EDMORE, Mich. (April 29, 2014) — In the small village of Edmore in northern Montcalm County lies the Old Fence Rider Historical Center and Museum. It’s was started by the Old Fence Rider himself Carm Drain.
Carm is an 83-year-old Korean War veteran rifleman who began collecting barbed wire fence at the ripe age of 12. He’s got 417 pieces of patented barbed wire on display at the museum dating back as early as 1868. His Fence Rider title came from years ago when he was giving a presentation at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek. A student called out “hey old fence rider I have an important question.” The newspaper picked it up the next day in an article and it stuck.
Carm has even garnered attention in places like Branson, Missouri with signed autographs “To The Old Fence Rider” from stars Glen Campbell, Mickey Gilley, and Red Skelton. Carm is also known for appearing in area parades with his famous toilet seat guitar.
The museum itself has been in the same location since the late 1990s. It truly is a must for veterans. It documents everything from the Civil War, to the Korean War, to World War II. Banner headlines from Grand Rapids’ old newspaper The Herald are visible that document the progress of several wars.
Edmore is just about 30 miles from the main Chippewa Indian reservation in Mount Pleasant. The museum also has an American Indian display that is especially a favorite with elementary school kids. There’s a real chuckwagon from the 1800s when people were living life on the western trail and roughed it with iron skillet meals of baked beans and chicory flavored coffee.
You’ll also find some vintage toys, old telephones…including a phone booth, a lumberjack display, and many other historical items indicative of the times once lived in Edmore and Montcalm County.