I remember walking into the State Historical Society on a field trip as an elementary school kid. It was housed in a large Beaux Arts type building, white and colonaded. Old and kind of musty. But fascinating for me.
This was the "old school" museum, where everything and anything was out for all people to see. A wall of typewriter varieties. The Indian room, back when they called them Indians, with cases full of the different tribal dress and tools. I think that room also had the glass-encased stuffed and mounted animals of every variety and continent you could think of. Big and small, mammals and birds. More than just the fauna of my home state. I seem to recall animals of other continents. Canoes hanging from the ceiling.
The big slice of log with the dates of the Constitution and the Mayflower landing and other historical dates on the poor log. It was in the basement at the entrance to the room full of vehicles. Not the best location, but we school kids knew exactly where it was and would hurry to see it again.
In the vehicles, the huge conestoga type wagon was awe inspiring. The many shiny old cars. Mostly from the 1910s and 1920s, but I wouldn't know that until now.
The airplane that hung over the rotunda opening that you could lean over the rail and look up or down to see other floors covered with nearly every item you could imagine of historical significance, or otherwise.
I just remember the place feeling BIG. And it inspired awe in me. And a hunger to keep reading and looking at the "stuff" for as long as I could. Needless to say, my group had to keep coming back for me, because I would linger in all the stuff.