Visitors from all over the world come to the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, Georgia, birthplace of Oliver Hardy. In fact, every Fall, the town holds the Oliver Hardy Festival, which draws a crowd well over the size of Harlem's population. But when it's business as usual, this place is not forgotten. Travelers come and go. Locals drop in for a visit. After school, children stop by for homemade cookies and watch a short or two. I might also add that the Museum is run by some of the sweetest people, and houses an impressive collection of Laurel and Hardy's works. They will gladly play any film or short for you - just say the word, and curl up on a seat in their theater.
The overwhelming sense of community breathes life into this museum, and continually honors the memory and legacy of Mr. Hardy, and his comedic counterpart, Stan Laurel. The Museum itself exists due to a heartening responsibility of sharing and preserving the works of Laurel and Hardy, coming strictly from fans. In its infancy, the Museum was no museum at all. Rather, people from all over the world would send Laurel and Hardy memorabilia to Harlem. Artifacts of all shapes and sizes were placed on display in City Hall, until there was simply no room left! And, thusly, through the collaboration of Laurel and Hardy fans, the community of Harlem, and a Mayor of Harlem (related to Mr. Hardy), the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, Georgia was born.
And, like all duos, it's just one wonderful half of perfection - the sister museum operates in Ulverston, England, Stan Laurel's hometown.
If you take a short walk outside the Museum, you'll also find a plaque marking the spot where Oliver Hardy was born. It's just across the street from Ollie's Laundry, of all things!
The Museum features hospitable staff members, amazing memorabilia (including a fez from Sons of the Desert!), and a perfectly-priced gift shop.
Don't forget to pose with "the boys" while you're there! And a picture's not a picture without wearing the obligatory derby hat.
--Annette Bochenek for Classic Movie Hub
(Read about Annette's Classic Movie Travels at Hometowns To Hollywood)