Mad Anthony Wayne's bone boiling kettle.

Mad Anthony Wayne's Kettle of Death

Field review by the editors.

Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie still goes ga-ga over Mad Anthony Wayne, the post-Revolutionary War hero who died here after fighting Indians in Ohio. Mad Anthony was buried in Erie, but 13 years later his daughter asked that his bones be dug up and brought to the family burial plot in Radnor, Pennsylvania, some 400 miles away. The gravediggers, however, encountered a setback: Mad Anthony hadn't decomposed! At a loss for what to do, Erie hacked up Mad Anthony and boiled the flesh off of him in a big pot, then sent the bones east to Radnor.

The boiling cauldron is now a favorite exhibit at the Erie County History Center. It's displayed with cartoon-like "bones" floating in it and wood piled beneath, illuminated by a fake fire. A period illustration placed next to the pot shows a cadaver-like Wayne sitting in his Chair of Death (which is also displayed).

Other memorable exhibits at the Center include "Washington's Teeth" (a set of generic lead dentures) and a wax dummy of Henry Francisco, "the first man hanged under civil law in Erie County." Henry is displayed with a noose.

Mad Anthony was apparently unhappy about being posthumously chopped up and boiled. Sighting of his ghost have been reported on January 1 (his birthday), wandering along US 322, apparently trying to get to Radnor to get his bones back.

Mad Anthony Wayne's Kettle of Death

Erie County History Center

419 State St., Erie, PA
Erie County History Center. Downtown. Take I-79 north until it ends, then continue another two miles on Bayfront Parkway. Turn right onto State St. On State St. between 4th and 5th Sts, on the east side.
W-Sa 11 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Where Mad Anthony Wayne DiedWhere Mad Anthony Wayne Died, Erie, PA - < 1 mi.
Statue Of LiberfrogStatue Of Liberfrog, Erie, PA - 1 mi.
Car Creatures - VW Bug SpiderCar Creatures - VW Bug Spider, Erie, PA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Lake Erie Pirate Ship Derelict, Barcelona, NY - 29 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Pennsylvania

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Pennsylvania.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 10, 2015

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Pennsylvania Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa (Oct 5-11, 2015)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Erie, Pennsylvania

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now