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A Stuffed Spectacle: The World Famous Gopher Hole Museum

For every picture perfect lake or dramatic mountain range there is in Alberta, there’s an equally quirky tourist attraction. Whether it’s a 42 foot tall kielbasa sausage in Mundare, the world’s first UFO landing pad in St. Paul, or a 5,000 pound Ukranian easter egg in Vergreville – Alberta’s the place to be, if it’s wacky attractions you’re after.

Usually lurking in one of the province’s many small towns, these unusual landmarks are as much a part of prairie life, as the methodically grazing cows, see-sawing oil pumps or endless bales of yellow hay.

Torrington, Alberta is like most other prairie towns. There’s a lot of space, RVs parked in driveways, not much industry and a scarily shrinking population.

Frankly, there’s no real reason to visit. But people do. Since 1996, they’ve descended on placid little Torrington with a single purpose – to visit the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum.

There, the star attractions are a bunch of small, furry burrowing rodents that have been stuffed and arranged in a collection of seriously creative dioramas. The taxidermic gophers participate in the Olympics, “stuff” themselves at diners (hardy har), and menacingly rob banks. Put your paws up!!

*Click each photo for a closer look.

It’s not just witty puns and furry friends at the Museum though. It’s attracted the ire of PETA, corresponding controversy and of course, media coverage. The gophers don’t seem to mind the dispute though – the articles are proudly displayed in a binder, and the GAGS (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) have their very own diorama inside the museum. πŸ˜‰

Getting to the Gopher Hole Museum

The museum is located at 208 1 Street South in Torrington, Alberta, Canada.

From Calgary, take Deerfoot Trail (Alberta Highway 2) north until you reach exit 340A. Make a right, and look out for the signs to Torrington.

Admission is $2.

Take a walk around town and look for the fire hydrants dressed up like gophers. It won’t take long…the town is only about 3 blocks long.

Make sure you take some photos dressed up as Clem, the gopher! πŸ˜‰

What do you think? Is the museum hilarious or heinous? Would you visit?

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sha #

    Interesting indeed…they do remind me of Peter Rabbit though…haha…:)

    October 7, 2014
    • Lol…we had a pretty good laugh there, especially when she offered us the gopher head to wear and walk around town with!! Hahaha πŸ˜€

      October 7, 2014
      • Sha #

        Hahaha! That’s a winner…don’t think I would want to wear something like that though. ..lol…πŸ˜‚

        October 7, 2014
  2. The rodents are so awesome. I love the Olympics theme one.

    October 7, 2014
    • This reminded me of the Bunny Museum … HA! πŸ˜€

      October 7, 2014
      • OMG! Rommel, why do you have to keep reminding me of that Bunny Museum!!! I just got that nightmare outta my head!! πŸ˜‰ BTW, have you seen the Atlas Obscura website? You can search weird sites by location…. check it out: http://www.atlasobscura.com. I think you’d love it! πŸ™‚

        October 7, 2014
  3. Great prairie post! I often write about them myself. πŸ™‚

    Emory
    http://helloscarlettblog.com/2014/10/06/j-j-editing-photographs/

    October 7, 2014
    • Hey Emory…. yeah, the prairies definitely have a lot of unique stories, and they’re just so beautiful to photograph. πŸ™‚

      October 7, 2014
  4. Sounds like a fun place, but maybe at a few furry creatures expense. But they are a pest and who wants to be over run by gophers! Sorry I missed it my last trip out west πŸ˜‰

    October 7, 2014
    • Lol. I think if you’ve never lived in the prairies, it’s hard to understand what a pest they can actually be. The whole PETA thing majorly backfired though… all they managed to do was give the museum free advertising!!! πŸ˜‰

      October 7, 2014
      • I haven’t lived out west, but heard from those who do they can be a major pain. Reminds me of the Caddy Shack movie with the gophers and Bill Murray on the golf course πŸ˜‰

        October 8, 2014
  5. This might be the strangest museum I’ve ever seen! The stuffed gophers are so creepy!!

    October 7, 2014
    • Seriously, I wonder who came up with the idea for this museum? It wouldn’t really be my first thought when thinking about what to do with the gophers! πŸ˜‰

      October 7, 2014
  6. Sounds like one of the strangest museums ever – and I thought we’d seen some weird ones on Route 66 in the US!

    October 8, 2014
    • I felt like it was the kind of thing you could only see in that part of the world, so I definitely wanted to stop in and check it out. It was definitely weird! Haha, you must have seen strange stuff on Route 66 for sure…wanna get there myself, one day to explore. πŸ™‚

      October 9, 2014

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