Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum
July 24, 2014 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Who wants elephants and candy? Inspired by the post on the troll museum... if you're ever driving Route 30 in Pennsylvania, heading towards Gettysburg, you may pass by Mister Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium.

Mister Ed Gotwalt started collecting elephants after receiving one as a wedding gift. The collection got large enough that his wife demanded they be moved out of the house--and hence he opened a museum in 1975. He eventually acquired 10,000 elephants and about 50,000 visitors a year. Some of them are pretty unusual. Be sure to keep an eye out for the giant elephant (Miss Ellie) in the front and the potty chair.

But in the summer of 2010, there was a fire that destroyed the museum. With the help of friends and a "Save the Elephants" day, more elephants were cleaned and preserved from the ashes. Approximately 2,000 elephants were lost, but a mosaic was made for the new museum from the broken parts of unsalvageable elephants. More than a thousand elephants were donated to the museum to replace the ones that were lost. He now claims to have over 12,000 elephants.

In addition to the building full of elephants and candy, there are various elephants and other statuary outside on the yard, and lovely gardens. Mister Ed has a wall in the back with photos of himself with the many famous people he's met over the years. Mister Ed was also in a movie or two. And if you want to buy candy or an elephant, this is one of the top ten places to buy souvenirs.

If you're driving through the area this summer, he's putting on free concerts. If you can't make it, here's a quick video tour. Squidoo also has some good photos. And here's more Mister Ed on video and in an interview. And just for fun, check Google Images, because holy crap.
posted by jenfullmoon (4 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is charming! I have only ever been to the Land of Little Horses by Gettysburg, but this seems worth a stop next time.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:05 AM on July 25, 2014

I've been there! Pity about the fire; I hadn't heard about it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:12 AM on July 25, 2014

That was about the prettiest website I've ever seen.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:36 AM on July 25, 2014

Been there, bought the candy. I'd like to see the elephants labeled, however; I'd be fine with country-of-origin and material-carved-from.
posted by acrasis at 4:14 PM on July 25, 2014

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