Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Outstanding in their field: The Farnham Colossi of Unger, West Virginia

Left to right: Brian the beach dude, the Uniroyal Gal, George Farnham, the Midas Muffler Man, and Big John

 The Mount Rushmore of Roadside giants

Doh!  The Farnhams have a complete kiddie roller coaster track, complete with the Simpsons. 

The greater metroploitan Unger area, what the Colossi are so intently staring out at.

If ever there was a place that should be included on an eccentric roadside attraction fan's bucket list, the Farnham Colossi of Unger, West Virginia would certainly place very high. There, you'll find countless (well, I suppose you could count them) Muffler Man-type statues keeping watch over numerous other, more diminutive roadside whimsical characters that roam the property of George and Pam Farnham, collectors par excellence of eccentric over-sized roadabilia. Their collection began with one Muffler Man bought on e-bay, and, well, you know how it is when you have a hobby...sometimes you just can't help yourself. So now their yard in zoning-free rural West Virginny is a paradise of roadside giants. It's not the easiest place to get to and not exactly on the way to anywhere ("Honey, I'm going to the need anything?"), but that makes it all the more meaningful when you arrive. Buddhists have Bodh Gaya, Muslims have Mecca, and we roadside kooks have Unger. This is private property, though, so it was with great caution and respect that I tiptoed around the driveway upon arrival. Luckily for me, George came out and we chatted for a few minutes and he gave me the all-clear to explore the yard. I asked if there was a Holy Grail of highway titans he was seeking and he said he already had it. An ultra-rare Uniroyal Gal was acquired with help from the roadside gurus at, and George says he spent "way too much" restoring it with automobile fiberglass paint that is "guaranteed to last until the day you die".  And she is stunning, let me tell you. The definitive story of the Farnhams is here on the indispensible 

Here's to the Farnhams and for flying that freak roadside attraction flag high and proud and getting us to boldly go where no eccentric roadside attraction fan has gone before. Let's give them all a great big hand.


roadsdiewonders said...

Now you just need to put your tour leader umbrella up and say, "Follow me!" ... I've become terribly lost TWICE in my quest to visit the Colossi :)

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Roll up for the Magical Colossi Tour. Step right this way...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really want to go there! It looks absolutely fantastic. :)

Unknown said...

I got lost. Specific directions from Hwy 522S from Berkeley Springs please. I can get there to Winchester Grade Rd but didn't see these statues.

Gunnar and Sherry said...

I haven't been there since 2012, but I belive I used mapquest directions, so here they are. Good luck!
Start out going south on S Washington St/US-522 S/WV-9 toward Bath St. Continue to follow US-522 S.

Then 2.17 miles

Turn left onto Winchester Grade Rd/County Hwy-13.

Winchester Grade Rd is 0.1 miles past Memory Ln

If you reach United Morgan Cir you've gone a little too far

Then 13.21 miles

Turn left to stay on Winchester Grade Rd/County Hwy-13.

Winchester Grade Rd is 0.4 miles past Wilderness Way

If you are on Ungers Store Rd and reach Virginia Line Rd you've gone about 0.6 miles too far

Then 0.11 miles

Turn left to stay on Winchester Grade Rd/County Hwy-13.

Then 0.23 miles

Take the 1st right to stay on Winchester Grade Rd/County Hwy-13.

If you are on County Hwy-13/6 and reach Blue Brook Rd you've gone about 0.4 miles too far

Then 1.15 miles

14633 Winchester Grade Rd, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-6860, 14633 WINCHESTER GRADE RD is on the left.