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The original Cardiff Giant, Cooperstown, New York.
The original Cardiff Giant, Cooperstown, New York.

Cardiff Giant Battles

On October 16, 1869, workmen digging a well in Cardiff, New York uncovered an amazing archaeological discovery: a giant petrified man.

The giant turned out to be an elaborate hoax, but not before he was trotted around the country on display. When P.T. Barnum's purchase offer was refused, he had his own Cardiff Giant created. That's why the modern world is gifted with more than one Cardiff Giant.

The authentic Cardiff Giant resides at the New York Historical Society's Farmer's Museum, Cooperstown, NY. P.T. Barnum's fake is propped up in the rear of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, Farmington Hills, MI. At least, if you believe Marvin, who promotes it as such.

Which to visit?

From the Roadsider perspective, it has to be the P.T. Barnum fake. It doesn't look much like the one in Cooperstown, but it is big. And a fake of a fake is ... real, isn't it?

The knockoff Cardiff Giant, Farmington Hills, Michigan.
The knockoff Cardiff Giant, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

But which fake? To complicate things, Circus World in Baraboo, WI, has their own full-sized replica made from a cast of the Cooperstown original fake. And the Fort Museum and Frontier Village, Fort Dodge, Iowa, proudly exhibits a Cardiff Giant made from native gypsum stone -- claimed to be P.T. Barnum's desperate, petrified giant wannabe.

Cardiff Giant, Cooperstown, New York

Cardiff Giant, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Cardiff Giant, Fort Dodge, Iowa

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