American Dime Museum Escapes Horrifying Death!
The American Dime Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, which teetered on the brink of oblivion in 2005, has survived to amaze visitors in 2006. Those who like to look at mummified Peruvian Amazons and petrified Presidential poop should get out and visit this place, quick.
The museum, a tribute to the freak shows and "cabinets of curiosity" of the 19th and 20th centuries, and a labor of love of historian and artist Dick Horne, was scheduled to close its doors forever on December 31, 2005, due to a lack of operating capital. But an enthusiastic public, coupled with Horne's reluctance to break up his unique collection, convinced him to keep the museum open for at least the immediate future as a by-appointment attraction.
"The moral support was outstanding," Horne recalled of the December rush of visitors after the media reported his museum's impending demise. "People were literally lined up around the block. They came in from all over the country. I'd never seen anything like it."
Horne has condensed the museum from two buildings to one, but he's managed to keep most of his exhibits on display. The only noteworthy casualty has been the aquarium of snakehead "Frankenfish," who have been exiled to a friend's home in Pennsylvania.
For individual visitors or small groups, Horne plans to open the Dime Museum for perhaps two days a month, maybe on alternating Saturdays (He's still working out a schedule.). Large groups can call ahead for private tours. Horne has also added a traveling sideshow for special events, taking the museum to the people.
The Dime Museum is still an attraction on the brink, so rich people and arts organizations are encouraged to give it a call, where their money -- a mere $40,000 for a year -- will be put to good use. America deserves a place where people can see fossilized minotaurs and two-headed pigs!
- 2007 - Closed - collection auctioned.