Gardnerville, Nevada: World Famous Fantastic MuseumClosed in Oregon and vanished for nearly 20 years. Collection of oddities, including Olaf the nine-foot-tall giant, and President Martin Van Buren's favorite chair.
Visitor Tips and News About World Famous Fantastic Museum
World Famous Fantastic Museum is now in Gardnerville. It is a great attraction. My son had a blast. Features a nine-foot-tall bear and Olaf the Giant.[KC, 10/07/2016]
In a previous life, this was the Museum of the Fantastic in Redmond, Oregon. It closed in the 1990s, but apparently it (and Olaf) have emerged from hibernation after nearly 20 years!
Museum of the Fantastic - Vague Recollections
This museum was a popular attraction in Redmond until the owner put up a ferris wheel. Then the city raised a stink and made things so hard for him that he moved it to Sisters. Space was limited and he couldn't display much at the new location.
The report in the papers was that he sold everything off at auction and just put the past behind him. It was a very successful business while it was still in Redmond. I honestly believe the incident with the city has cursed that building. After he was run out, there have been many unsuccessful businesses there -- from a Pizza Parlor to a discount clothing store.
The ferris wheel is still there, along with some of the other rides.[Sussie Due, 06/01/2007]
Under one roof, owner Jim Schmit could show you Hitler's stamp collection, the altimeter from the Hindenburg, Olaf the Giant, 1 million buttons, and Liz Taylor's dressing room motor home, among a thousand other things.
Anyone have information regarding the current status of "The Museum of the Fantastic"? Roadsideamerica.com reported its last location in Sisters Oregon.
Years ago I worked at a place called "Jones Fantastic Museum" located on the 3rd level of the Food Circus building in the Seattle Center, WA. This museum was created by Walt Jones (an avid collector of unusual items) in the early '50s. His growing collection and side show-type creations eventually proved too much for his residence, so he opened a museum on old highway 99 north of Lynnwood WA, on the top of the then nicknamed Gunnysack Hill. In the '60s he moved the museum to the Seattle Center. After his death in the '70s, his widow closed the museum and donated the contents to Children's Hospital in Seattle.
I have at times wondered what the hospital did with it until I ran across the descriptions of items such as "Olaf the Giant" and "Hitler is Alive" gag talking skull in the The Museum of the Fantastic Sisters Oregon. Walt had a P.T. Barnum side show streak in him and loved to pull one over on the public by never letting on what was real or just a hoax.[B Ebel, 03/13/2004]
The Fantastic Museum, once in Redmond, then Sisters, is closed, with no info available on its whereabouts. April 2014: Jack D. Bell wrote to us reminiscing about the Highway 99 Jones Museum and also about Olaf the Giant: "the nine-foot visage of Olaf the Giant had been a fixture of the old Playland Amusement Park once located in North Seattle....this fine park was closed down in 1961 for various economic reasons...Olaf could be viewed laying in a glass case that was inside of a Playland exhibit called 'The Laugh Factory.' "
My friend Sean and I stopped in at Sisters, Oregon, and found that the Museum of the Fantastic appears to be closed, if not vacant. The building is locked up tight, and the bottom floor is empty except for some lumber and assorted office supplies.
There was no sign anywhere to explain its current status, nor did the local merchants know what was going on. It was with heavy heart that we continued on our journey, without even a glimpse of Hitler's stamp collection to brighten our day.[Annna, 02/14/1999]
Museum of the Fantastic
Wanted to give you an update on this museum. Today we visited Sisters, Oregon and saw The Museum of the Fantastic located in the Visitor Information Center at Ash and Hood Street. We saw Olaf the nine foot giant. The flyer reads: "See 1940's mechanical monkeys accompanying a ten foot toe-tapping elephant. The only relic to survive the Hindenburg disaster. Over 1800 dolls on display. Willie Mays' rookie jersey. Babe Ruth's autographed baseball from the 1932 world series. Gangster Al Capone's bullet-proof vest."
We had a blast pushing buttons to activate a 10 foot elephant and various other mechanical creatures. WE SAW A WORKING ROBBIE THE ROBOT! It was bizarre to see actual artifacts from Hitler in the middle of Oregon. Oh, and a real treasure was the laughing lady from the old San Fransisco fun house (she laughs when someone steps on a mat in front of her).[George and Karen Adams, 11/11/1997]
Museum of the Fantastic is reported closed and empty 2/14/99.