Tiny Wallsburg quietly home to massive antique car and motorcycle collection
Jun 16, 2023, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
WALLSBURG, Wasatch County — It’s hidden by hillsides and tucked between acres of lush green farmland up a quiet country road.
So driving along U.S. 189 around the eastern flank of Deer Creek Reservoir, it might be easy to dismiss the turnoff to Wallsburg as nothing more than a wide spot in the road on the way to scenic countryside somewhere else.
And yet if you skip Wallsburg, Russell D. Baker will tell you you’re missing one of the most unique collections of antique and one-of-a-kind cars, motorcycles, tractors, and other Americana amassed practically anywhere.
“It takes 3 days to see it all and truly soak it up and allow yourself to do a little time traveling,” Baker said. “We have 24 buildings here full of treasures.”
Baker is the curator and chairman of the Richard W. Erickson Foundation Antique & Classic Power Museum located at 50 Starks Lane.
The museum boasts automotive classics dating back to the early 1900s, including rare gems like the 1913 Pierce-Arrow 48-B Runabout Car and scores of antique Indian and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Some of the rides—such as a 1919 Rumely Oil Pull tractor—are in working order.
Many of the pieces on their own would probably headline individual private collections, and yet they were all collected by one man.
“He’s my dad—yeah,” Pam Williams, daughter of the late Richard W. Erickson and lead event coordinator and secretary at the museum said. “It’s one man’s collection and he started out with tractors.”
Williams said when her dad, a man who found success in the construction industry, bought the property originally, it was meant to simply house tractors.
“He was obsessed I guess you could say with the engine itself—the power behind an engine and what it could do,” Williams said. “From there it just took off.”
Williams said the museum now boasts Erickson’s collection of more than 150 antique motorcycles, 200 cars and roughly 200 tractors.
“My dad wanted it under the radar, you know,” Williams said. “He didn’t want it publicized as much as we are now.”
The Wallsburg location was Erickson’s home originally, and Williams said he always appreciated the community there.
“He loved the mountains, my dad did,” Williams said. “He liked the valley itself and just hit home, I guess.”
The family as it has grown the museum over the past 2 decades has also transplanted more than a handful of historic buildings, including Williams’ great-grandmother’s cabin from Minnesota.
The museum hosts 3 major events a year, including the upcoming Antique Power Show, June 23-25.
Williams said the family and foundation hope to continue to build onto Erickson’s legacy into the future.
“We’re really bringing the public into it, want to share it with the community and, you know, the passion he had for antiques and history,” Williams said. “I think he’d be happy.”