January 29, 2013

The Abita Mystery House & UCM Museum

Abita Springs, Louisiana is one of my favorite small southern towns. It's a one stoplight town with only 2,300 inhabitants yet it has it's own Opry House, Beer Brewery and the weirdest damn attractions i've ever seen, The Abita Mystery House & UCM Museum. I am a huge fan of this place and i applaud the sense of humour and dedication it took to make it. To others it make look like a big heep of junk and quite frankly, it is. But, the way this junk has been presented makes it a work of art.

The UCM (pronounced You See 'Em) has all kinds of amazing and ever-wacky collections and exhibits. Some of the collections are: Combs, Paint-By-Number paintings, Barbed Wire, Electronics, Paint-Can Lids, Garden Hoses, Utensils, Bikes, Hot Sauce. Like one sign says: 'If you have 3 items you have a collection and it takes 3 collections to make a Museum' and it's as simple as that.

The main building used to be a gas station a long long time ago. As you enter the front door you find yourself in an amazing gift shop filled with both hand-crafted items and insanely unusual new items. I'm not much of a shopper and i'm usually broke as an artist/musician can be but i can't help but buy something every time i visit. This time i chose a book called 'Weird Louisiana' and got some postcards of the 'Bassigator' (Half Bass Fish/Half Alligator). Which brings me to another realm of collecting to be found here: Freaks of nature such as a 'Mermaid', a 3-Headed Chicken, and the Doggygator just to name a few.

There are many different little dwellings behind the Main House such as 'The House of Shards' made of a bazillion pieces of broken ceramic crap, 'The Hot Sauce House' which of course houses a collection of Hot Sauce and there is even an airstream with a UFO stuck in it thus giving us proof of alien landings in Louisiana...but everybody know that already.

Personally, i think the thing that really ties all this junk/art/collected crap together are the hand-painted signs. Everywhere you look there are words of wisdom, warning and wacky-ness. Some of my favorites, 'Free Possum with Every Purchase' & 'Create Art & Get Rich'.

Even though this place is relatively small, one could visit it a 1,000 times and never see it all. Abita Springs (-wiki link) is in general just an absolutely fabulous place to visit for so many reasons.  It's named after the crystal clear springs which run through it and from which the world famous Abita Beer is brewed, there are also beautiful bike trails running through it and it's only about 20 minutes away from New Orleans. And, if your timing is right, you may even catch a live show at the Opry and hear some amazing Country, Cajun and/or Bluegrass Music. So, if you are ever in these neck of the woods and can't resist seeing a 3-headed chicken...Don't Miss It! Want to see some moving pictures of the Abita Springs Mystery House? Click Here!
Do yourself a favor, click on these images to ZOOM!


e.f. bartlam said...

We really seem to be following each other around this week.

Last week I was in Ocean Springs...this weekend on the North Shore.

I'm in Baton Rouge for the next couple of days in case you're curious. :)

Abita Springs is almost as charming as Ocean Springs...but, Tato Nuts tips the scales.

Shelley Rickey said...

Hey E.F.! We are following each other around. (Are you going to be in Rotterdam next week? : ) Ashame we didn't meet up. Maybe next time. I'd like to my next trip in Memphis and work my way down south through the Delta. Would love to take in Jackson too. Happy Traveling!

superheidi said...

Hahahaha, that's pretty amazing! The rafting chickens are too funny.