History Oddities

If you went broke raising rutabagas is North Dakota, what would you do next?

For the original founders of Marsh’s Free Museum, it was moving to Washington and opening a candy shop and ice cream store. A few years later when the passenger liner Admiral Benson went aground in the fog near Cape Disappointment, the enterprising Wellington Marsh, Sr. sensed a business opportunity and hurriedly opened a temporary hamburger stand to feed the curious onlookers. It was a beginning that would have Marsh return to the Peninsula in 1935, after owning a tavern in Gray’s River. Marsh’s Free Museum was born.

Original Marsh's Free MuseumMarsh's Current Location

Originally across the street from its current location, Marsh’s Free Museum soon became known as a place that might purchase that weird stuff found when cleaning out the attic, or in Uncle Albert’s old trunk.

If you want to see a shrunken head (one of three authentic specimens on the West Coast), or a complete human skeleton (found in a closet here on the Coast), Marsh’s is the place to visit.

Although Jake The Alligator Man is the most heralded of the weird to wonderful oddities you will encounter at Marsh’s Free Museum, there is much, much more.

(Learn how Jake became a cult hero, join his fan club and check out his line of “Jake Wear” and “Gator Gear” at Jake’s Place.)

How long has it been since you’ve gazed into the eyes of a Yak, a Lioness, a Seca, or a Russian Boar? And these are just a few of the hundreds of stuffed and mounted animals that adorn the wall or watch from their posts in the rafters.

Two Headed CalfBaseball HistoryKnown for America’s largest collection of glass fishing floats, one as large as a beach ball, the Museum is also home to a world class collection of sea shells. And to impress this point, more than 1,000,000 free sea shells are given to visitors every year.

From the bizarre; a two headed calf or an eight legged lamb…

…to the old and unusual; mechanized antique gaming machines and peepshows, there is no end to the marvels one uncovers in every nook and cranny.

Where else can you watch a peep show, play baseball, have your fortune told, shop for antiques, stretch your imagination, even test your love quotient?

From petrified dinosaur dung to a 1940 “Wendell Wilkie for President” poster and a human tape worm in a bottle, if you haven’t seen it at Marsh’s, then, you haven’t stayed long enough…