Gettysburg Dime Museum
The Gettysburg Dime Museum opened in May of 2016, and sadly it is set to close for good in November. The owner and curator of the museum is Mark Kosh, an Air Force veteran and retired Pennsylvania state trooper, who had spent nearly two decades collecting hundreds of oddities with the hopes of eventually opening up a museum.
Dime museums were popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries and were so named because admission cost ten cents. The “museums” featured oddities, curiosities, strange taxidermy, wax figures and anything else you might find in a sideshow. It’s never clear which items are real and which are completely made up, which is the fun of the dime museum (predecessor to the cheesy, but still entertaining Ripley’s Believe it or Not! tourist traps).
My mom and I spent quite a while gawking at the collection, which includes medical oddities, taxidermy hybrids, a full-size wax replica of Jesus and his disciples during the Last Supper, the World’s Largest (and only) Ball ‘O’ Ties and a room filled with mementos and art from notorious serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy. Because this is Gettysburg, Kosh’s collection also includes Abraham Lincoln’s last bowel movement and a plaque containing the Gettysburg Address spelled out with alphabet soup noodles.
Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates such a low-tech, out-of-the-ordinary experience and Kosh is closing the museum after just two years. He told us that tourism in Gettysburg as a whole has declined over the years and the museum—despite the $7 admission price, not exactly a dime, but still very reasonable—has been losing money since it opened.
Kosh will be selling off most of his collection when the museum closes in November, although a lot of the more desirable pieces have already been claimed (like the serial killer memorabilia). When he asked me which of the pieces I was interested in, I found it impossible to specify (I can’t make that Sophie’s Choice!). He advised that I check his Facebook page for updates, but I’m just happy that we were able to take a tour while we still could.
Gettysburg Dime Museum
224 Baltimore Street,
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Open Saturdays only, 10am-5pm through November 17th, 2018.