San Francisco, California: Privately Owned Merman
Visitor Tips and News About Privately Owned Merman
Merman Origin Story: Actually there is only one Feejee Mermaid and she has been in my own collection of oddities since the early seventies. Here is the story:
The original P.T. Barnum Feejee Mermaid was at the Sutro Baths Museum in San Francisco (for 70 years) along with the Barnum collection of Tom Thumb and other Barnum memorabilia. When the Museum closed down in the late sixties all of the Barnum Collection went back east to the Barnum Museum except for the Mermaid. This was because of a simple mistake. Adolph Sutro's collection of stuffed animals (of which there were many) was slated for destruction because it was thought to be worthless. Some were given away, others were sold at auction and the rest were sent to the dump. The Feejee Mermaid was bundled with some auction animals and was sold to a fellow who ran an oddities store of sorts in Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco. I happened to visit the store shortly thereafter and spotted "Claude" (so nicknamed because of her claws) in the window. Instantly recognizing the Mermaid from childhood visits to the Sutro museum with my parents, I knew I had to have her. I paid $125. Bet she's worth more than that now, eh? So now you know the rest of the story.[Dark Tarot, 05/03/1998]
Dark Tarot vows the Feejee Mermaid will be protected from the hamhanded public in a private collection.