General Lew Wallace Museum, Crawfordsville, IN

This place was formerly known as the Ben Hur Museum. Since more people have heard of Ben Hur than Lew Wallace, I’m not sure why they changed the name. In addition to Ben Hur, the best-selling novel of the 19th century, Wallace also wrote The Fair God, The Prince of India and a very overlong autobiography. He served in the Civil War (where, apparently bored with his assignment, left his division and never returned), the Mexican War. At age 71, he tries to volunteer for the Spanish-American War. President Rutherford B. Hayes appoints him the Governor of the New Mexico Territory in 1878. In 1881, President Garfield appoints him as the US Minister to Turkey where he becomes good friends with Sultan Abdul Hamid II. As second in command at the trial of the Lincoln assassins, he makes paintings of the proceedings. The “study,” which acts as the museum, is an isolated building in the middle of a large estate that can be best described as a 19th century man cave.