Good News! Mr. Ed made good on his promise to rebuild! The museum re-opened on February 5, 2011 🙂
Sadly, Mr. Gotwalt’s museum was destroyed by fire on July 5, 2010. My heart aches for all of the memorabilia that can never be replaced. Mr. Ed has indicated to local press that he intends to rebuild. I will post updates as I receive them.
This post is in 2 parts – see the link at the end of this post to continue to part 2
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (and if you don’t . . . what are you waiting for? LOL), you might remember my snake encounter a few weeks ago (more on that to follow). Where was I that day? Why, at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum, along Route 30, near Caledonia State Park.
Where do I begin? Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum houses Ed Gotwalt’s fantastically huge collection of elephant-themed ephemera, statues, carvings, posters, movies, stuffed animals …. you name it. If anyone has ever created anything elephant related; then Mr. Gotwalt probably has at least one in his menagerie.
I have been here before; but it was quite awhile ago. Mr. Ed has most definitely expanded his collection and remodeled the museum since my last visit.
When you enter Mr. Ed’s through the screened-in front porch, the first thing you’ll notice is the devine aroma of roasted peanuts. An antique peanut roaster is ready for action in the corner – it’s a real beauty that started its career on Atlantic City’s boardwalk many years ago. Giant bags of peanuts are stacked nearby and the first wave of Mr. Gotwalt’s elephant collection sits on shelves and hangs from the ceiling.
The next room is the fudge & peanut counter surrounded by seasonal candies and decorations. To the left is an entire cubby full of Pez dispensers of many shapes and sizes. There are Disney Pez, Pez on a keychains, Giant Pez, and more!
Mr. Ed even carries Star Trek and Elvis Pez for the discerning Pez collector 🙂
Moving along, you’ll find the “Wall of Fame”. The wall features clippings and photos of Mr. Ed throughout the years and also includes head shots and candid photos of actors and personalities from the Totem Pole Playhouse (a summer stock theater that is just down the road from the Elephant Museum).
You might notice more than a few photos of Jean Stapleton amongst the collection. Ms. Stapleton and her husband, William H. Putch, owned and operated the nearby Totem Pole Playhouse for 3 decades (prior to his death in 1983). One of my favorite photos on the wall is signed by the cast of all in the family.
The next room will find you surrounded by a huge collection of toys, puppets, gadgets and goodies — the kind that every kid will beg to buy. Beyond that, is an entire room stuffed with boxes, bins, and shelves of old-fashioned candy and novelties!
What’s that you say?
“We haven’t even seen the elephant collection!! “
“What about that snake you mentioned?”
“Why is this post tagged as a movie location!?”