The Legend of Midgetville

image For Christmas I received a great book, Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. Immediately I flipped through it to find anything about San Diego, and soon came across the legend of Midgetville.

Midgetville refers to the legend of a town consisting of scaled-down houses built for little people. Midgetville is said to exist in various places throughout America. As Moran and Sceurman note, the most credible rumor locates such a town in Jefferson Township, New Jersey, on the former estate of circus mogul Alfred T. Ringling. There really is a collection of small-sized houses there that could conceivably have once been home to a colony of midgets. However, another very persistent legend locates a Midgetville in San Diego.

Moran and Sceurman don't go into much detail about the San Diego Midgetville, but I realized that I had heard this legend before (my wife had also heard it). This is how it goes: back in the 1930s a group of little people who had made a lot of money in Hollywood appearing in movies such as The Wizard of Oz supposedly came down to San Diego and built a collection of miniature houses on Mt. Soledad where they could live in comfort together. But of course, nobody seems to know exactly where on Mt. Soledad this group of small houses was or is, though everybody has heard of a "friend of a friend" who once accidentally found the houses (though this FOAF can never remember how to get back there).

Determined to find the houses, I did a google search and came across an article from 2003 written by Kenneth Smith for the Daily Aztec detailing his own efforts to track down San Diego's fabled 'Munchkin Houses'. After many false starts, he finally discovered that they were most probably "a group of four cottages on Hillside Drive in La Jolla... built by famed architect Cliff May." Although no midgets or little people were ever known to live in these houses, Smith says that, "The houses do indeed have smallish features, accentuated by an optical illusion. The steep road that passes them makes them seem even smaller than they actually are." Unfortunately only one of the four cottages remains standing, but Smith provides directions to find it: "take Hillside Drive from Torrey Pines Road. The house will be on your left-hand side. Look for the crazy midget handwriting." He also mentions that if you peek through the window (the house is unoccupied) you'll see "cobblestone-like tiled floors and a little round fireplace."

Of course, I had to see this for myself, even if no colony of Wizard-of-Oz midgets had ever lived there. So on New Year's Day I convinced my wife to accompany me on a search for the Munchkin House. The results were mixed. It was no problem finding Hillside Drive, but as it turns out Hillside Drive is fairly long. We were driving up and down it (as a line of cars formed behind us) wondering 'exactly which house on the left did he mean.' None of the houses leaps out at you and screams 'Munchkin House.' But finally we settled on one house that we figured must be it: Seventy-Four Seventy-Seven Hillside Drive. It had small windows and a small door. Plus, the address written beside the door looked a bit like 'crazy midget handwriting' (though I think Smith was joking about this). Ignoring the 'No Trespassing' sign (even though part of the legend of Midgetville is that the midgets who live there fiercely defend their land from the Bigs), I peeked through the window and saw the cobblestone-like tiled floors and a little round fireplace. So I think I found the Munchkin House, though I'm not 100% sure. It's certainly not anything that would catch your attention if you weren't specifically looking for it since it's really not that small, which made the trip a bit disappointing. But the weird thing is, I've already forgotten how to get back there.


Posted on Sun Jan 02, 2005


I have been trying to find pictures because i have been there. The correct place is in Monticito near Santa Barbara. It is one little street off the main road intersection. I dont remember how many houses there are but they are so cute they have to drive small cars because they barely squeak past the garage doors. I would hit my head trying to walk into one. I know its a private road and they dont like to be disturbed plus how many of the original little people could even be left now. You get off at Olive Mill rd off the 101 north and at the main intersection you turn right the street is called Periwinkle lane but if you do go there please respect their privacy. I have tried to see it from google earth and they are so covered by trees you cant even see the houses. Remember there are alot of celebrities there and the police are there to protect the privacy of all residents so enter at your own risk. If anyone does take a little drive please send me some photos. Thanks
Posted by Deb Dixon  in  Ventura, Ca  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  03:48 AM
i know where this is it is in monticito on periwinkle lane the whole street are little houses but it says its a private road so enter at your own risk.
Posted by debora d  in  Ventura, Ca  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  04:10 AM
I can't believe how many people are commenting asking for directions! Just google the address in the story! I did this and went there today. It looks just the same, except without the no trespassing sign. And all the windows have closed blinds. I didn't go into the backyard, because it's not my house, but you can see my pictures of it here:
Posted by Jes  in  San Diego, CA  on  Thu Jan 10, 2008  at  06:32 PM
sorry jes you want a real treat take a saturday and go where i told ya. there are several little houses i think i saw 6-8 on this little lane. do try to be there in daylight so you can see them real well. take the 101 north towards santa barbara the town just before is monticito you want san ysidro road off ramp turn right 12 streets up or at the first light i think you see is east valley road turn right and start looking immediately on the left for periwinkle lane. this is really worth the drive and even better the pictures. it is a private drive but i was told they cant stop you from driving thru it. whoever does please send me some pics. thx
Posted by deb dixon  in  ventura,ca  on  Fri Jan 11, 2008  at  11:27 PM
Well lets clear the record once and for all !!!
MIDGETVILLE was a real place you were able to go to. it was off of the exit LA SIERRA on the 91. head south for about 3 miles then there came a road it was dirt . You turned right off of the road onto the dirt path . now mind you this is a driveway for people who lived off the main road. you could not drive up to it you had to park and walk down the hill, clinb over the barb wire then you were in MIDGETVILLE. There was a stable for horses, a creek ran on the back side of the cabin which looked like a farm house. there was 4-5 houses that were along what looked like there was a street at one point and time. I can remember alot of details about MIDGETVILLE. One house was 2 (two ) stories with a basement now these houses are so small the average human ( me being 6'2") cant get in them. One house even had hand prints with there last name written in the front porch. if you hav any questions email me at : .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Posted by RIVERSIDE ca  in  RIVERSIDE,ca  on  Wed Jan 16, 2008  at  08:30 PM
I too remember Fort Worth's "Midget Village". We went there many times as kid. Mom would take us down there. They also had a restaurant that served some of the best hamburgers in the area. I remember them to this day. As a child we used to get to walk around the village and look into all of the different buildings. From what I remember I believe the property was a diary farm at one time.
Posted by Chuck Mencke  in  Fort Worth, TX  on  Wed Feb 06, 2008  at  11:18 AM
I google earthed the Hidden Lane location that was mentioned and am sure that is where Midget Village in Fort Worth was located. It is less than a mile where I lived on Santa Marie. I couldn't find any signs of it on the satellite image but will try to head that way and check it out one weekend. Don't remember the hamburgers but I do remember little stores, a church etc. Of course, this was over 40 years ago.
Posted by Mike Rogers  in  Highland Village  on  Wed Feb 06, 2008  at  07:41 PM
There is a place called "midgetville" in New Britain, Ct. It's right at the end of Long Swamp Road. My friends had convinced me one night to take a ride over to it, seeing as i was a non believer. Who would really think a bunch of midgets would clan together at the end of a dead end road? Let me just explain this story to you. It was about, 1 am, when we finally got to the road. At the beginning of it, is an old run down gas station. Once you turn onto it and go down a couple of feet, you come onto these old multi family condo's that are all boarded up, 20-30 of then all in a row. Supposedly, a bunch of crack heads and druggies reside there to do their binging. Thats alright though because there are fences on the side of the road, so it isn't that bad. Well once you go past them, you go across a dingy bridge, and come upon huge brick walls on either side of you. Fucking weird if you ask me. After a 1/4 of a mile you come onto this dirt road and its about 4 or 5 oddly colored houses, rusty small trailers, and something that looked like an RV but completely broken down with no front to it. Fucking creepy as hell. So we go down a bit and try and turn around, about halfway my friend cassie and i see this makeshift garage, you know the ones with poles and tarps, all lit up like a damn block party. No biggie, but out of no where something big books through the trees in front of the light so all we see is a silhouette. We freak and tell the driver to go, not two seconds later this beasty, vicious dog [looked like a German Shepard but fucking huge ] books to cassie side door, jumps and barks at her. At that point we're screaming our heads off. We try to move but as soon as we get an inch the dog runs in front of our car, still barking. After about a good second, another dog comes. Like these people are sicking them on us. So the driver lays on her horn and spooks them a bit just to move them out of our way. We start to fly down the road and the dogs stop right at the front entrance of their street. About two seconds later some car comes right on our ass, from "midgetville" mind you. And chases us out, what i find weird is the car never turned off the road, but stopped right before the main road and stopped to wait for us to leave completely.

I'm not sure if i think there are actually midgets. However, i do believe there are people there, and they don't want anyone else there.
Posted by D'Anna Rae  in  connecticut  on  Sat Feb 09, 2008  at  01:13 PM

first of all, the neighborhood is called Bixby Knolls.

Del mar, the street behind los cerritos park, continues north and dead ends into a loop. right before that dead end, there is a black gate on the left side onto virginia vista rd. this is the entrance to midget town.,33.830970,-118.202690&saddr=33.826728,-118.189341&daddr=Del+Mar+Ave+@33.830970,+-118.202690&mra=mi&mrsp=0,1&sz=17&sll=33.826737,-118.189352&sspn=0.003485,0.007296&ie=UTF8&ll=33.828056,-118.197216&spn=0.003485,0.007296&t=h&z=17&om=0
here are directions from the intersection of long beach blvd and bixby rd.

some of the previous comments do not refer to midget town.

La Linda Drive is a small oval off bixby rd, it is gated, but it is NOT midget town.;=&saddr;=&daddr=33.826772,-118.190526&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=18&sll=33.82679,-118.190516&sspn=0.001742,0.003648&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=18&om=0

The black gate off virginia rd is the entrance to the country club. there are houses on the golf course along country club drive and virginia rd, these are the fanciest. also, midget town and another gated community accessed from long beach blvd north of san antonio is on the golf course.,33.841006,-118.191792&saddr=W+Glenchester+Dr+@33.841006,+-118.191792&daddr=33.840621,-118.191648&mra=mi&mrsp=1,0&sz=18&sll=33.840693,-118.19153&sspn=0.001742,0.003648&ie=UTF8&ll=33.840867,-118.191776&spn=0.001742,0.003648&t=h&z=18&om=0
Posted by WILL  in  Long Beach / Bixby Knolls  on  Mon Feb 11, 2008  at  10:35 PM
Posted by WILL  on  Mon Feb 11, 2008  at  10:36 PM
This past sunday i went to midget town in DOWNEY im guessin, i saw no midgets but the house were pretty small and ctrange and ive been there about 5 times and its by the island in downey. close to a park, google it that may help you out.
Posted by Tania  in  Downeyy  on  Tue Feb 19, 2008  at  05:13 PM
omg, i just got back from the little person village in merrick, ny....omg place is creepy!!!!!, its cool n interesting the mini houses's r whoa!!!...we even saw a little person coming in to the complex when we were leaving, some of the houses look like they are normal sized but they are all just a bit off...u can tell by the doors they are small n narrow, the little windows n little garages were nuts i loved it!!!!...this place is awsome, creepy at night though...then there is this HUGE house set off in the distance its a huge big house but u there is no driveway or way to get to the house......take southern state pkwy to 24s n its like 2-3 lights up....
Posted by dlady  in  long island  on  Wed Feb 20, 2008  at  06:23 AM
hey if anyone could tell me how 2 get 2 the one in muskego or mukwonago that would b really cool cause i go fishin at mukwonago park alot thanks
Posted by adam  in  milwaukee  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  03:43 AM
Steve Haynes,
Check out mine and Chuck Mencke's post on Feb 6 and Tommy's posts on July 9th and 13th. That is where Midget Village in Fort Worth used to be anyway. That area, including my old street, has changed very little in the past 40 or so years. BTW, I knew a Russell at Burton Hill elementary, I am now 49.
Posted by Mike Rogers  in  Highland Village  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  04:08 PM
RE: Fort Worth's Midget Village.

Just phoned my mom to see if she remembered the Midget Village by our house on Santa Marie, why I haven't done this before escapes me. Anyway, she did remember and said the story back then was that it was built by the land owner in honor of his son whom was killed. I google earthed the exact location following the directions given by Tommy and it is still there. I have just shown my wife all this and she wants to drive out this Sat. and look at it. I'll let you know what I find out.
Posted by Mike Rogers  in  Highland Village  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  05:10 PM
I am wondering if anyone can give me directions to this so called "midget town" in New Britain, CT? All my friends say it's real but for some reason I don't believe it. I guess if it is true I have to see it to believe it.
Posted by Rickey Haney  in  Portland, CT  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  01:45 AM
there really is a midget town.. I went there this past December. It's in Claremont... Hidden... YOu have to drive up this long rode and then you see a sign that says "DEAD END" and "NO ENTRANCE".. .Drive a little past, the rode starts winding a bit and before you know it ... you see little houses and little mailboxes..
Posted by Sophia M.  in  RAncho Cucamonga, CA  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  05:29 AM
Went to the Fort Worth Midget Village last weekend. The area was fenced off with No Trespassing/No Dumping signs all over the place. Could see the church but that was all. It is at the end of Hidden Lane.
Posted by Mike  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  06:01 AM
i went on a friday niight really really late and we were rolling deep!!! at least 15 people with us hahah. but we started walking up we passed the house where the lady guards and we passed the little yellow gate but 10 secs later the lady came out and yelled hey get outta here ! lol. We saw one little house and thats the first one on the right hand side hahah. but its funny cause when the lady yelled out everyone ran up the side of the hill hahah. we started walking back and the lady was like dont tell me your looking for midgets and we just kept on walking. but when we got back to are cars all the way in the parking lot she came out with her van and chased us out lmao FUN NIGHT FUN NIGHT! i recommend u go but just with less people ha
Posted by HMD  in  Pomona  on  Mon Mar 17, 2008  at  10:20 AM
It is in National City. Right by Sweet Water High School. The house's are not very small but they do look smaller than other houses. The door's are a little smaller and the windowns too. Also the sizes of the house's are really small. They say that there use to be a lot of little people living there but now there is only a couple since it is rare for two little people to make another little person. Usually they have children that are normal sized. Anyways. To get there you take the 54 and exit highland. go onto sweet water road and make a right at the KFC then you make left at the second stop light. Probably by toys R us. Then just drive around and you can view all the house's. There is a little secret abandoned dwarf town in the area. It's on K street or ave or w/e iono map quest it. There is going to be an alley and you'll see a sign with all their adresses. Down the alley you can see a small miniature little town even with a gas station a blacksmith shop and a barber shop. It's really neat and you should take time to visit. Although you cannot go into the alley since it says no trespassing...I always do and look around. The place is desserted and old and they've knocked down a lot of the buildings and it's all thats left. :(
Posted by anonymous  in  San Diego  on  Thu Apr 24, 2008  at  02:43 PM
I used to go to Suva School in Bell Gardens, just down the street from MIDGET VILLE. Oh yeah, you bet we little kids were curious and when we looked through the gate to see if it was true, we saw some small houses with small doors and any small person who saw us came roaring out yelling at us to leave. It's real, and it scared us enough to leave them alone. I still think about it and my friend, Lynn thought I was telling a tale until she found THIS SITE! Ha! I told you!
Posted by Angie  in  Nipomo, CA  on  Sat Apr 26, 2008  at  09:51 PM
where is the midget town in seaford or merrick?
and directions pleaseee.
Posted by Kelly  in  Long Island  on  Sat May 03, 2008  at  07:04 PM
I grew up in Long Beach/Compton area and used to visit Tiny Town which was located by Shady Acres miniature golf course on Long Beach Blvd. Believe it.
Posted by Big Worm  in  New Orleans  on  Mon May 05, 2008  at  11:03 AM
I've been to this supposed midget town recently. I was informed by two different people in my life that this place was definitely it. Both times it was the same place, but this time I did more research. Here's the website for what the place really is:

Wonder no more about the midget town on the border of PA and DE
Posted by dan  in  delaware  on  Wed May 14, 2008  at  05:42 PM
DUDE! I live in PA and my friend's sister-in-law went to migitville and had rocks thrown at their cars!
Posted by Lemon  in  House  on  Fri May 16, 2008  at  03:38 PM
If you want to know it is. I have been in Long Beach, ca practically all my life and learned of this exclusive part of Long Beach which is a community called Bixby Knolls...very historic communiity... Growing up you hear about all the stuff and myths that go on in this neighborhood - Midget Town, Egor's Alley, The Witch's House. These are all stories and myths from the same community of Bixby Knolls. I'm 29 and I remember when I was about 14 going to midget town with a group of teenagers. We parked just outside of the gate that leads to these homes. It was late so we creeped and walked past the wooden hand that keeps people out. I was real skeptical at the time but a group of us got really far down that street - pitch black, foggy, late at night, I think we just about walked through that whole street. I did remember seeing when first walking past the block entrance was a really huge door but with the door knobs 2-3 feet from the floor... going further down the road you will eventually be amazed to see 2 story beautifully constructed homes... the only thing is that the 2 story home was as tall as a one story!!! It almost seemed like I was staring at a dollhouse...I was quite amazed... We did not want to disturb the residents as we realized it was not just the short people who occuppied this private community...there were tall people too that lived there! I spotted a small man watching t.v. on his couch in one of these miniature homes. I think I have walked in there about 2-3 times... The first time we were chased by a short person and we ran! Then followed by a unidentified miniture looking van that didn't have a recognizable make or model,looked like a foreign car. Another time a dog followed by a taller man chased us out. I was young and my friends were just acting like curious teenagers... This is no myth its all true... Its nice that they have thier own communities...I understand why they could be hostile because ignorant people disturb thier living space...they just want to be treated like anyone else. Today the community upgraded thier wooden hand as a gate to a rot iron type gate so you cant just easily walk right through it. If you ever want to see for yourself I would really keep out and just drive by it as if you got lost, hit a dead end and find your self out really quick...they really won't tolerate trespassers and I'm sure people who golf over at the country club get tired of people snooping. To your right is the Country Club, In the middle is the Los Cerritos Museum Attraction, to the Left is the gated entrance into the secluded neighborhood where they call midget town. These residents are very well established. I've lived in Bixby area and you would have thought this was a Long Beach Beverly Hills between the Ghettos... Again this is no is true...just respect these people and you won't have to worry about getting chased out!
Posted by Long Beach Native  in  Long Beach, CA  on  Thu Jun 05, 2008  at  01:26 AM
i have lived in San Diego and jus recently heard of MIDGETVILLE. Went there...actually followed someones directions from this site. and i didn't see anything...its probably gone now...sux
Posted by SARA  in  san diego  on  Fri Jun 06, 2008  at  11:57 PM
LOL there is a place in Montecito, Santa Barbara called Periwinkle Lane that is just for little people my teacher told me but be careful because if you do drive through there you will get water melons thrown at you and that would suck.
Posted by Henry Derengo  in  Santa Barbara, CA  on  Fri Jun 13, 2008  at  11:53 PM
I live only a few miles from Midgetville located in the La Sierra Community of Riverside, CA. Sadly, it was bulldozed over around 2002. Most of the local High School & College kids have MANY fond memories of partying the night away in those tiny abandoned houses. One thing that no one seems to have are any good photos of the houses. This was pretty much prior to everyone having camera phones & digital cameras. I would LOVE to get some pics of "Riverside's" midgetville to add to my morbid collection. If you were one of the smart ones that took pics or you have a copy of the DVD documentary that was made of it, PLEASE contact me. Thanks!
Posted by JIMI  in  Riverside, CA  on  Mon Jun 16, 2008  at  04:50 PM
Little People Lane in Montecito, CA is real -- it's a small road called Periwinkle Lane on maps and by word of mouth - here's a link to the map:;=&q=periwinkle+lane+&+e.+valley+rd&sll=34.435938,-119.629869&sspn=0.008813,0.015428&ie=UTF8&ll=34.437018,-119.62944&spn=0.008813,0.015428&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr

It's just off the 101 Freeway. When you drive by the road has a sign calling it "Hodges Lane," conceivably to keep out those searching for Periwinkle Lane. There's about 15 miniature houses.
Posted by Lana  in  Santa Barbara, CA  on  Fri Jun 20, 2008  at  11:00 AM
Comments: Page 5 of 10 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.