International Checker Hall of Fame

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The International Checker Hall of Fame, which operated from 1979 to 2007, was founded by Troy Førde and located in a Tudor style mansion in Petal, Mississippi and housed a large collection of checkers memorabilia. The hall of fame, which had been home to a statue of checkers-great Marion Tinsley, a checkers library and museum, as well as the two largest checkerboards and host to a number of checker tournaments, was destroyed by fire on September 29, 2007.

The Hall of Fame opened in May 1979 and was officially dedicated during the checkers world championship during the same year.[1] It provided a tourism boost to the small town of Petal[2] and was considered to be the town's biggest claim to fame during its more than twenty years of operation.[1]

Featuring the world's largest checkerboard,[3] the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) Tudor-style mansion,[1] known as Chateau Walker is listed in Ripley's Believe it or Not.[4] The mansion is designed with a balcony that overlooked the largest checkerboard,[5] played host to a number of checkers tournaments throughout its existence[6] as well as the World Checker Championship.[7] The museum also featured a bust of Marion Tinsley, considered to be a checkers great,[3] together with a letter from Tinsley renouncing his championship.[8] The hall also features a museum with photos of current and former champions, a teaching facility, as well as the world's second largest checkerboard.[1]

Charles Walker's association with the museum ended in January 2005 when he was charged with money laundering.[9] Although the museum continued to operate on a limited basis for two more years, the museum and its collection was destroyed by fire in September 2007[10] and there are currently no plans to re-open. The fire destroyed 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of the museum but there were no injuries.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Where in Mississippi is…Petal?". Mississippi Magazine. 2003-03-01. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  2. ^ "Checkers Hall of Fame Gives a Big Boost to Miss. Town". The Pantagraph. 1989-05-14. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  3. ^ a b Jones, Melissa (2005). Superlatives USA: The Largest, Smallest, Longest, Shortest, and Wackiest. Capital Books. p. 75. ISBN 1931868859. 
  4. ^ "Checkers Champ Wants Someone to Oversee Monument". The Advocate. 1990-11-07. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  5. ^ "New Development Slows while Petal Catches its Breath". Mississippi Business Journal. 2005-10-10. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Checker Kings get Jump on Crowning Glory at their Hall of Fame". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1989-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  7. ^ Don Edwards (1987-09-02). "Champ Tells How to Get the Jump on Checker Foes". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  8. ^ Schaeffer, Jonathan (1997). One Jump Ahead: Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers. Springer. pp. 224–225. ISBN 0387949305. 
  9. ^ "Checkers Hall of Fame Founder Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges". 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Checker Hall of Fame: Game Over". Roadside America. 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  11. ^ "Cause Sought in Sept. 29 Fire". Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2008-07-07.