National Museum of Roller Skating

National Museum of Roller Skating

The National Museum of Roller Skating, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, was established in 1980 to provide the public with an experience to reflect and understand the sport and recreation of roller skating and its history. I learned that after the U.S. Civil War James L. Plimpton invented the first steerable roller skate. He then opened the first successful commercial roller skating rink. Roller skating achieved great popular support during the period 1870-1890. This small museum is located amidst the offices of USA Roller Sports. It has exhibits of unusual skates, displays of skate and wheel evolution, vaudeville acts, speed and figure skating stars and their costumes, rink organs, hockey and roller derby. I was surprised to learn that Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic gold medalist in ice skating, started her career roller skating. I found a sticker for Oaks Rink, Oregon in a display roller skating rinks. This is where my church group would go for an annual outing during my youth years. Later, when I worked at Wyalusing Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, once a month I would take teenagers to Fennimore for roller skating. The National Museum of Roller Skating brought back pleasant memories to me.

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