ONLY IN AMERICA Series: Stiffy Green the Bulldog
It’s Friday again folks, and time to revisit “Only In America”- the Adventure Girl series of the oddly bizarre and interestingly unique… and of course, things that can only happen in America!
So, with that- we venture to Terre Haute, Indiana, and the Statue of Stiffy Green the Bulldog.
OHhhh yahhhh- it’s the mysterious green-eyed bulldog, famous for scaring kids in a local cemetery, is now preserved in a replica mausoleum.
For fans of the morbid, this little slice of Americana hotspot shares more than the average beast. There’s a zinger of a triple play at this roadside attraction! The cemetery’s other residents include the triple-victims of 1914’s Brazilian Gypsy Murders, and Chief Bearfoot, a performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
More about Stiffy:
Died 1921? – Terre Haute, Indiana
John G. Heinhl died in 1921, and the story goes that his loyal pet, a bulldog, refused to leave him — even after Heinhl was placed in the family mausoleum at Highland Lawn Cemetery. The dog snarled at all who approached, and stood sentinel until one day, when Heinhl’s widow found him dead. The bulldog was stuffed, green glass eyes added, and placed inside the mausoleum, visible through the entrance grate.
The truth is that the dog had been a concrete statue that stood on the front porch of the Heinhl’s home until Mr. Heinhl passed away. Over the decades, the Heinhl mausoleum became a favorite rendezvous for dating teenagers, who would shine flashlights through its glass doors to see the dog’s glowing eyes. They called him “Stiffy Green,” and a legend grew that he had been a noble dog.
Several more decades passed. Teenagers in the 1980s, no longer interested in legends nor satisfied with flashlights, fired bullets into the Heinhl crypt and blew out one of Stiffy’s eyes. Stiffy was removed from the mausoleum for safekeeping in mid-1980s.
The Terre Haute Lion’s Club, sensing a useful public service opportunity, built a life-size replica of the Heinhl mausoleum inside the County Historical Museum, and Stiffy was moved into it in 1989. He has been there ever since, safe to confuse yet another generation of Hoosiers and to grace the museum’s most popular sweatshirt.
Address: 1411 S. 6th St., Terre Haute, IN
Directions: Vigo County Historical Museum. Downtown, in a museum on the southwest corner of S. 6th St. and Washington Ave.
Source: Roadside America