I am on a mission.
I check into Riverview Mansion Bed & Breakfast for the night, but I hardly take in the ornate Victorian beauty surrounding me in this mansion overlooking the Ohio River when I am out the door and back in my car again. This is Metropolis and, according to the State of Illinois Legislature, the hometown of Superman.
My first stop is the iconic 15-foot tall Superman statue on Superman Square. After taking a few photos I next head for Super Museum just across the street.
I am lucky enough to be greeted by the museum owner and curator Jim Hambrick. He opened the museum and adjacent store (with about anything you could ever want to remember your visit to Metropolis) in 1993.
“I started in 1959 while investigating the murder of George Reeves,” says Hambrick who lived 15 years in Los Angeles before settling in Metropolis 25 years ago.
His museum features more than 20,000 items. “I only have on display about 10 percent of what I have,” he says.
Superman first appeared on the scene in 1938 when the first comic book was published. Since then, the adventures of Superman have morphed into radio and television shows, movies, newspaper strips and video games. The museum is considered one of the greatest collections of Superman memorabilia in the world. Hambrick’s museum covers all 80 years.
I am immediately impressed with the vast assemblage of all things “super” when I walk into the museum. There are a lot of visitors this day and we quietly, almost reverently, walk through the museum. I feel great respect for Hambrick who has successfully corralled the visage of Superman in this large museum space.
There are toys from every era, movie and television props including “Smallville” and “Man of Steel,” and one of the only George Reeves Superman costumes still in existence.
I spend nearly an hour making my way through the massive museum before heading to another tribute to the Superman universe — a statue of actress Noel Neill who played Lois Lane in the 1950s TV series, “The Adventures of Superman.”
The statues and the museum make this a great place to visit. There are also several historic attractions and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Metropolis is simply a “super” destination!Tags: Illinois