Wonder Tower – Genoa, Colorado
Remember when the saying “There is a sucker born everyday?” was popularized by PT Barnum? Well, the Wonder Tower probably is something of the same type of attraction. Not much but just so weird that you really will get a kick out of it (probably).
The Wonder Tower in Genoa can be seen from as far as a mile away. There are signs all along the way that say things like “See Six States!” (hand painted for that down home touch…or cost savings whichever suits your fancy). You will see cars in the parking lot and people at the top of the Tower. Yes, that’s what you see from a mile away.
Now, when you get there you will see that the cars are probably 40 years old and have their tires buried into six inches of windblown dust. Those people you saw in the tower are just fakes, and not very good ones at that.
This attraction was built in 1926 at the highest point between New York and Denver. At that time the Tower was a major stopover spot for travelers. Story has it that Charles W. Gregory, the owner, would stand on the Tower and spot license plates of approaching cars and when they were within earshot he would use a megaphone and yell out things like “How are things in the Hawkeye state?” He had a billboard that said “Eat, drink, gas and pop at the Tower.”
Change came with the interstate and C.W. died. That cut down on the tourists so when the new owners, Jerry and Ester Chubbuck, who have owned it for 20 + years now, have continued the tradition of the Tower charging just $1 for admission. They tout their “Animal Monstrosities,” and “Two-headed calf” with small signs at the entrance.
The Chubbucks have stuffed the tower with an unorganized mess of spoons, farm implements and arrowheads, much of it inexplicably nailed to the ceiling. The Branding Room, Petrified Room, Indian Room (with its rock walls “painted by an Indian princess”) are jammed with junk.
In the Animal Monstrosities Room, the jar containing the eight-footed pig leaves something to be desired with the coating of dirt and dust as well as the one-eyed pig jar has formaldehyde leaking from it. Real quality stuff, but hey, it’s fun.
Jerry quizzes people with a game called “Guess What.” He points out ten unusual items and if you can correctly guess their identity or purpose you get your dollar back. There are some strange things there so be ready!
Of course you will want to climb to the top of the Tower for the view. You will not want to do this climb if you are afraid of the height or a little too heavy but if you make it up the view is truly great.