Midgetville: Wikis

  
  

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Midgetville is a name used to refer to real or legendary communities of "midgets", people with forms of dwarfism who are normally proportioned, or collections of small "midget-sized" houses. In modern parlance "midget" is sometimes considered inappropriate. These real or legendary places are also sometimes called "tiny towns."

As many of these places are legendary they are at times given qualities that might be more fanciful than real, see Little people (mythology), and even some "real" ones may play on mythology for tourism purposes. Hence some descriptions are not meant to imply anything concerning ordinary or real people with dwarfism.

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Fairfax County, Virginia

The "Midgetville" in Vienna, Virginia was a collection of six small cottages that were torn down in 2008. In 1882 the site was a small summertime resort that people visited when they wanted to escape the stressful lifestyle of Washington, D.C. In 1892 the area was purchased by Alexander Wedderburn. In 1901 the hotel burned to the ground, but a normal-sized two-story building was built around the same time at the corner of the property. In 1930, one of Alexander Wedderburn's sons, George, built six small Spanish-style cottages. A courtyard in the middle of the property was sometimes used as a fairground or a farmers' market. The Wedderburns briefly established the Wedderburn Music School on the site. The cottages were rented out but the place eventually became overgrown with ivy and trees.[1] In 2002 the family signed a deal with contractors to tear the place down and develop the property.[2] Though the proposal created some controversy, the Fairfax County, Virginia Board of Supervisors voted to approve the project.[3] The cottages were all destroyed and the trees were removed in early 2008 to make way for "Wedderburn Estates."

Jefferson Township, New Jersey

Located near Milton, Jefferson Township, New Jersey has been the subject of urban legends about a Midgetville community. The houses are located on a secluded dirt road. There are at least six small houses with small doors, small windows and small furniture inside. Some have very ornate exterior decorations. There is one normal-sized house on the grounds, inhabited by an elderly, average height couple.

Rumor has held that Alfred Ringling, famous for the Ringling Brothers Circus, built a few small-sized houses that had four-foot doors. However the houses currently all appear to be built within the last 40 years and some are built with vinyl siding which was not available during Ringling's time. Visitors claim the "midget" residents are hostile or xenophobic and will therefore shoot guns at outsiders.[4]

Oakdale, Long Island, New York

South of Dowling College, on the Great South Bay, exists what is widely known as "Midgetville." Now a private, gated community, all of the original buildings still exist, as they are registered historic in the Town of Islip. Built as a summer estate by William K. Vanderbilt at the turn of the 19-20th centuries, this now gated area at the end of the road was actually the farm portion of the estate. The Vanderbilts left the estate in 1926, and the farm buildings were turned into an artists' colony. Many of the buildings are gorgeous, normal-sized homes that were once barns and other farm buildings, but the Vanderbilts even built their chicken coops and pig houses in brick and stucco, so these short buildings were also converted into artist housing.

Long Beach, California

La Linda Drive looking North West from the entrance.

An urban legend holds that with the success of the 1939 American musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz, many of the little people who had acquired their wealth by playing the roles of the munchkins purchased lots in the La Linda development of Long Beach and built homes sized to suit their needs. La Linda affectionately became known as "Midget Town" and the proximity of the La Linda development to the studios allowed them to work many supporting casts in the movies from the 1940s on. [5]

In fact, La Linda, originally the home of George H. Bixby, was subdivided in 1922 and most of the homes were built before 1938. [6]

Tourist attraction variants

In China a "dwarf village" with fairytale houses is set to become an attraction. This has caused controversy as being "a freak show", but has defenders who feel that this might be the best chance some of these people have to be employed and independent. Coney Island once had a similar attraction called "Lilliputia", but it burned down in 1911.[7]

References

  1. ^ Bahr, Jeff (2007). Weird Virginia. New York, New York: Sterlng Publishing. pp. 47–49. ISBN 1-4027-3942-7.  
  2. ^ Salmon, Jacqueline L. (August 26, 2004). "Emotional Investment: A Family's Decision to Sell Vienna's 'Midgetville' Ignites Bitter Opposition". Washington Post: pp. VA16. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31856-2004Aug25.html. Retrieved 2007-10-21.  
  3. ^ Rein, Lisa (September 27, 2005). "Fairfax Maps Tourist Gems". Washington Post: pp. B04. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/26/AR2005092601584.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  
  4. ^ Weird NJ "Weird new Jersey". http://www.weirdnj.com/stories/_roadside04.asp Weird NJ. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  5. ^ Gonzaga, Samantha. (August 10, 2007) Long Beach Press-Telegram Are our houses getting too big? Section: News; page 4A.
  6. ^ HISTORY OF LA LINDA DRIVE “[1]"
  7. ^ Daily Mail

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