more random roadside good news

Are you ready for another installment of good news?  I thought of a few more things on the drive to work today so I threw this one together during lunch.


Here’s another thing that seemed doomed until very recently:  the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock.  It was built from 1962-1974 for the Alpine-Alpa Cheese House in Wilmot, OH.  The clock is about 24 feet wide.   Here’s a vintage postcard of it:


And a close-up of the dancing figures on the left of the clock which I shot in 2005 when the place was known as Grandma’s Alpine Homestead & Swiss Village:


Grandma’s closed in 2008 and the clock quickly began to deteriorate.  It was finally sold and us fans-of-big-things assumed that we’d never see it again.  But, lo and behold, it was restored for about $20,000 and is now on prominent and permanent display in downtown Sugarcreek, OH (aka the Little Switzerland of Ohio).  Here’s a video of the mega-clock in all its glory — the animated figures are spell-binding:

If you want the longer story & photos of the move, there’s this link:



Not exactly news — but news to me.  I love igloos and fake ice themed buildings.  Therefore, I was captivated by this vintage (1950s/60s?) postcard of Adam’s Igloo & Wildlife Museum:


So, off to Google Street View I went.  Miraculously enough, after a long virtual drive on the Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia, I found it!  And there’s still a sign (though updated) for Adam’s Igloo & Wildlife Museum there.  Although online descriptions make the place sound like more of a taxidermy business.  In any case, here’s the Igloo present-day:


So, if you ever find yourself near Smithers, BC — you can find this place here.



By the way, speaking of Google Street View maps, some of you may have noticed little “[map]” hyperlinks beginning to appear at the ends of descriptions at my website.  It’s a painful task that might take me years.  And right when I might be finished, Google will probably change its name or its url format and all those links will be dead (ugh!).   But what the hell, gradually, I hope to add these links throughout my website.  I like it better than just adding a physical address since it’s the next best thing to being there.  I can see immediately if something has changed or been demolished.  You can move around to see different angles of something and then switch from Street View to Map View to get the true address.  For now, it’s just a random project, but if you want to check it out, here’s one page that’s done (since we’re on the subject of igloos):



A bit of happy sign news.  The Wigwam in Waldorf, MD was built in the late 1940s as a restaurant and gambling joint.  There was a full-scale fake teepee on one corner of the building which functioned as a BBQ pit inside the restaurant.  Much later, the building housed Walls Bakery.   When the bakery moved in 2005, the building sat empty until 2010 when it was destroyed.   (More about the place here if you’re interested.)

Fortunately, the Wigwam’s neon Indian sign from the 1950s was saved and has been repurposed.  Here’s my dreary weather photo of the sign from 2010 just before the dozers arrived:


And here’s the sign now — moved earlier this year about three miles south to White Plains, MD and now used to indicate the entrance to the hiking trail.  OK — it looks like the neon is still broken — but this will do for now:
[photo from this blog:  ]


Here’s an article about the sign’s salvation:



OK — that’s enough for now.  If you haven’t had enough of me and these sorts of subjects, I’ll be back to my normal format Saturday night.  Come on along as the kids & I go down to L.A. to play for the weekend.

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