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Erie, Pennsylvania: Mad Anthony Wayne's Kettle of Death Team Field Report

Erie County History Center

356 W. 6th St., Erie, PA
Erie County History Center. Just west of downtown. In the old Watson-Curtze Mansion (it looks a little like a castle), on the north side of W. 6th St. just east of its intersection with Chestnut St.
Th-Su 11-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $7.50
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Mad Anthony Wayne's Kettle of Death

A dead Revolutionary War general was dug up and boiled in a big pot. Replica's of the general's floating bones spice up the display. Report...

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Kettle of Death.

Mad Anthony Wayne's Kettle of Death

The history museum which contained this attraction moved out about six months prior to our visit. So it was just a little embarrassing to ask the director of the new children's learning center where the Kettle of Death was.

[David Pazoff, 04/06/2016]

We do our best to keep our intel up-to-date, but sometimes an attraction moves without triggering our Death Kettle motion detectors. Thanks for letting us know! We've updated our Kettle info with the new location.

Mad Anthony Wayne Kettle

The Anthony Wayne Kettle is on exhibit at the Erie County History Center. Along with the kettle is a letter written by a visitor to Erie who heard a firsthand account of the exhumation and boiling of the late General's body. The Historical Society also owns the chair in which Anthony Wayne died as well as a lock of his hair that was taken from his head in 1809. The tools that Dr. Wallace used to dismember Wayne's body are on exhibit in the Anthony Wayne Blockhouse at the foot of Ash Street in Erie.

[Steph Taylor, 04/17/2004]
"Mad" Anthony Wayne's Cauldron

The iron cauldron of "Mad" Anthony Wayne can now be viewed at the Erie County Historical Society. "Mad" Anthony gained his nickname for his reckless courage during the Revolutionary War, once telling Washington "Give the order, sir, and I will lay seige to hell." After leading American forces to capture Detroit in 1796, Wayne stopped in Erie PA., and shortly died from a severe case of gout. He was buried under the blockhouse, but 13 years later his son claimed the body, to be interred in the family cemetery, in southeast PA. The cool temperatures of Erie had preserved the cadaver so well, that the body had to be declothed, dimembered, and the remaining flesh boiled from the bones. Supposedly, the attending physician was so disgusted by the whole affair he threw his tools in the grave that now only held the clothes and stewed flesh of a war hero. This is the cauldron on display at the museum on State St.

Side note: Legend has it that as the bones were transported to Radnor, PA from Erie, many were jolted out of the cart across the rugged terain. Every New Year's morning, the ghost of Wayne makes a "mad" dash across the state to claim his bones.

[Brent Alexander, 07/14/2003]
Cauldron in which Anthony Wayne was boiled

The Watson-Curtze Mansion houses Erie's Historical Museum. The cauldron in question was used to boil Mad Anthony Wayne's flesh from his bones so that the bones could be transported for burial -- much easier than carting an entire body. The museum is on Rte 5 (West 6th St) in Erie. Erie is also home to Anthony Wayne's blockhouse, some very interesting lighthouses and Presque Isle State Park -- miles of beautiful beaches and biking/hiking/roller blading trails.

[Kathie Rothrock, 04/13/2003]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Fruits of Labor: Horse-Drawn EarthFruits of Labor: Horse-Drawn Earth, Erie, PA - < 1 mi.
Victims of Millard Fillmore's SaluteVictims of Millard Fillmore's Salute, Erie, PA - 1 mi.
Where Mad Anthony Wayne DiedWhere Mad Anthony Wayne Died, Erie, PA - 1 mi.
In the region:
Large Flatware and Wristwatch, Grove City, PA - 67 mi.

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