Fun fact: Jim Davis — cartoonist and creator of everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving fat cat Garfield — was born and raised in Indiana! In fact, he’s from a small town northeast of Indianapolis called Fairmount, which is situated in Grant County.
If you’re a fan of Jim Davis and Garfield the Cat, then you’re in luck. Grant County is the place to visit to see a vast collection of Jim Davis and Garfield memorabilia. The Jim Davis display, which is housed inside the James Dean Museum (formerly The Fairmount Historical Museum) honors the Hoosier cartoonist’s awards, achievements and, of course, Garfield.
Jim Davis Display and Garfield Collection
Another fun fact: Jim Davis is from Fairmount, Indiana, and so is actor James Dean! There is an entire museum dedicated to James Dean in Fairmount, at the aptly named The James Dean Museum, which is where the Jim Davis display and Garfield collection is housed.
Inside the cozy museum, you’ll find the Jim Davis and Garfield exhibit in a small room on the first floor. In this section, you’ll find displays of Jim Davis and his art supplies, early comic strips and doodles, the desk that Jim Davis worked on when drawing the Garfield comic strips, and display cases full of vintage Garfield toys and collections. The exhibit also shows Jim Davis’ early attempts at comics, and the different ways that Garfield looked as he evolved into the cat we know and love today.
For a more immersive experience, be sure to visit the museum on Mondays, when there are more guides available to tell you the history of the Jim Davis collection. On your way out, visit the gift shop, which includes Garfield souvenirs.
On the museum’s porch, you’ll find a Garfield statue to snap some photos by. The Garfield statue outside of the James Dean Museum is one of the several Garfield statues you’ll find in Grant County along the Garfield Trail.
More Info About the Jim Davis Display and Garfield Collection
Admission to the museum is $5 per person. Because the Jim Davis and Garfield exhibit is contained to just one room, you’ll want to explore the rest of the museum and check out the vast collection of James Dean memorabilia and Fairmount history. There are two floors of artifacts, exhibits, Hollywood props and movie mementos to see and explore at The James Dean Museum, in addition to the Garfield exhibit.
Location: Located inside the James Dean Museum at 203 E. Washington St., Fairmount
Hours: Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Garfield Trail
Jim Davis’s presence is felt all throughout Fairmount and Grant County, and that’s evident when you travel along the Garfield Trail. In honor of Garfield, communities throughout the area have erected statues of Garfield. Each statue is unique and depicts the heritage and character of the location where it was erected. The Garfield Trail is a self-guided, driveable tour, and a way for Garfield fans to explore Grant County and visit 14 unique statues of America’s favorite lasagna-loving fat cat.
The Garfield statues are located in Marion, Gas City, Upland and surrounding Grant County cities. The statues each measure 5 feet in height and depict Garfield in fun outfits or playful situations. Taking a trip along the Garfield trail is a great family activity, and a fun photo opportunity!
More Info About the Garfield Trail
The Garfield Trail is completely self-led and self-guided. But if you’d like to learn more about Jim Davis, Garfield and Grant County while journeying on the Garfield Trail, you can also take the Garfield Trail cell phone tour. Call (765) 997-7034 from each statue for interesting commentary and information on nearby attractions.
Locations: Find the 14 Garfield statue locations by downloading the Garfield Trail brochure and map here.
Dates and Hours: The Garfield Trail is available year round.