Even by wax museum standards the Mammoth Cave Wax Museum was outdated. In their Oval Office the most recent president was Jimmy Carter, but for some reason they let Nixon sit at the desk. I guess I wouldn't want to argue with him either.
And they crammed Nobel Peace prize winner Ralph Bunche in there too. Maybe they were hoping people would think he was Obama.
Each display was behind worn plexiglass. As you moved to the next diorama the light would slowly cut on and a narrator would chime in explaining who the people in the room were.
There were some odd mixes as they seemed to struggle to find themes for each room.
Here we have Marion Anderson, Robert Kennedy, Billy Graham and the Pope.
The age of the museum really shows during the Dolly Parton presentation as they talk about her as a rising star in Country Music.
The place had some definite charm, as it was one of the last pure roadside wax museums......
Here are a few more notables from the Museum.
Robert E Lee and Andrew Jackson hanging out in a barn....
German dwarf scientist that I forgot the name of.....
Geronimo in blue jeans.........
Then the bad news struck. Less then a year after I visited the Museum shuttered its doors and auctioned off all the figures. My hopes of maybe snagging one was dashed when I saw what they were going for. They started off at 1,000 dollars. Even this guy.......
But it turned out that the news would not all be sad. 35 of the figures were purchased by a man in Warm Springs, GA who sprung to action and quickly opened up a new museum: Follow the Leaders Wax Museum.
I had a chance to visit it last weekend and see some of my old friends.
The figures looked like they had taken a shower somewhere between Cave City and Warm Springs and were now displayed in well lit displays. Instead of a recording the tour was narratored by a wonderful docent who was not only knowledgeable about the people represented, but had a great appreciation and knowledge of the Wax Figures themselves.
It was great to see the some of the old gang.
Dolly looks great....
Here is Neil Armstrong, sadly he was missing both his moon rock and Sammy Davis Junior.
They were still working one some quirks.....Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt's head keeps falling off.
One thing that the Cave City Museum failed to mention was that some of the figures were actually cast from the people they portrayed. For instance, the Wax Figure of Albert Einstein was actually taken directly from
The fact that the Cave City museum did not mention this is puzzling. Even cooler, the figure is actually autographed by Einstein. This was previously covered by his hair, but the new museum displays him so the signature can be seen.
One of the most interesting stories the docent shared was the creation of their Lincoln assassination scene.
Unfortunately they were out-bid. Lincoln simply was too valuable and expensive, as a president of his stature should be.
However, out of the 35 figures they did purchase they did manage to score "Frank James". The brother of this man: Jesse James.
Apparently Frank was Jesse's older brother and partner. I had never heard of him, but I am guessing he was the Art Garfunkel of the James Brothers.
Of course the Frank James in Cave City, wasn't exactly a spitting image of Frank James. He was an outlaw afterall, so he had a bandanna covering his whole face as he robbed a banker.
When Frank arrived in Warm Springs a worker at the wax museum pulled off the hankerchief and were shocked at what they saw. Frank James was actually a re-purposed spare Lincoln!
The museum had managed to score a Lincoln for a Frank James price!
It was great to see these figures being preserved. I would definitely recommend it for anyone passing through the state of Georgia.
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