The Return of South Jersey’s Most Beloved Pachyderm
What do you get a lady who's a hundred and forty years old? A facelift, of course!
Lucy the Elephant is perhaps one of the most recognizable attractions in all of New Jersey, and she's located right here in our backyard.
Lucy the Elephant stands 6 stories high and is made of wood and tin.
This grand 'ol lady has quite a history. Through the years, like most of us, she's gone through many changes. She's been a gambling joint, a camp, a speakeasy, and even a hotel of sorts. President Woodrow Wilson was said to have stayed there in the early 1900s.
Lucy the Elephant has also made several appearances on television and in movies through the years, including Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and was mentioned in an episode of Boardwalk Empire. As well as National Lampoon's Vacation and other television shows and movies.
When you're a six-story high elephant that calls the Jersey shore home, you're going to experience a lot. If Lucy could only talk! Lucy has endured a lightning strike, and numerous storms, including Superstorm Sandy. Through it all, she persevered.
When Lucy turned 138 years old, it was clear that if Lucy were to remain, she'd have to go through some renovations. Her metal skin had become too damaged to repair. Work began 15 months ago, and included replacing the metal and wood frame, and a paint job. The job wound up taking longer than expected as the damage was more extensive than originally thought.
The National Park Service kicked things off with a half-million-dollar grant. Other money came from a grant from, Preserve NJ Historic Preservation Fund. Despite these grants, increased materials costs have left the Save Lucy Committee just under a half million dollars short.
To help bridge the gap, they've kicked off Lucy's Life Preserver Campaign, their goal is to find 800 people who will donate a thousand dollars each. Donors'names will be etched into a permanent display attached to Lucy.
The culmination of the efforts to get this New Jersey treasure back in the spotlight, was a big celebration and unveiling this week. People gathered in Margate Wednesday evening for an impressive light show, and sing-along.
Lucy is once again open, and you can take a guided tour inside the elephant. Tickets $8.50 for adults and $4 for children under 12.