Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 30, 2007

Hudson car museum, Town Center to open in Shipshe

In July, Eldon Hostetler’s dream of a home for his Hudson car collection will finally come true.

Eldon is the owner of 46 restored Hudson cars, which will be displayed in the Hudson museum located in Shipshewana’s New Town Center, 760 S. Van Buren St.. Along with the Hudson museum, the Town Center includes the LaGrange County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Shipshewana Historical Society, Retail Merchant’s Association and indoor and outdoor event space.

The construction of the Town Center is scheduled to be completed by today. Then the moving in will begin and after that is finished the center will be opened.

Eldon, who is mechanically minded like his grandfather, fell in love with this unique car at the age of 14 when he worked with his grandfather, David Schrock, who owned three threshing machines he rented out to farmers all during threshing season. His grandfather lived 500 feet from Eldon’s home, and was a big influence in his life.

In 1925 David traded his steam engine for a 20-40 Huber tractor for a belt-powered threshing machine. They had to put heavy oil into the tractor, and when cold weather set in they were unable to start the tractor. His grandfather took a generator starter combination from a Buick car and bolted the flywheel onto the tractor flywheel, which on completion allowed Eldon, who was 4 or 5 years of age, to push a button to start the tractor. This was such a novelty that men came from the factory to investigate. Continuing to work with his grandfather fed his mechanical ability.

Growing up in an Amish family, Eldon was the eldest of 13 children born to Mahlon and Lizzie Hostetler, and he was taught early in life to help farm his family’s 90 acres and his grandfather’s 100 acres. They had horses, cows, pigs, chickens and sheep, so he was well acquainted with the care of all the animals on the farm. He never joined the Amish Church, but he did join a Conservative Mennonite Church.

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