Welcome to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Igorota
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Lucy the Elephant, that is! She's a national historical landmark in Margate, New Jersey.
Lucy was built in 1882 by James V. Lafferty, a land speculator who wanted to attract real estate business and tourism in his acquired property by the shore. The idea of an elephant-shaped structure was so novel at the time that he even applied for, and was granted, a U.S. patent for his design. It served as a one-time residence but never as a hotel as some stories say.The elephant is made of wood and tin sheeting, with windows for eyes and on its sides. People can climb another set of stairs all the way up to the canopy on her back for a breath-taking view of the Atlantic Ocean.Inside the belly is a lobby with a mini-museum, which is also a place for wedding ceremonies! Imagine exchanging "I Do's" inside a wooden elephant!
Lucy eventually became a gloomy, dilapidated giant in a sandy landscape that prompted concerned Margate citizens to form the "Save Lucy" committee. Through the help of volunteers, Lucy again became an elegant elephant that will continue to delight kids of all ages.