Miracle of America Museum ~ Polson, Montana

August 30 – 31st ~ Polson, MT

Tim with the owner/collector, Gil Mangels

This was our second experience staying at a Harvest Host location, and it was equally interesting. This is a membership RVing organization that bills itself as “Unique Overnight Stops at Wineries, Farms and Attractions”. Here is a little clip to give you a brief intro into what a stay MAY be like. So far our two stays have been quite different from what is shown in this video, but fun none-the-less. 

Our first stay was a week ago where we stayed at a winery.

This time we were at a museum in Polson, Montana. Arriving late in the afternoon, shortly before the museum closed, we simply checked in and let them know we planned to tour the museum the next morning.

Campsite for one night

The “camp site” was simply parking in their parking lot. Jan and Mark were up against the fence and Tim and I across the driveway, next to some farm equipment. Certainly not an exciting place to park, but boy-oh-boy did the museum experience make up for it the next day.

Miracle of America Museum

In all honesty, if we had just been passing by, we probably would not have bothered to stop. It is not very impressive from the outside, and nothing that drew us in.

Hmmm, what is inside???

It would have been a BIG mistake to have missed seeing it!

Where to begin…

They are located between Kalispell and Missoula, about 2.5 miles south of Polson and Flathead Lake off of Hwy 93.

Gil Mangels is the proprietor, along with his wife, Joanne. Gil has been collecting things since he was a young boy and well into what should have been his golden years, he is STILL collecting. Perhaps borderline hoarder??? One of his staff mentioned that they get quite a few items donated each year after someones grandpa or grandma passes away and Gil is too kind to turn anything down.

Founding the museum back in 1981, they are now a non-profit organization and have welcomed visitors from all over the world.

Soooo much to look at

The inside part of the museum consists of an enormous collection of Americana, including household items, weapons, a two-headed calf, a lot of military memorabilia, a full-sized soda fountain, old toys, posters and framed sheet music. This part was interesting, but a bit overwhelming by how much was in each section.

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The collection of old motorcycles worth a fortune and the soda fountain were the highlights for me.

Indian Motorcycle

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Soda Fountain

But the outside buildings, barns and reconstructed homes spread over several acres was where the FUN stuff was found.

There is simply NO WAY to categorize and sort through all of the bazillion items they have in their inventory, but they have done a decent job of containing and displaying.

Many, many outbuildings to look through at your own pace

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Just some of the oddities and treasures include:

Military trucks, equipment, aircraft, helicopter

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Boats and motors

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Collectible cars

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UFO and Alien dissection room


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Washing Machines, Vacuum Cleaners and Irons

Washing machines

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Cameras, Printing Equipment, Switchboard and Typewriters

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Fire Fighting, Beauty Parlor, Medical and Dental equipment

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Toys for all ages

Big boy toys

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Machinery of all sorts, Snowmobiles

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Old Service Station and General Store

Gas Station

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Plus, plus, plus


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Hours of Operation

9 AM to 5 PM daily

Admission Rates

Under 2 years: Free

Child 2 – 12 years: $3.00

Regular Admission: $6.00

Telephone: (406) 883-6804 or cell (406) 883-6264


Since it is normal to spend only one night at any Harvest Host destination, we moved for our second night in Polson to a KOA site and then checked out downtown Polson and Flathead Lake.

KOA Campground ~ Polson, MT (Flathead Lake in background)

Flathead Lake

Enjoying a shrimp scampi dinner prepared by my sister 🙂

Mark, Jan and Joanne enjoying a yummy dinner together (Tim taking picture)

Coming Next: Continuing our journey south toward Missoula, MT

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we did NOT judge the book by the cover. By remaining “open to the possibilities”, we once again had a unique, fun and memorable day.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in Montana, RV Life, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Miracle of America Museum ~ Polson, Montana

  1. joliesattic says:

    Cool. FYI, I got several black/blank frames on this post. Ooops, never mind just a loading delay. Whew!


  2. Wow! What a great find!


  3. Terry says:

    That looks like a place you can spend an entire day or two just exploring. So many items to look at. I would take so many photos I’d use up an entire memory stick..


  4. Widdershins says:

    Heavens to Murgatriod! I’d never want to leave! 😀


  5. Wow! How interesting. It would have been hard to get me out of there.


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