9) Ye Olde Curiosity Shop – Seattle, Washington
In 1899, Joseph Edward Standley set up “Daddy Stanley’s 1001 Curious Things” as a free public museum, when Seattle was a rough ‘n’ tumble town. Five generations later, the collection has grown under the stewardship of Standley’s family. Shrunken heads, real mummies, taxidermy, double headed creatures, and other oddities are on display. This interesting collection of the bizarre and grotesque greets over a million visitors a year. Some return bringing family and friends to share the experience. Nowadays, it’s primarily a souvenir and curio shop, but viewing the strange items on display is still free of charge. In 1933, it was named one of the “Seven Wonders of Seattle” by the Seattle Star newspaper. It’s the only shop to have made that list. A combined flare for trading, art appreciation and the bizarre led Standley to expand his collection, and include replica souvenir pieces for sale to visitors.
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