroad tracks
  • A decrepit straight razor collected from Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina
  • A safe from the offices of a Street Newspaper in Washington, D.C.
  • And a Trajectory of Tramp Headgear from the Costumes and Textiles Category

These are just some of the artifacts from the permanent collection on display through the summer in our vitrines. Each item is displayed in dim, but reverent cabinet and accompanied by profuse an effusive labeling material. Interns are numbering, cataloging and photographing the collection for our wiki as we speak. Come and witness the process.
And don't be afraid to bring us your own Tramp (or Hobo) artifacts, if you have found any. The Main Street Museum has never met an artifact that it didnt like.


What is a hobo? We're all familiar with the ragged figure with a bundle on a stick, traveling by freight train. But a more interesting question might be, "who is a hobo, and why?"

Tramps and their Cars. Denys Wortman 1930. From the collection of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

Our Tramp and Hobo Symposium begins this Friday, May 1st in a groundbreaking series of special events and special exhibits this May through August,. The Main Street Museum will investigate and celebrate the American wanderer with readings, movies, concerts, cookouts, lectures and more.

The tramp, the hobo, the wanderer - the unemployed, uprooted American, or simply anyone who can't rest easy without knowing what's around the next bend in the road - have a social pedigree that runs from the wilderness and Walt Whitman's "Open Road," right through to the songs of Bruce Springsteen, and today's news headlines about migrant workers, homelessness and economic upheaval.

Parking—Urgent Notice!

Vehicles parked next door on Daniel Johnson's property or at the Home Comfort Warehouse WILL BE TOWED AT OWNERS EXPENSE!
Please park on any of White River Junction's streets. They are quite safe. Railroad Row is close by. Public parking lots are conveniently located by the Courthouse and Railroad Depot across the street from the front of our building. Our small parking lot in the back of the building may be full. Please do not park in it unless you are familiar with the parking situation here.

DO NOT park cars on our right-of-way on the side of our building, on property of Daniel Johnson or Everything Glass directly next door or at the Home Comfort Warehouse in back of the Museum! CARS WILL BE TOWED FROM OUR NEIGHBORS PROPERTY, and from our Right-Of-Way!

Bob Pickering is in charge of parking on our neighbors property. He wears a baseball style cap, or other hat, and is sometimes followed closely by his partner Elizabeth who carries a tiny dog. The museum has filed "Notice Against Trespass" papers against Mr. Pickering. Please alert museum staff if they are seen on museum property, or if they approach museum patrons. THE MAIN STREET MUSEUM TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACTIONS OF EITHER BOB OR ELIZABETH PICKERING
Daniel Johnson, property owner of the former "ProCam" building employs Mr. Pickering. In the event of trouble or concerns please report his actions directly to Mr. Johnson at, or 802-291-7080 or to the Hartford Police, 802.295.9425.

We're sorry for all the trouble —The Management.