New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Freaks! Assassins! Giant Squids!
In 1881, Worth’s Museum and Congress of Living and Intimate Curiosities opened at 101 Bowery. Like other dime museums which lined the Bowery, Worth’s offered a variety of freakish amusements, such as the largest specimen of giant squid in North America and what was claimed to be the preserved head of Charles Julius Guiteau – the assassin of President James Garfield. Children who brought a live mouse to feed to the museum’s 54 rattlesnakes, (sic) were admitted for free.
From 1876-1878, 103 Bowery was home to Bunnell’s New American Museum, founded by dime museum pioneer George Bunnell, a former assistant to P.T. Barnum. Like Barnum, he offered exotic exhibits and stage shows, but at cheap prices. Housed on three floors, visitors flocked to oddities like the “Two-Brained Baby,” preserved “Mermaids” (dead manatees) and Jo-Jo, “King of Dog-Faced Freaks” (a boy with the condition hypertrichosis). The first floor “Theatorium” offered snake charmers and sword-swallowers, as well as vaudeville and burlesque acts. The second floor was a live animal menagerie and the third floor housed
- Eric Ferrera, author of The Bowery and founder of the Lower East Side History project (leshp.org)
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
Location. 40° 43.051′ N, 73° 59.709′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Hester Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101-103 Bowery, New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "I'm Not A Nice Girl" (a few steps from this marker); NYC Landmark Of Cast Iron (a few steps from this marker); “A Carnival Of Debauchery!” (a few steps from this marker); Ghosts And Occasional Mayhem (within shouting distance of this marker); Man Survives Leap From Brooklyn Bridge! (within shouting distance of this marker); Bowery Savings Bank (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Beaux Arts Bank To Bananas (about 400 feet away); Former Bowery Savings Bank (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
Categories. • Entertainment •
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Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.