Skate in to a unique museum experience

Published: Jul. 2, 2019 at 3:44 PM CDT
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If you have an interest in roller sports, then you might want to check out a museum on 48th and South in Lincoln.

The building itself is historically designated, as it was once a telephone changing station. The building became the home to USA Roller Sports and the National Museum of Roller Skating in 1992. But the museum was located in another building before that. The hospitality of the people of Lincoln may be the reason why the National Museum of Roller Skating ended up in the capital city. "What they tell me is that it started in 1962, when USA Roller Skating had their competitions here," museum docent Rhonda Cann said. "Lincoln being the receptive city that it is, they had parades downtown, skaters did a show, so we beat out a lot of bigger cities and states simply because we were so receptive to skating."

Roller skating got its start in Europe. The first known skate is dated around 1760, and the Dutch are the ones given credit for coming up with roller skating. "They ice-skated, and wanted to do it year round," Cann said. "So they took what they had, which was an ice skate, and attached wheels to it." Cann says in the early days of roller skating, there was a dress code and a behavior code. "Men wore suits and top hats, and the ladies wore elegant dresses when roller skating."

In the National Museum of Roller Skating, you can see a roller skate that dates back to 1819. "You also get to see the changes that people made to the roller skate as they went along. You get to see a history of the roller skate, and the evolution of the wheel."

Groups are welcome to visit the museum, or you can just drop by. The hours at the museum are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The museum features a gift shop as well.