Teddy Bear Town
All four presidents on Mount Rushmore inspire Americans, but back in 1902 President Teddy Roosevelt inspired a toy maker named Morris Michtom to create one of our nation’s most beloved toys – the Teddy Bear.
And at Teddy Bear Town, a unique museum located at the base of Mount Rushmore in Hill City, visitors will find the biggest collection of Teddy Bears in the world – 7,859 to be exact! What began as a hobby for museum curator Jackie Miley is now a popular attraction that draws teddy bear lovers from around the world. In 2005, the collection made news when it was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest collection. Since then, Teddy Bear Town has broken its own record five times, and will break it again when Bear No. 8000 comes to the museum.
It’s ordinary people who donate their bears to the museum, and they come in all sizes, shapes and categories – from military bears, to sports bears, pooh bears, rally bears, big-big bears and tiny bears. Each bear is labeled with the donor’s name and home town. And each donor gets a certificate with each unique bear’s number.
First-time visitors will be amazed by the unbelievable variety of Teddies on display. In fact, folks return again and again to visit their own bear, find the bear of a family member or just to see what new bears have arrived.
So during your visit to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, plan a stop at Teddy Bear Town. After all, it’s part of the story of our nation’s Shrine of Democracy!