Bonjour, amoureux de l’étrange!
Finally, we have reached the 48th state on this 48 state road trip: Washington.
If you’ve been reading long enough, you will not be surprised to know that my first stop is a museum.
This is not just any old museum. This, ladies and gentlemen, is MARSH’S FREE MUSEUM– 409 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, WA.
Befitting of a northwestern beach town, Marsh’s Free Museum is a place where you can browse souvenirs and, as a bonus, oddities from the past. Yes, at Marsh’s, they welcome and fully embrace the Pacific NorthWEIRD!
… I got that from the website, I cannot take any credit… or blame.
Since 1953, visitors have been able to stop here and pick up a little something to make their friends back home jealous.
Visitors also have been coming in all of these years for the amusement of the museum’s oddities collection, such as the Victorian era stereoscope machines.
You can also find a shrunken head (allegedly one of only three authentic specimens on the West Coast), a full human skeleton in a closet (hey, at least they are open about theirs!), a tape worm in a jar (I decided to not include the picture, but to let you come and choose whether you look at it or not), but probably the most notorious of the collections here is the Wild Taxidermy Collection.
It is notorious because of this guy.
Meet Jake the Alligator Man. He joined the museum in 1967 and has been the main attraction ever since. He has a fan club you can join, souvenirs you can purchase, and an annual 75th birthday that you can celebrate.
Apparently, he is human enough to be in denial of his real age.
The celebration includes a car show, a burlesque bachelor party, a Bride of Jake contest, and lots of colorful characters. This all takes place August 4th and 5th, so quick! Make those travel plans!
Another draw to the museum is the fact that it is across the street from the WORLD’S LARGEST* FRYING PAN- Pacific Ave. and 5th St.
*disputable, according to several sources
Created in 1941, the pan stands 14 1/2 feet tall and is commemorative of the town’s annual Razor Clam Festival.
Come to Long Beach for the… long beach… hang out for a while to view a wide variety of oddities, and leave a fan of Jake the Alligator Man.
Until next time, dahlings…