One Man, One Mission, One heck of a good time! (7/21/03)

Last updated 7/27/03                                                                                                                                                     Russian translation here

Both "Eccentric America" and "Roadtrip America" convinced us that we had to visit TinkerTown during our drive through New Mexico. This place does not disappoint, and if you ever have the chance I would highly recommend this place -- whether you're a kid, or just a kid at heart, you'll have an amazingly good time looking at all the fun stuff there is in this place. It was built by a single person, Jim Ross (I believe), who started out by building his own miniature wild-west town set as a kid, and then rediscovered this hobby as an adult to build what is now TinkerTown. The whole place consists of various wild-west miniature sets,  working circus sets, and wonderful quirky signs (all done in beautiful circus script -- Jim painted signs for circuses at some point in his career, see the sign below for an example), all with an exquisiste amount of detail in them. They are many sets which are animated in some fasion, with little western miniatures who move around, or sing, or play instruments, or just go about the jobs that they would be doing if they were real live people. There are miniature circuses, and too many other things to mention. It's the most fun I've had in a long time, and the current owner, Carla Ross, Jim's wife, has done a great job of promoting his legacy. Carla is one of the friendliest people you could hope to meet, and we chatted for quite some time and learned a lot about each other and about TinkerTown.

Note for Carla: I learned from my father that the folk artist you spoke of is Nick Chand (spelling questionable), and he made the "Rock Garden" in Chandigarh. I'll be sure to visit the Rock Garden during our trip to India and will post information and pictures on the website.

Note: The pictures shown here can hardly do this place justice, so believe me, if you're ever in the region, you definitely should stop here (you'll even get a little pushpin to put on a large map of the world to mark your home town).


       Daria outside the museum       Sign says "Tinkertown museum" in Bulgarian       At the entrance to the Tinkertown museum.

Carla, the owner, with her dog Radar       Daria with Radar       The wall is made of discarded bottles       Got bottles? Use them as wall building material!

Exhibit       Wild West Town exhibit       Saloon       Motto       Tinkertown exhibits