ABOUT THE MUSEUM
It all started more than 20 years ago when a group of dedicated towing professionals, the Friends of Towing, decided to recognize outstanding individuals in the towing and recovery industry worldwide, record the industry’s history, collect and display artifacts and memorabilia in a museum setting, and provide information about the industry to the public. The first Hall of Fame class consisted of 27 members and today has grown to include over 300 distinguished towing professionals.
In its humble beginnings, the Friends of Towing displayed the Hall of Fame and Museum in a semi-trailer and drove it to and from towing and recovery industry trade shows across the country. In 1995 when it came time to settle down in one permanent location, the organization decided on the scenic city of Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga had been credited as the birthplace of the tow truck thanks to inventor Ernest Holmes Sr. Holmes and his son Ernest Holmes Jr. would go on to establish a major towing manufacturer named the Ernest Holmes Company. Today, the museum has evolved from the humble Friends of Towing into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. In 2006, the museum dedicated a Memorial, The Wall of the Fallen, in honor of men and women who had lost their lives in the line of service. In 2007, at the first Wall of the Fallen dedication service, 94 names where added. Since its establishment, the names of towing operators who have lost their lives are added to the wall during a special ceremony in September.
The International Towing Museum is the only place in the world that offers a close encounter with a tow truck that is actually fun, positive, and nostalgic.
I am the sister of someone who was placed on this Wall of Fallen in 2016. This is not a club I wish to be a part of but I am proud to have had a chance to save others. Last week, my family and I visited the museum. There were so many men and women who have lost their lives and sadly, that number goes up yearly. I met an employee and he informed to that the Survivor Flag has been at half staff more this year than ever before. For those of you who don't know, the survivor flag is lowered to half staff each time a Tow Truck Operator is killed in the line of duty.
Pictured below is my Father taking a moment to admire his son, even if it is from the Wall of Fallen.
Photography: Anna Findley Photography