TNB Night Owl – The Presidential Pet Museum

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Puppy. Photo by Daniel Stockman.

There are museums set throughout this country. One of my favorites was the Conspiracy Museum which was set up across from the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas. It was closed down in 2006, after the site was rented to a Quizno’s Subs. The owner said it would be returning at another site, but it never reappeared… or DID IT?

(No, it didn’t. Sorry, debunking crazy conspiracy nonsense is familiar ground to me.)

One that still exists (in a way), however, is the Presidential Pet Museum. Presidential pets have garnered interest in other venues, all the way down to White House Pet Detectives, an anthology by Carole Nelson Douglas. It’s almost natural that a museum has built up around them.

…Unfortunately, in 2016, the physical site of the museum closed its doors for good, with all of the items going into storage after failing to find a buyer at auction. Still, all is not lost. It exists in cyberspace, and is open for prearranged visits for researchers and media figures.

The founder of the museum was Claire McLean, the groomer of “Lucky”, the dog of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. As someone intimately familiar with the animals of the White House, it was an understandable progression for her to found the museum.

The museum was maintained for almost two decades, entertaining and informing visitors (typically Maryland schoolchildren and people who saw signs while driving past.) They had items commemorating every known pet who had been settled into the Presidential home. Even as it received new items for exhibits, however, the founder couldn’t find the financial backing to properly develop it into a truly regal museum. It moved from a storefront to a barn on the founder’s property until finally becoming a purely web-based experience.

Just in case you’re wondering, there’s something special from Lucky at the site. Not merely the same types of mementos and memorials that other pets enjoy, but a portrait of the dog… constructed using Lucky’s own hair. McLean was his groomer, after all.

Okay, yes, that’s weird.

Question of the night: what’s your favorite odd or lesser-known museum?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.