Take the ride. [video by Rod J. Eckrich]


A view of The Region’s curiosities from the car window

When I was a passenger in a car as a kid, different things I’d see on the side of the road would fascinate me. From muffler men outside car shops to deer in people's yards—I thought that stuff was pretty cool. While plenty of “roadside attractions” still exist, it seems there isn't an abundance of such displays as there were in the past.

However, during my travels in The Region, I stumbled upon a lot of stuff I wanted to share.

I got the inspiration for this project when the Ramblers took a trip to Lowell High School to check out the school’s art gallery. While heading south on U.S. 41, I noticed a few peculiar things in someone's yard: a piece from a McDonald’s playground set and a tepee. The thought that someone had something so strange in his or her yard got me to thinking about stuff in the area, from the bull on top of Howard & Sons Meats to the bulldogs seen around Crown Point.

In my images, I excluded some notable roadside attractions that have appeared in other Rambler pieces—the iron men sculpture at Ridge Road and Columbia Avenue in Munster, for instance—and some corporate icons such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket and the jaguar at Napleton Auto Werks dealership in Schererville.

The communities I visited were Munster, Portage, Schererville, Griffith, Hammond, Whiting, Highland, Lowell, Hebron, Hobart, Lake Station, New Chicago, East Chicago, Michigan City, Cedar Lake, Dyer, Winfield, Valparaiso, Merrillville, Gary, Crown Point, and Sumava Resorts.

I’m sure there are plenty more because sometimes we just pass by these things without even noticing.

If you have any photos of interesting objects or sites I may have overlooked, please email me at rodjeckrich@regionrambler.com.