One of the most interesting and site-specific museums in existence is 'The Gopher Hole Museum' in Torrington, Alberta, Canada. The museum is housed in a converted home that contains dozens of stuffed gophers in various environments and costumes encased in a small diorama.

In the early 1990's, the small Canadian town was waning economically. Facing a closing school, a dying economy, and the exodus of both jobs and people, the town elders got together and decided they would kill & stuff gophers. They secured a government grant and have been drawing in about 6,000 tourists every summer since 1996. It was whimsical and random at the same time.

The museum has added various dioramas over the years. It features stuffed gophers (actually, “Richardson’s Ground Squirrels) posed to resemble the townspeople. Exhibits include gophers dressed as a priest, bank robber, duck hunter, firefighter, and & beautician. Dressed in elaborate costumes and framed by dramatic backdrops, the gophers pose in cabinets, their glassy eyes indifferent to the media attention they provoke and the letters pouring in on their behalf.

The museum is profiled in Chelsea McMullan's 2015 documentary film 'World Famous Gopher Hole Museum'. 'The World Famous Gopher Hole Museum & Gift Shop' is certainly not for everyone. But for those with a curious nature and a willingness to make a detour from Highway 27, visiting the museum would be a convenient point of interest while driving between Edmonton & Calgary.

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