Want a SUPER trip idea? Take a couple of days to step into comic book lore! Explore the hometown of a famous superhero. Metropolis, Illinois, is the "Hometown of Superman."
The town celebrates its local hero in every possible manner. The souvenir store offers “the largest selection of Superman items on this planet.” The local bank is "home of super financial services."
The town newspaper is called The Metropolis Planet. A grocery store sign reads: "Just as Superman stands for truth, justice and the American Way, Food World stands for quality, convenience and friendly service." At one time free packets of Kryptonite were given to children until it was deemed “unapproved Kryptonite” and is no longer allowed. The town’s large welcome billboard is, most likely, the only sign of its kind that boasts a larger-than-life flying Superman.
The “Man of Steel” original statue guarding the courthouse steps on the square was continually perforated by vandals. He was replaced by a twelve-foot-tall, two-ton, “projectile-proof bronze Superman.” Funding was provided by citizens purchasing engraved bricks for $35 each until their goal of $120,000 was reached.
Other interesting fun attractions in town include: the Lois Lane bronze statue, Kryptonite, Big John the grocery clerk giant statue, as well as the statue of Superman.
The super Superman Museum includes a vast private collection of Superman mania including George Reeves' belt and the Power Crystal from the 1979 movie. Superman comic book lore states that Clark Kent did not emerge as Superman until he moved to Metropolis. “Metropolis would be Superman's hometown since it is the first place on earth he appeared and was named Superman. He was merely Superboy in Smallville.”
Fort Massac State Park is nearby and includes a replica of the 1802 fort on the Ohio River that was on site. The historic fort area contains two barracks, three block houses, officer quarters, well, stockade and a fraise fence. Originally, the French built a fort on the land in 1757.
After being destroyed the fort was reconstructed in 1794. It served as a military post for the next twenty years. Damaged by the infamous New Madrid earthquake of 1811-12, Fort Massac was abandoned in 1814, its timbers “scavenged by local settlers.” In 1839 the town of Metropolis was platted near the fort grounds. The town was situated high above the river, with the hope that it would become a major transportation port. During the early years of the Civil War the fort was used as a training camp.
Metropolis is located 315 miles from the Lake of the Ozarks. Travel I-24 to Exit 37 or choose a cross-country route for welcoming stops along the way. Visitors will find clean and moderately-priced lodging in town as well as a good selection of eateries in town. Have a super time in Metropolis!
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