A Walt Disney tribute in Marceline was considered as far back as nineteen-fifty-six. Immediately following Walt and Roy’s visit that year, the Marceline City Council voted to pursue the possibility of a Walt Disney museum. Though he accepted many awards for his work, Walt wasn’t interested in being honored with a museum during his lifetime. It was more than four decades later that the Walt Disney Hometown Museum was established.
As the last sibling, Walt’s sister Ruth Flora Disney Beecher became the keeper of the family mementos and artifacts. It was Ruth’s intention that people better understand who her brother was through examination of these intimate letters, candid family photographs, and personal items. It was also her desire that this collection be displayed in Marceline – the one location that meant so much to Walt, the Disney family, and close friends. Over three-thousand items, donated by Ruth when she passed away in nineteen-ninety-five, became the foundation of The Walt Disney Hometown Museum.
In two-thousand-and-one, the museum was originally intended to be a three-day experience in commemoration of what would have been Walt Disney’s one-hundredth birthday. Once the birthday festivities ended, so would the museum.
However, those 3 days revealed the importance of the exhibits and the destination. Public interest and the love of Walt caused the museum to remain open and evolve into what it is today.
In the year twenty-twenty-one, the Walt Disney Hometown Museum celebrated its twentieth year.