If you have three of something, it’s a collection …

UCM Museum & Abita Mystery House – John Preble

22275 Hwy 36
Abita Springs, LA
Collection and environment

And if you have four or more, it’s a foremost collection, at least according to John Preble. And he ought to know; he’s the curator and owner of the UCM Museum in Abita Springs, Louisiana.

This place has a little bit of everything and a whole lot of some particular things, including what just might be the world’s largest collection of paint-by-numbers art. John points out – the bitterness evident in his tone – that it was only after spies from the Smithsonian saw his collection that they put on show of their own, He takes solace in the fact that he never paid more than a dollar for any of his, and that his museum is a little different than the Smithsonian.

And then there’s the Bassigator, captured, he claimed, from the swamps nearby. Half bass and half gator, it’s a homely old thing, sure to give the kiddies a pleasant night’s sleep.

There’s a house out back covered completely in glass shards, and a camper with a UFO on the roof, and there are plenty of other things to while away a minute or two. But the featured attraction at the UCM may just be a room full of miniatures, a tip of his hat to Ross Ward’s Tinkertown in New Mexico. John carved these with his very own hands – which are healing nicely, he adds.

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(Photos courtesy of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations)