I love St. Augustine, Florida! Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez, it’s charming and picturesque, with a European feel to it. The city is full of unique historical structures, beautiful beaches, and some quirky attractions, as well. Potter's Wax Museum ranks as one of my favorites.
I passed it on my way out of town during my first visit and decided, on a whim, to stop and check it out.
I walked in expecting to see a number of celebrity wax figures and wasn't disappointed. There’s Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, characters from several popular movies, and many more.
But what I found most surprising were the historical figures on display.
George Potter created the museum in 1949 with wax figures he brought from London. Now, if you think about that for a minute, what type of wax figures would have been reflective of that era?
Perhaps figures from World War II? At the museum, you'll see Winston Churchill, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General George Patton, and even Adolf Hitler.
The figures are eerily realistic, in part, because of their hair and eyes.
“The hair is all human and put in strand by strand,” explains Assistant Manager Linda Manz. “And the eyes are the same eyes used in a human being if you lose your eye. So, what the artist did was color shape and size them according to every character.”
Several times I felt like some of those eyes were following me around the room. Seriously.
Other figures include Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, all of the Civil War Generals, King Henry VIII, a group of American Presidents and their wives, Al Capone, and many, many more. Thanks to a recent renovation of the museum, there are now more than 150 – old and new – wax figures on display.
It’s an interesting way to bring history to life, up close and personal.
I asked Linda if any celebrities had been in to see their figures. She said that Johnny Depp has been in a time or two and thinks his Captain Jack Sparrow figure is a pretty good likeness. Not bad for a seal of approval.