With the Foundation's help, Tom & Debbie McKee are building a museum to document 100 years of transportation from horses to outer space. Learn more about their Century Transportation Museum here.
Tom Mckee: I’m Tom McKee and I represent the Century Transportation Museum. We’re from Terra Alta, West Virginia in Preston County.
Debbie McKee: In the Century Transportation Museum our goal is to have 10 dioramas telling the history of automobiles from horseback to outer space. And have exhibits of aircrafts, automobiles, motorcycles and house any other memorabilia that has the history to share it with Preston County and Tucker County and throughout the state of West Virginia for tourism.
Tom McKee: And you forgot to say your name.
Debbie McKee: Oh I’m sorry. And my name is Debbie McKee.
Tom McKee: In 1986 we bought the property that’s going to house the Century Transportation Museum and it has a small grass runway suitable for vintage aircraft. The event center we have been working on for five years. This is just the first of a campus of buildings, 44 by 60’. We’ll put a permanent motorcycle display in there. We’ll continue to develop small buildings until we get one building big enough to house the aircraft.
Last year with the help of the Foundation we were able to enclose the building and put doors on it. This year our main work is to start insulating and go ahead and go ahead and finish the interior of the building. We have hopes that we’ll be able to start our exhibit by Spring or Summer at the latest.
We actually have a quite big vision. We’re hoping that we’re going to impact the entire world. There really has never been a motorsports park or museum in America that’s encompassed all forms of transportation. There’s aircraft museums. There’s motorcycle museums. And car museums. Nobody has ever encompassed all the forms of transportation in one place.
[The impact is] when people come that knew me as a child, they’re in their 70s and 80s, and they come with tears in their eyes saying we’ve accomplished and kept the heritage alive of what we all lived for.
Debbie McKee: May I add one thing to that? We had a national racer that came and laid out our grass track the very first year that we had the motorcycle event. He and another racer had not seen each other for like 40 years and they saw each other there and reunited. It was just so refreshing to see the uniting of friends. We say now, “ We’re a family.” We are not just people. We are a family.