Ed Gotwalt has found the perfect outlet for his elephant obsession. Although it’s unclear whether his pachyderm fixation has anything to do with politics, his collection goes way beyond Republican memorabilia, incorporating more than 12,000 elephant figurines, circus souvenirs, and toys.
Like many eccentric collections, Ed’s amassing of elephants began with a gift he received as a young man. An entrepreneur in spirit, Ed managed a series of Giant Supermarkets in the Washington, D.C. area before deciding to turn his massive collection of elephants into a museum not far from his home town of York, Pennsylvania. The museum contains elephants of all sizes and constructed of all materials, including an almost life-sized one named Ms. Ellie, who greets customers out front.
Alongside the museum, Mister Ed’s offers the standard roadside tourist trappings of gift shop, homemade fudge, and gardens full of campy lawn objects. The crown jewel, however, is the collection itself, certainly worth a stop if you are driving near Gettysburg.
Know Before You Go
The museum is located on US-30 (Chambersburg Rd) in Orrtanna, about 12 miles northwest of Gettysburg. Admission is free!