Cardiff Giant in Barn

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 17, 1903

Cardiff Giant in Barn

Fort Dodge’s Famous Product Now in Retirement

Huge Fake of History Has Rested For the Last Twenty-Seven Years.

Library of Congress photo of the Cardiff Giant

The Cardiff Giant is shown in this Library of Congress photo.

Boston June 17 – How are the mighty fallen! This applies exactly and accurately to the very prosaic Cardiff giant, a monstrosity of once debatable origin, which had a career of excitement, interest and doubt that fooled all of the American public for a short time, and which had its unique career cut short, but not till a great deal of money had been made out of the fraud.

After years of triumphal progress about the country, being exhibited to thousands of wondering people, after causing a division in the scientific world as to the authenticity of the claims of the monster’s antecedents, the cause of all this trouble is now calming (sic) reposing in a very unromantic packing case, protected from the chilling frosts of winter by a loose garb of coarse sawdust in the barn of a well known citizen of Fitchburg. Indeed, he has been here the greater part of the last twenty years or more, or soon after the Boston Herald put an end to his “meteoric” career by an editorial which pronounced him a fake.

But here at Fitchburg his giantship is, and few people have known anything about it. In addition to his suit of sawdust there is some quasi litigation about that prevents his public participancy in the events of the early years of the new century, when a generation is coming to the fore which will some day want to see him out of curiosity, if not for the gratification of scientific research, which was in his early days a ruling motive about him.

When the business of exhibiting the giant failed, S.S. Lawrence, a local contractor, was engaged to build a shed or addition to the hotel in which the giant could be stored. He did so. Soon afterward Mr. Lawrence took the giant to his own barn and stored it there, and there it has been ever since. There was an agreement as to payment for this storage, but nothing has been done about it, so Mr. Lawrence holds on to his stone charge, which he has had nearly twenty-seven years.

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