Mister Ed's Elephant Museum + Candy Emporium
After a night spent in Gettysburg, I couldn’t pass up a 20-minute detour to see what is billed as the “Gettysburg area’s most unique attraction.” Mister Ed’s was opened by “Mister Ed” Gotwalt in 1975 and he sold the business to his granddaughter Nicole and her husband Isaac in 2014.
The 82-year-old Mister Ed is something of a local celebrity—he stayed up 76 hours during the nation’s bicentennial and stages elaborate Fourth of July fireworks displays and Christmas celebrations. He received his first elephant as a wedding gift and the collection grew as he started to receive elephants as gifts and donations. The museum part of the general store can be viewed free of charge and now contains more than 12,000 elephant figurines.
In July of 2010, the store caught fire and was destroyed. More than 2,000 elephants were lost in the fire, but Gotwalt received thousands of donations from across the world and opened a new store in February of 2011. Outside the store is an elephant graveyard, full of the broken bits of figurines that couldn’t be saved.
In addition to the elephants that can be found nearly everywhere on the property, Mister Ed’s also has a lovely garden with Bigfoot, Jon Deer and a stairway to nowhere. I don’t really care about teapots, but I do love novelty architecture so I was charmed by Miss Pat’s (Ed’s wife) teapot museum shaped like a big teapot.
They sell more than 900 different candies, make more than 100 flavors of fudge and roast their own jumbo peanuts. Every Thursday is peanut day at Mister Ed’s and they roast at least five small batches of Virginia jumbo peanuts in a small shed outside. Sadly we didn’t visit on peanut day, so I’ll just have to believe Mister Ed when he says that “there are few things better than the smell of good nuts roasting.”
6019 Chambersburg Rd
Orrtanna, PA 17353