Roadside Curiosity #2 – Mutt And Jeff In Nova Scotia

It seems appropriate that our 100th post would be a Roadside Curiosity.  Before we plunge into our latest hidden gem on the road, We want to say hello to many new followers. It is both surprising and pleasing to find that almost 8,000 views have been made to our site in it’s first year. You will note that we’ve added a contact form starting with this post. So if you want to contact us but don’t want to make a public comment you may send it via the form at the end of this entry.

After we finished at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site the weather had cleared and was sunny for the first time all week. We decided to drive the Bras d’Or Lake Scenic Drive again. We were driving along when we saw a sign GIANT MACASKILL MUSEUM.

What’s a Giant Mac Askill?

I don’t know. Think we should check it out?

Sure. Turn here.

Here? It looks like someone’s driveway.

Ya, but there’s a sign in the yard.

We pull in and park. Steve peaks in a side window as we approach the house. We go around to the front and there is an OPEN sign by the front door. We walk in to what seems more like a deli/bakery than a museum.

Is this the Giant Mac Askill Museum?

(Young girl behind the counter) Yes.  It’s $2.50 each. So we figure it must be worth it to find out what’s here. We enter a large room to find a collection of memorabilia and a life size statue of Angus Mac Askill.  At 7’9″ and 425 lbs., he is known as the Cape Breton giant. Of course, I just had to have my picture taken with Angus.

Angus MacAskill, Cape Breton  giant, museum

The Long And Short Of It

We don’t know how this museum came to be or how they collected items that had belonged to the Giant. Family, perhaps? Wikipedia to the rescue. Originally some of Angus’ personal effects were on display at the Gaelic College. In the late 1960s the museum was established on the front portion of his farm by the Giant Mac Askill Heirs Association. It was interesting to see the oversized furniture and clothing.  He was  a true giant meaning that he did not suffer from any growth abnormalities.  Per the Guinness Book of World Records in 1861 Giant MacAskill had the largest chest measurement (80″) of any non-obese man.  His shoe size was 17. 1/2.  For four years he performed with P. T. Barnum’s Circus. He often was contrasted against Tom Thumb.  Angus died in 1863 at the age of 38.

Giant MacAskill In His Specially Made Chair

Giant MacAskill In His Specially Made Chair

The Giant Slept Here

The Giant Slept Here

Steve Measures His Hand Against Angus' Hand

Steve Measures His Hand Against Angus’ Hand

4 thoughts on “Roadside Curiosity #2 – Mutt And Jeff In Nova Scotia

  1. What a rare find! A Scottish lad no less. That must of been a sure sight to see. Congratulations on your 8000 viewers like me, You both do an incredible job on your pictures and writings. It is always so very interesting and you feel like we are there with you. I see by the pictures your weather has turned a little cooler.

  2. Hi – is that actually him sitting on the chair? Just that I have never seen that picture before. Incredible find if so! Do you have any more pictures of him? Also, if it is him, I can see what they mean about he was handsome despite his size!

  3. Hello, I just stubbled across your blog while helping my son find some stats on Angus. He was my 4th great uncle and we always tease my very large for his age son about having giants blood. I remember my grandmother putting together a bunch of Angus’s belongings to donate to the museum. She had the 2 rings that were given to him by Queen Elizabeth and I believe she kept 1 and donated the other. I also remember her packaging up his boots. I have never seen the photo of him sitting in the chair. Only sketches and horrible photos because of their age. The chair photo is fantastic. Thank you for posting it!

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