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 didn't read all of the comments above, so i don't know if anyone has mentioned the questionable midget town in long beach. anyways, a friend of mine lives near it sort of in the rancho los alamitos part of long beach on a street called la linda drive. well, we found la linda drive, and it is a small community (maybe 30 houses) only blocked by a electronic gate. a few months ago we found this gate left open for some odd reason, and at first we were all scared to go in, especially with the car. so we watched for about 10 minutes, and in that time we saw two cars enter and exit the community. both seemed as if they were midgets because they could barely see above the wheel. though, of course it is very tough to be sure of this because they didnt exit there cars. i ended up walking through the community (the road goes around in an oval) and found many very nice houses, like mini mansions, but didnt see any midgets. i did see 3 or 4 normal humans (with no intention of considering midgets not normal), but that was it. i hope to journey back to the community sometime soon, and please respond if any others know of or have been to this area. thanks
Posted by john  in  long beach  on  Sun Aug 21, 2005  at  01:43 AM
There is a tinytown in Long Island, New York and I was there Friday night (8/19). IT'S REAL AND ITS FREAKY! The houses are like little mini houses. They are kinda scary looking.
Posted by Eric  in  NY  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  07:45 AM
i was just wondering if anyone knew where midget town on long island was...if u could please im me that would be great
Posted by michele  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  04:52 PM
if somebody couls please tell me where the midget town on long island is it would be great... i think it is in bayville or muttentown or somewhere around there but i havent found it yet...if anyone has been there please tell me where its located
Posted by courtney  in  long island  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  11:44 PM
The website for Tiny Town in Long Island is at this link below. Go on Mapquest for directions to Merrick, Long Island.
Posted by Kris  in  NJ  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  04:22 PM
Been to the one in Long Beach. We went through the first gate that anyone can go through(just push a button and the arm goes up), but didn't get through the second gate. We could see two small houses. One looked like a mini version of the Brady Bunch house. Friends have said they climbed a fence and saw a park with small swings, slides and drinking fountains. There are a lot of "end of road" type signs to make you think that you should turn around before you get to the gate.
Posted by Karla Beckerman  in  San Ramon, California  on  Wed Oct 12, 2005  at  05:08 PM
Hey Guys,

The past labor day weekend my friend and I were taking a scenic drive through Montgomery, NJ and somehow ended up in what I would consider a Weird area. We had turned off 206 onto Dutchtown-(something) road.(at the intersection was a pretty white church)
Somehow we turned onto longhill road and then onto ridge road and then lindburg rd. It may have been in a different order but those were the 3 roads that we were on. This area is very desolate with long, windy roads and woods on either side. We were on either lindenberg rd or ridge rd when we saw the tinest houses that look like large shoe boxes. Tiny doors, windows and driveways. Regular cars in the driveways and dirt roads in between properties which read No Trespassing. We kept driving and did not try to trespass because we both are chickens! The weird thing was that it was such a gorgeous day out and we saw noone, yet the driveways all had cars in them. Not one other vehicle passed us the whole 30 minutes that we were checking out the area.
Is anyone familiar with this area? Has anyone seen these houses? I'm going to have to go back again soon to look around more. I'd love to know what lies in the woods behind the no tresspassing signs.

Let me know if you've been here!

Posted by Kris  in  NJ  on  Thu Oct 13, 2005  at  04:25 PM
there is a midget town in long beach like mentioned. My friend went there and they chased them away with broom sticks and one threw a brick at them
Posted by Logan  in  Corona, Ca  on  Wed Oct 19, 2005  at  11:06 PM
I too have been to munchkin land in long beach but it was not the La Linda area that is gated. It was the one that someone mentioned where the gate is just an arm like the kind at a parking lot. Yes there were/are a few signs saying end of road and all of the houses had double wide front doors and double high but the door knobs were all very low on the doors which is why we think that midgets live in them. One of the homes had the front doors open and we could see that these were just entries into a garden area between the front entrance and the actual house. We also got chased out a few times but usually due to being inconsiderate of the people living there. We were just kids.
Posted by Kenny  in  so cal  on  Fri Oct 21, 2005  at  02:43 PM
VIENNA VIRGINIA....right off of Cedar Lane...there is indeed a "midgetville". One dirt road...houses with fences and dogs in the front yards...almost every house has a van..go figure. but the houses are small...the vertically challenged do get pissed off...and i have 100% been there and seen it for myself. This is no myth...midgetville exist in VA
Posted by kevin  in  fairfax, va  on  Tue Oct 25, 2005  at  11:25 PM
This is great. I never knew that there really was a "Midgetville". I did see a little house in Texas when I was visiting my Aunt last year. The guy that lived there was not a mean fearce guy though. He looked like that guy from "James Bond The man with a Golden Gun". I just wanted to say "A plane a plane, Look at the plane boss!" But I didn't. That's it. End of story.
Posted by Joe  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  12:01 PM
Hey if any of you know a midget town near Long Beach or Downey let me know. My email is: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Posted by BILL SONG  in  LONG BEACH  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  07:07 PM
Every post that I read doesnt dive that correct adress or adress. This is some hoax
Posted by BILL SONG  in  LONG BEACH  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  07:19 PM
HA HA HA. We have a hobbit place like that. They changed it because of the movie lord of the rings, but they call it the shire. If you try to enter it they do chase you and they throw things. It's very funny. AND sad.. But funny. The chase with shovels, then they call the cops.
I wanted to put these pocket pals in my pocket.

They are ruthless!
Posted by Carter S  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  08:05 PM
correction...Haunchyville midgits chase you with torches. & it's in muskego
Posted by adriana  in  Milwaukee  on  Fri Jan 20, 2006  at  10:01 AM
can anyone give me the directions to the one in long beach?if you can email me.
Posted by jeannette  in  california  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  04:37 PM
yes, i too have heard of this story. It would be located on 'mystic drive' in Muskego, Wisconsin. It is supposeidly down a chained off dirt road, out to a farm field. There are supposed to be miniature stop signs, doors, houses, fences, and midgets, complete with tourches and pitchforks. There is a full size man also, who guards them. You also get stuck with a hefty fine for tresspassing on the private property. I have heard this several times around school, and nothing really seems to be consistant (plus I also have Wierd Wisconsin)

I have also searched all over mystic drive with google earth, and cannot see ANY sign of even a single shed in a field, let alone a whole village (unless under trees, but i doubt it)

so, i would be willing to put my head on it that it doesnt exist, but it's jsut supposed to keep all of us entertained, thus mostly being circulated during hig-school years.

Oh, also, here is a few pictures of the Texas World Fair, complete with midgets and village, via google images...

all in fun
Posted by shotgun_mario  in  menomonee falls wisconsin  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  10:13 PM
I live in Delaware, near the PA border. I have been hearing Friend of a friend stories about a midget town in what we refer to as the "Valley" since high school. This is an area of back roads that is pretty wooded. Apparently the town is called Zoobieville. I have heard heavy testimonies of how Thier friend was "definitely" there.
One story was of someone who was driving off road and was confronted by a group of midgets who started throwing apples or crabapples at his car. "He has the dents to prove it." So I was told.
Another was that they even have a bar just for them in the town and my friend's friend was going to have her bachelorette party there. but for some reason they didn't. Also, for some reason no one I know knows how to get there.
There is also a Satan house in the area where the trees grow away from the house, and a truck will chase you and shot at you if you go near it. I have seen this house, and the trees do grow away from it, but I imagine its because they are on a small steep hill, and possibly grow towards the sun. (I'm no scientist) But no one chased me.
Posted by dan  in  delaware  on  Fri Mar 10, 2006  at  02:10 PM
where is this place located?
Posted by colleen  in  la jolla  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  12:30 PM
ft worths midget village is on hidden ln at the end . off alta off crestline it is between two pillars on the left is hiden in the woods of the west fork of the trinity river. people do not want you to find it either. it's a nice area
Posted by amanda  in  aledo  on  Sat Apr 22, 2006  at  04:48 PM
i'm sorry i mean't hidden lane not road in westover hills off camp bowie blvd follow it to crestline and then the above directions
Posted by amanda  in  aledo  on  Sat Apr 22, 2006  at  04:52 PM
the "midgetville" in vienna, virginia is a grouping of 7 small houses, nestled amongst a woodsy area. while the houses are smaller than normal, the residents are all normal-sized non-midgets who don't really appreciate hordes of high school kids every weekend driving around their community throwing eggs and shouting obsceneties and looking for "midgets".

the community is going to be torn down in a month to make way for more overpriced suburban mcmansions.
Posted by pezpunk  in  northern virginia  on  Wed May 03, 2006  at  12:05 PM
I heard there is a midgetville in Oakdale, NY (Long Island). Has anyone seen it or know where it is?
Posted by Liz  in  Long Island, NY  on  Sun May 14, 2006  at  05:22 PM
I have been to midgetville in mukwanago. it is down the chained off dirt road but there are just normal houses from the outside.(never been in them)theres also more than 1 normal sized guy and they suround the place they will chase you with dogs if you got the guts to get out of your car otherwise they have
trucks they will bring and chase you with (the midgets have a big blue truck) and call the cops. they also have a bar called the hunters nest they shut off all the lites when we pulled into the parking lot.
Posted by wingsgoalie  in  waukesha, wisconsin  on  Tue May 16, 2006  at  08:02 PM
There is one in Anaheim CA. It's about 8 houses in downtown Anaheim. They are all short and have short doors and windows. I have seen many midgets there. It's off a road called Caille De Estrella. It's really cool. Me and my friends went there 2 times. Go check it out!!!
Posted by david  in  Anaheim, CA  on  Thu May 18, 2006  at  10:01 PM
I was just at the one in Oakdale, it is down by Dowling College. If you make the right off of Main St right at Dowling, and take the right fork when the road forks, you'll come to it...
Posted by Rene  in  Islip, NY  on  Mon May 29, 2006  at  05:52 PM
so have you heard of the one in jefferson wisconsin, about the guard shooting big people
Posted by mini burt  in  wisconsin  on  Fri Jun 02, 2006  at  12:49 PM
No were is it in Jefferson?
Posted by wingsgoalie  in  Waukesha  on  Sat Jun 10, 2006  at  06:21 PM
Dan - I live in Delaware too, and I've been to the midget town in the Valley! It was years ago, with a friend - just a little group of tiny houses off of the main road. Oddly enough - I don't remember where it was. But, I really was there!
Posted by Matt  in  delaware  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  04:28 PM
there is also a midgetville in virginia. developers are trying to tear the place down. check out my freind used to live there and i visited the place a couple years ago. it is way too cool to tear down, hopefully they stop the greedy bastards from destroying it.
Posted by mike norgaard  in  mazomanie, wi  on  Tue Jul 25, 2006  at  06:41 AM
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