New Jersey Tour #1


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BIG Stop Details

Lucy the Elephant

Location Details:
Margate, New Jersey

9200 Atlantic Avenue, Margate, New Jersey

FROM NORTH: South on Garden State Parkway to Exit 36. Follow signs to Margate.

FROM WEST: Atlantic City Expressway. Exit 7 S to Garden State Parkway Exit 36. Follow signs to Margate. Routes 30 or 40/322 to Atlantic City and then south on Atlantic Avenue to 9200 in Margate.

FROM SOUTH: Delaware Memorial Bridge to N.J. Turnpike to Route 40; or Lewes Ferry to Cape May and Garden State Parkway Exit 36. Follow signs to Margate.

BIG Girls at this stop:

Additional Notes about this stop:

There is lots of info on the site on Lucy's history - Here is a summary:

She was originally constructed in 1881 in the city of South Atlantic City (later changed to Margate) by a developer who thought the structure would attract visitors and property buyers to his holdings.

In 1902 an English doctor and his family leased the Elephant as a summer home.

Lucy was heavily damaged in the storm of 1903 and was standing knee deep in the sand before volunteers helped to dig her out and move her farther back from the sea. Then, Lucy was converted into a tavern. Rowdy drinkers kept knocking over the oil lanterns used for lighting. In 1904 Lucy was nearly burned to the ground as a result of this carelessness. This ended her days as a tavern .

In 1944 a hurricane devastated the Jersey coast. Lucy took a beating but somehow survived.

In 1970 Lucy was donated to the city of Margate. The "Margate Civic Association" (Later dubbed the "Save Lucy Committee") was formed to save Lucy from demolition. The land she lived on had been purchased and a condo was going to be built, so she needed to be moved 2 blocks to a piece of land owned by the city.

She was determined to be structurally sound and able to survive the move, and on July 20th 1970 she was moved slowly (It took 7 hours to move her and get her situated in her new location and I was actually there to see it - I lived 3 blocks from there! We took home movies!)

Once Lucy was firmly anchored in her new location, repaying the loan for the move and financing the restoration became the next challenge of the Save Lucy Committee.

Donations poured in from local businesses, school children held events to raise funds, but although these efforts were helpful it was necessary to seek larger sums in the form of corporate or government grants for historic preservation.

To accomplish this, the Save Lucy Committee applied for and received a New Jersey non-profit corporate status and was declared a tax-deductible entity under the Internal Revenue Code.

On September 8, 1971, Lucy's application for recognition on the National Register of Historic Places was announced from Washington, D.C., opening doors for State and Federal matching grants.

Since then many donations, grants and loans have enabled Lucy to be completely renovated, but keeping true to her original look from 1881. There are tours available and a little gift shop along with a refreshment pavillion nearby.

Some Lucy Statistics:

The Elephant stands in a feeding position, trunk down. Access to the interior is gained through spiral stairways in the hind legs, one being for the entrance and the other the exit. Entrance stairs lead to a reception room, which is 18 by 18 feet. Other rooms are off this main one. There are 22 windows.

In the construction of this monster, made of wood and metal, it is said that a million pieces of timber and 8,560 ribs or arches, 200 kegs of nails, and four tons of bolts and bars were used. It required 12,000 square feet of tin to cover the structure.

The body is 38 feet long and 80 feet in circumference; the head is 16 feet long and 48 feet in circumference. Lucy's neck is six feet long and 48 feet in circumference; legs are 22 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. The ears are 17 feet long and 10 feet wide. It is estimated that each weighs 2,000 pounds.

Lucy's tusks are 22 feet long; tail 26 feet and eyes 18 inches in diameter. The latter are made of glass.

More Info on This BIG Stop:
Lucy the Elephant



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