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Space Farms Zoo and Museum

Space Farms Zoo and Museum

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Space Farms Zoo and Museum : Nestled in the bosom of northwestern New Jersey dairy country, Space Farms Zoo & Museum harkens back to a more carefree era of tourism - a place that still proudly labels its restrooms "Chiefs" and "Squaws."

For years, Space Farms was known as the home of Goliath, the World's Largest Bear. Goliath died in 1991 but he still does yeoman tourist duty, mounted standing erect (something he rarely did in his arthritic later years), guarding the fireplace in the gift shop.

The highlight of any visit to Space Farms, aside from the obligatory Goliath photo op, is its free museum above the snack bar. Here's where the Space family displays important family mementos, odd collections, and case after case of stuff they've found on their property: dinosaur bones, the skulls of dead Indians (some with fragments of flesh still attached), the first two cents Fred Space ever earned, and of course the skull of Goliath. One cabinet showcases a dead turtle on whose belly "great-grandfather Space" engraved his initials in 1897 found still crawling around by Fred Space in 1942 and kept alive for 14 years after that. Fred thoughtfully displays the turtle belly up for all to see.