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Gardnerville, Nevada: World Famous Fantastic Museum (Closed)

Collection of oddities, including Olaf the nine-foot-tall giant, and President Martin Van Buren's favorite chair. Museum closed June 2017.

June 2017: Museum closed.

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World Famous Fantastic Museum

Closed! Sadly, they are now closed at the Nevada location due to lack of business, and will be selling off the collection.

[Toast, 06/25/2017]

Owner Jim Schmit told us that he could no longer pay his electric bill, and took that as a sign that it was time to close his museum and auction off its collection. He did the same thing a decade ago, when he closed his similar Museum of the Fantastic in Oregon.

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!

Jim Schmit and the Hindenburg's altimeter.

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.

Museum of the Fantastic

Anyone have information regarding the current status of "The Museum of the Fantastic"? 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.' "

Museum of the Fantastic - Closed

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]
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