Posts Tagged ‘souvenirs’

Peanuts ’n More at Mister Ed's Elephant Museum

December 11, 2007

Remember those great gift shops and souvenir stands with all kinds of wacky stuff to buy? And how little (if anything) your parents let you get?? Well you’re grown up — you can stop now and stock up. BUT WAIT! Where’d they all go? Yes, very few survive, so when you do see one, it’s even more important you stop — to satisfy your souvenir craving and to help keep the place in business.


Thankfully in the 20 years I’ve been stopping at Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, it’s only gotten BETTER. Ed Gotwalt received his first elephant as a wedding gift in 1967 and began collecting anything related to the animal. When his collection outgrew the house, he opened a general store to display them. The current location has old-fashioned candy, wacky new candy creations, elephant-themed gifts, and of course, roasted peanuts. The museum holds more than 6,000 elephant collectibles. (Miss Ellie, the talking elephant outisde, says 4,000 in the video below, but I think they forget to tell her the most recent figure.)


Mister Ed’s is located at 6019 Chambersburg Road (between old and new Lincoln Highway routes) between Gettysburg and Chambersburg. It’s open daily 10 am – 5 pm, and admission is FREE.

Try out this video — my first on YouTube! — taken in October with my still digital camera’s video option. It’s only 20 seconds long but you’ll hear the fiberglass Miss Ellie Phant talk a bit about the place.

Now then … should we buy candy or souvenirs??


Fort Cody Trading Post Writes Its History

November 29, 2007

NE_FC logoOne of my favorite stops along the Lincoln Highway is Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Nebraska. Since moving closer to I-80, it’s now a few blocks south of US 30 through town, though the original LH actually followed the Gothenburg Stairstep that came into town from the south on Locust (now Jeffers) Street, so Fort Cody actually overlooks the 1913 LH.

The Henline family has operated numerous businesses along the Lincoln Highway and elsewhere, so they are preparing a booklet detailing their history. Leigh Henline told me, “We are having a company make us a 24 page souvenir book to sell. We are hoping it will be ready in February. It will tell a little bit about the history of Fort Cody, a bit on the Sioux Trading Post and Buffalo Bill Trading Post. Some on the museum, LOTS on the little Buffalo Bill Wild West show (he took hundreds of photos!), and some on the Muffler Man! We are very excited about all this. This guy is also doing a bunch of photo magnets for us on the little Wild West show, due any day.”

Chuck Henline at Fort Cody
Teen-aged Chuck Henline points to the new Muffler Man Indian in the 1970s.

Here are the places the family has operated along the Lincoln Highway:
• Sioux Trading Post, Ogallala, 1952-1969.
• Buffalo Bill Trading Post, US 30 W, North Platte, 1950-1954.
• Fort Cody, US 30 W, North Platte, 1963-1969.
• Present Fort Cody, I-80 Hwy 83, North Platte, 1968 to present.

NE_FC display
Chuck Henline crafted an animated display of their Sioux Trading Post.

The family also operated the Wigwam in Atlanta, Nebraska, and the Seminole Trading Post and Indian Village near Miami. They have some photos displayed on their office walls:

NE_FC Wigwam

I’ll be writing more about their roadside adventures soon, and will post an update when their booklet is published.