It’s nearly impossible to miss the Hammer Museum in Haines: It’s the building next to the giant hammer. The museum got its start when founder Dave Pahl brought home one too many hammers and his wife suggested that a new plan for his collection might be in order. So he moved them out to a small house of their own, hanging his beloveds between, suitably, nails. And he knows the pieces in the collection from tip to tip. Seriously: When it comes to hammers, you can ask him anything. Though the museum might have had a quirky start, Pahl is the go-to source for all things hammer for museum curators and professors around the country.
Want to learn how to handle a hammer and the history behind it? Then this is the place to come. This quirky, nonprofit museum says it is the “world’s first museum dedicated to preserving the history of the hammer.” Located in a small house, the museum features approximately 1,500 varieties of hammers through the ages along with hammer sculptures and displays about hickory—the wood commonly used for hammer handles. The museum is run by volunteers and open seasonally from May to September.