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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.
Categories: Places
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 02, 2005
Is this place for sale?
Posted by wannie  on  Thu May 17, 2007  at  03:45 AM
we have a midget village here in pennsylvania. i thinks its by south hampton. its marked by a strnage sign with a weird language. i have only been there once at night but it is scary. the road leading into it is gravel lined by trees on each side. you go into the village and there really is just a bunch of tiny houses. some have lawn furniture some have laundry lines. we were too scared to get out of the car so we looked around quietly and left.
Posted by shannon  in  levittown, pennsylvania  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  12:23 AM
i lived in muskego for nine years hearing this legend of Haunchyville. I lived not even a half a mile away from the place. And i and my friend have searched for it. Found nothing... but there are a few other things we have seen and found. The place isnt mystic drive... its further away than that. Its to misguide people from the truths of its location. You can dig and search all you want, but you wont find it. Lets just say look for the tree the shows the fork in the road. A trail that goes on but doesnt at the same time. Located on the biketrails. There like a maze but if you wander them enough you will find exactley what your looking for.
Posted by Dave  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  06:45 PM
last night i went to where midget town is supposed to be. supposedly its down the country club drive or whatever but i didnt see any gate that just had a arm that went up and you could drive in. there are two gates at the end of the road, one to the left, one to the right. if anyone knows which gate you go in or which side of the street its actually on, i would really like to know. thanks.
Posted by mandy  in  california  on  Sun Jul 01, 2007  at  03:08 PM
can someone just tell me the name of the street of the one in long beach.....i've been looking and asking everyone....just curiousity
Posted by D.  in  anaheim/cypress  on  Sun Jul 08, 2007  at  03:25 AM
There is a place that I know of in Oakdale. If you drive past Dowling College on Idlehour rd. in Oakdale and drive through an archway. The first left is Princess gate dr. This has some of the old legendary small houses. There is another place in stonybrook that has many more, but the area slips my mind. I will look into it and post the details.
Posted by Alex  in  Long Island  on  Sun Jul 08, 2007  at  10:09 PM
I saw the Little People in Midget Village when I was a teenager... back in the '60s. They had little buildings a small gas station, church, store an other buildings... and seemed to work the fields near the Trinity River. THe village was on an large estate and could be seen from HIdden Road in Fort Worth. I was over there the other day and it is much harder to see things now... plus the gate is closed and posted; so I didn't go closer to see if the building are still there.

I would love to full story sourrounding this. But I actually saw the village and its compact populous.

You know, I spent 20 years establishing my art career in New Orleans... a place with many essentric folks... but they ain't got nothing on my Texas... were a lovely bunch of nuts here and I love it smile

Smiles, Tommy G Thompson
Posted by Tommy  in  Fort Worth, TX  on  Mon Jul 09, 2007  at  12:06 PM
DOES ANYONE HAVE DIRECTIONS THERE. I REALLY WANNA GO AND EVERYONE THAT I TALK TO.. FORGOT HOW TO GET THERE..
:[[
Posted by bre  in  wood  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  04:36 AM
I do know the way there and it's a little tricky. If you wish I can send a copy of a map. But otherwise you can go to restline Road, go past the Rivercrest Country Club ( heading away from downtown). When you come to the corner of Crestline & Sanguinet Street- take a right. YOu are entering a very exclusive residential area... not sure if the roads are private but it's ok. The next corner is Alta Drive - take another right and almost immediatly you will come to HIdden Road on you left - trun left and go all the way down the hill to the end of the road. You can look to the right and several hundred yards into the woord is Midget Village... or whats left of it. I used to go ahead and drive down the private road and get a closeer look. Do it if you dare. Many years ago it was a triving tiny community and I still see them busy in their little village.... it was pretty cool.
Posted by Tommy  in  Fort Worth, TX  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  11:28 AM
I JUST WANT SOMONE TO TELL ME THE LOCATION TO THE MIGET LAND LOCATED IN LONG BEACH PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME DIRECTONS....TO WHERE IT IS LOCATED I HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT IT AND REALLY WANNA VISIT IT
Posted by LeOn  in  Los Angeles  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  10:12 PM
smile okay this midgetville is real
i went there tonight
and i saw what every said is true
one is located in claremont CALIFORNIA and this lady quards the entrance and she chases out people that come any where near her house.
we got chased by her van and we all think that she is a ghost becuase she dissapears once she sees you get far away from her house
Posted by christine  in  alta loma CA  on  Sun Aug 12, 2007  at  05:07 AM
well i too havent read the above comments, but I KNOW FOR A FACT that there certainly is a Midget-town in Long Beach, california, ...my step mom has told me dozens of times...about how in highschool,her and my father would sneak into the community and ding dong ditch the midgets house...which really do have very low door knobs and low mail boxes...it is parallel to the virginia country club golf course...in the bixby knolls area...and is gated...ive also heard that the road that leads to the entrance is somewhat disguised...as in it has signs saying "no trespassing" and "dead end"...but there really is no doubt in my mind that there is a midget town in long beach...its a local ledgend.
Posted by brittany  in  lbc, ca  on  Mon Aug 13, 2007  at  05:42 AM
Location Of Supposed Long Beach Midget Town:

http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=N+Virginia+Rd+@33.838890,+-118.19685&ll=33.838953,-118.196596&spn=0.000847,0.001824&t=k&z=19&iwloc=addr&om=1

All of the information I could gather online about this "Midget Town" in long beach, directed me here

http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=N+Virginia+Rd+@33.838890,+-118.19685&ll=33.838953,-118.196596&spn=0.000847,0.001824&t=k&z=19&iwloc=addr&om=1

I drove out there with a friend. When you get to the end of the road you hit a security gate. There's no indication that there is anything spectacular beyond the gate. The only thing that rubbed me suspicious were signs indicating that I was being filmed. All this security for a gate that appears to lead to a golf course? I had my truck at the parked at the security gate no longer than 30 seconds. I threw it in reverse and headed back out to park in the neighbourhood near the golf course. On my way out security was already driving a golf cart down the road from the country club to give me the boot. I parked in Bixby Knowles and jumped the fence to the golf course. I walked literally from one side of the golf course to the other. There are no little houses down the aforementioned gated driveway. There are however some very large very nice expensive homes down that driveway. Look at the areal shot from google maps do you see a small home in there? It was about 12:15 AM all of the homes had their lights off. I didn't think to check to see if the door knobs were low to the ground. My friend and I got sprayed with reclaimed water while evading a security guard. Honestly there are no gingerbread houses with dwarfs singing songs in there. No little houses either. There are very LARGE fancy homes down this secretive private driveway. If midgets live there they have serious loot. They also employ security that monitors the gates at the entrance of the road very well. In my opinion these stories about the long beach midget town are all BS. Anyone who says they have been there and seen a little house is full of crap. I'll drive in during the day and check to see if the knobs are low but really I don't care if little people live in those big houses. I really wanted to see a bunch of little houses. All of the knuckleheads that say that there are little homes in Bixby Knowles are liars spreading an urban legend. If I'm wrong then post the latitude and longitude of the long beach midget town. When I see a little house I'll apologize to you and shout from the top of signal hill that "(insert name here) is the master of the universe."
Posted by James  in  Anaheim CA  on  Tue Aug 14, 2007  at  09:11 AM
im from DE and me and my friends were randomly cruising around the valley looking for midgeville but we couldnt find anything if anyone has actual directions or can at least give me a ball park area please contact me..weve all gotten bored with devils road and the cult/satan house
Posted by pup  in  wilmington, delaware  on  Sat Aug 18, 2007  at  01:08 AM
to christine in alta loma what street is the midget town in claremont?
Posted by iwannaknowjoe  in  alta loma, ca  on  Wed Sep 05, 2007  at  12:59 AM
This is directed to iwannajoe, its at the very north end of Padua avenue in Claremont, CA. I've heard the same story from other people about being chased away from an old lady.
Posted by meth0d  in  Alta Loma  on  Tue Sep 25, 2007  at  02:23 PM
Ive been to Bixby Knowles ive been to the supposed Midget Town. we were actually looking for the house where they filmed Farre's Bullers day off. we ended up at the veary back part of of bixby knowles with all of the huge beautiful houses. and we needed to turn around we saw a sign that said no trust passing and dead end. so we figured we would turn around there but there was no dead end it was a long durt road that went down a veary steep hill. we ended up in a secret community the houses were smaller than normal but they kinda looked like the houses from the brady bunch area so the roofs were veary low so were the windows the doors were normal size but the door knobs were low. then a friend i was with said this must be midgett town. i never heard about it before, but am 100% sure it does excist, so who ever says it is full of Crap or BS, whatever healps you sleep at night. or maybe you are just a little person trying to turn it into a hoax so no one will bother you.... It's real!
Posted by ms Teresa M.  in  LaMirada Calif  on  Thu Sep 27, 2007  at  04:16 PM
I've been to Bixby Knowles ive been to the supposed Midget Town. we were actually looking for the house where they filmed Farre's Bullers day off. we ended up at the very back part of of Bixby Knowles with all of the huge beautiful houses. and we needed to turn around we saw a sign that said no trust passing and dead end. so we figured we would turn around there but there was no dead end it was a long dirt road that went down a very steep hill. we ended up in a secret community the houses were smaller than normal but they kind of looked like the houses from the Brady bunch area so the roofs were very low so were the windows the doors were normal size but the door knobs were low. then a friend I was with said this must be midget town. I never heard about it before, but am 100% sure it does exist, so who ever says it is full of Crap or BS, whatever helps you sleep at night. or maybe you are just a little person trying to turn it into a hoax so no one will bother you.... It's real!
Posted by Teresa M. M  in  LaMirada California  on  Thu Sep 27, 2007  at  04:21 PM
I live in muskego, (well not right now, im in school) and my friend lives on foxbro place, which is off of mystic drive, and i have been to "haunchyvill" with her, and there is a road and some woods. thats it. there are no haunchys, buuuut she said that before her family moved in, a kid who was down by haunchyville was drowned in a pond, and they still dont know what did it.


oh and mystic is off of woods for all those needing directions.
Posted by kristeen  in  milwalkee  on  Fri Sep 28, 2007  at  12:37 AM
ME AND MY HUSBAND WHEN WE FIRST MET HE TOTOK ME THERE. WE DROVE PAST THE HOUSES AND OUR CAR WAS A LIL TO BIG TO MAKE A TURN ABOUT SO WE FLASHED THE HEAD LIGHT INTO A RESIDENTS HOME AND A LIL MAN CAME OUT WITH A RIFFLE OPPS HE WAS UP SET I GUESS ALOT OF THEM GOT PICKED ON OR ETC BUT THEY FELT LIKE THEY WERE BEING TREATED AMUSMENT PARK OR OTHER. ITS NO LONGER THERE. MAYBE WE CAUSED IT. SORRY !!! WE SAN DIEGANS MADE YOU FEEL THAT WAY I GUESS WE SHOULD OF BEEN APPRICIATED WE SHARED AT ONE TIME A CITY TOGETHER. KNOW WE HAVE A 16YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AND WE TELL HER ABOUT IT BUT IAM THANK FULL I FOUND THIS WEB SIGHT SO SHE CAN BELIVE ME.
Posted by Maribel and Alex coral  in  La jolla califonia  on  Wed Oct 03, 2007  at  04:28 PM
It's still bigger than my apartment.
Posted by kirsten  in  sfv  on  Sat Oct 20, 2007  at  01:01 AM
I need an exact address of this midget village in Long Beach. I've been looking for it for some time.
Posted by gammaRAY_GREENE  on  Sat Oct 20, 2007  at  07:46 AM
Just outside of Philadelphia, PA, in Ridley Park, there was supposed to have been a "Midget Town", with pretty much the same discription as was the case with other such towns listed here. It appears that the truth is it was two or three houses up a narrow driveway, not an entire town.
Posted by Philly Mike  in  Delaware County  on  Thu Oct 25, 2007  at  07:17 PM
the midget town in downey is real! only one house is super small though. its on your right side. the street is a dead end btw.
Posted by grunt  in  bellflower  on  Sat Nov 17, 2007  at  03:27 AM
PLEASE, does anyone know where the little people society is in or around Long Beach CA is?
Posted by Tasha Woods  in  LA california  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  09:52 PM
i put the wrong address in my earlier post, it's
http://www.keepmidgetville.com
sorry about that.
Posted by mike norgaard  in  mazomanie, wi  on  Thu Nov 29, 2007  at  05:13 PM
To: Mike Rogers

Re: Fort Worth's Midget Village

Your comment "As a young boy in the early 1960's Fort Worth, I remember a place everyone called "Midget Village" reminds me of a story told by my friend Russell Doshier. Russell grew up in Fort Worth during the 60's. It seems that being taken to Fort Worth's "Midget Village" was equivalent to being taken on a Texas "snipe hunting trip." However, Doshier swears that he was actually taken to the placeat dusk by an older buddy and that the location roughly corresponds to the area you described. I love to read about the colorful history of Fort Worth, the place where "The West Begins." This story dovetails perfectly with the wonderful tales spun around Fort Worth and the little towns that surround the Metroplex.
Posted by Steve Hanes  in  Fort Worth  on  Tue Dec 04, 2007  at  03:43 PM
Well this actually happened yesturday me and my friends heard about a midget town in california near long beach the bixby area soo we went driving around and finally we went down this one street called san antonio and turn on another street the road to get to the gate is long and windy and its kinda creepy ... and soo we kept on going and we found the entrance and even a little sign that looked like a gnome kinda funny haha...But then we just checking out the entrance so we turned around and drove away and all of a sudden a car came out of no where from the midget town entrance and started following us it was sooo intense but we finally got away...we are soon going to go back and sneak inside
Posted by Ryan  on  Sat Dec 22, 2007  at  12:51 PM
So, I've heard about this place in Santa Barbara/Montecito a ton of times... well, after I get home from Christmas out of town, I'm cruising by to check it out for myself!
Posted by Tim Halberg  in  Santa Barbara, CA  on  Sun Dec 23, 2007  at  12:53 AM
I heard this story about midgettown in downey over 22 years ago, A boyfriend told me he went to midget town and that they throw bottles at him and he was chased by midgets, so we drove there and the gate was locked and the street we went down was river something, fast forward all these years, I took my kids and we looked around and walked up and down the riverbed and surrounding streets, there was no midgets or tiny homes around. Past some of the same houses though, Sorry!
Posted by Letty C  in  Diamond Bar, CA  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  02:13 AM
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