Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum

Located west of Gettysburg in the small town of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, a unique place catches your eye. The 9 1/2 foot tall elephant along the road is a good indication you're in for a special treat. This elephant will even teach you about the area, tell a few jokes, then gets ready to go back to napping. Her name is Miss Ellie, she's operated by an electric eye and has moving eyes and ears. Her owner, Mr. Ed Gotwalt has become sort of fascinated with these docile creatures.

Ed received his first elephant in 1967 as a wedding gift. Elephants are thought to bring good luck, particularly if it's trunk is in the air. Ed started out in the peanut business - in fact he still is. Guess who ever got Ed this gift had quite a sense of humor. Ed then began collecting elephants himself, figuring it would help to promote his peanut business. Ed's collection began to grow and in 1975 his wife made him open a museum, as they were beginning to overcome their home.

Inside the museum you'll find over 6,000 elephants. Included are toys, pins, stuffed animals, and collectibles. Mister Ed's has the distinction of being one of the largest and most unique elephant collections in the world. Though on a somber summer day in 2010, some vandals found enjoyment in destroying one man's passion. Mister Ed's Elephant Museum became a target of arson. The fire destroyed nearly 1/3 of Ed's collection. Thankfully lots of community support helped to liven the spirits of Ed. More than 1,000 elephants were donated to help build the museum collection.

Having never been dissuaded helped Mister Ed to re-live his dream, a brand new elephant museum has recently opened. Complete with two new elephant sculptures created out of the salvaged pieces and remains of the former collectibles that were destroyed.

Mister Ed is even sort of a celebrity in the area as he's been featured in the offbeat comedy "Route 30", and will make a return in the upcoming sequel. After enjoying all of Mister Ed's elephants be sure to visit the candy room, one of the largest in the area specializing in candy from the 5 and dime days. And of course Ed still carries his famous roasted peanuts, what better way to celebrate a day of elephants and a man's passion than with a big bag of peanuts.

Inside look at original Mister Ed's

Return look at New Mister Ed's

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