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Hippie Muffler Man.

Hippie Muffler Man

Field review by the editors.

Bethel, New York

Type: Bunyan

Smell the flowers.

Arm position: standard

Accessories: none

The "Hippie" Muffler Man grooves near that epicenter of feel-good Flower Power -- Woodstock. Actually, he's nowhere near the town of Woodstock, because the iconic 1969 festival was held here, 60 miles southwest in Bethel, on dairy farmland owned by Max Yasgur. The commemorative marker for the Woodstock Festival is a mile or two east of where you'll find the Muffler Man, who is within sight of the Yasgur family home and barn. He stands anchored to a telephone pole by ropes or cable, sort of low in a depression and behind a mound covered with wild flowers. A "No Trespassing" sign and fence discourage tourists from clambering onto the mound for a better view.

Fish holding days in Monticello, NY.
Fish holding days in Monticello, NY, ~2000.

His patchy jeans, tie-dyed heart shirt, and beard, combined with the Yasgur's connection, make him the only Hippie Muffler Man we've encountered. Fading symbol of consumerism and the military-industrial complex? Not this dude.

Before he turned on, tuned in, and dropped out, the Hippie Muffler Man had a series of jobs. In the 1960s he was a typical Establishment Bunyan, holding a large car muffler labeled "SAFEWAY" in front of an Albany brake and muffler shop. In 1987 the business was liquidated and he was auctioned to a jeep dealership in Monticello, where he held a non-nonviolent ax (The muffler had been sold separately). He changed hands in Monticello, moving in 1993 to an ice cream shop which later became the Eden Brook Fish Market. He held a large fish and, later in the 1990s, he finally received his tie-dye makeover, courtesy of a Woodstock-loving employee. In 2003 the Bunyan moved to Bethel, sans fish.

Hippie Muffler Man

Yasgur's Farm

Yasgur Rd., Bethel, NY
Yasgur's Farm. Hwy 17B west of Bethel on the north side before Island Glen Country Club. Private property; visible from the road; no trespassing without owner's permission.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Official Woodstock Rock Festival MuseumOfficial Woodstock Rock Festival Museum, Bethel, NY - 1 mi.
Woodstock Festival MonumentWoodstock Festival Monument, Bethel, NY - 2 mi.
Tiny Stone Castle of Swan LakeTiny Stone Castle of Swan Lake, Swan Lake, NY - 8 mi.
In the region:
Ultimate Frisbee Monument, Maplewood, NJ - 74 mi.

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