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Homer Men & Boys

Location: 11 South Main Street, Homer NY
(42.63682323518892, -76.1782174593404)

Both giants were presented and put under intense scrutiny. Hannum swore under oath that Barnum’s giant was a fake. Simultaneous, rumbling began back in Cardiff. Perhaps neither giant was real after all?

The neighboring farmers, who, in their quiet way, kept their eyes open, noted a tall, lank individual who frequently visited the place and seemed to exercise complete control over Farmer Newell. Soon it was learned that this stranger was the man Hull, Newell’s brother-in-law, the same to whom the latter had made the large remittance of admission money. One day, two or three farmers from a distance, visiting the place for the first time and seeing Hull, said, “Why, that is the man who brought the big box down the valley.” On being asked what they meant, they said that being one evening in a tavern on the valley turnpike some miles South of Cardiff, they had noticed under the tavern shed a wagon bearing an enormous box; and when they met Hull in the bar-room and asked about it, he said that it was some tobacco-cutting machinery which he was bringing to Syracuse. Other farmers, who had seen the box and talked with Hull at different places on the road between Binghamton and Cardiff, made similar statements. It was then ascertained that no such box had passed the toll-gates between Cardiff and Syracuse, and proofs of the swindle began to mature. But skepticism was not well received. Vested interests had accrued, a considerable number of people, most of them very good people, had taken stock in the new enterprise, and anything which discredited it was unwelcome to them.

Andrew White in his Autobiography

Hull, hearing the rumblings, disavowed Hannum. Silent partner no more, he sang his sorted tail to the courts.

The catastrophe now approached rapidly, and soon affidavits from men of high character in Iowa and Illinois established the fact that the figure was made at Fort Dodge, in Iowa, of a great block of gypsum there found; that this block was transported by land to the nearest railway station, Boone, which was about forty-five miles distant; that on the way the wagon conveying it broke down, and that as no other could be found strong enough to bear the whole weight, a portion of the block was cut off; that, thus diminished, it was taken to Chicago, where a German stone-carver gave it final shape; that, as it had been shortened, he was obliged to draw up the lower limbs, thus giving it a strikingly contracted and agonized appearance; that the under side of the figure was grooved and channeled in order that it should appear to be wasted by age; that it was then dotted or pitted over with minute pores by means of a leaden mallet faced with steel needles; that it was stained with some preparation which gave it an appearance of great age; that it was then shipped to a place near Binghamton, New York, and finally brought to Cardiff and there buried. It was further stated that Hull, in order to secure his brother-in-law, Farmer Newell, as his confederate in burying the statue, had sworn him to secrecy; and, in order that the family might testify that they had never heard or seen anything of the statue until it had been unearthed, he had sent them away on a little excursion covering the time when it was brought and buried. All these facts were established by affidavits from men of high character in Iowa and Illinois, by the sworn testimony of various Onondaga farmers and men of business, and, finally, by the admissions and even boasts of Hull himself.

Hull stated that the entire hoax had been a giant effort to humiliate a preacher by the name of Reverend Turk. At a Methodist revival meeting, Turk and Hull bickered deeply about Genesis 6:4, which states that there were giants who once lived on Earth. Believing in evolution, Hull vowed to prove how easily people were misled.

Climb the stairs to the second story of Homer Men & Boys and witness what was once the world’s largest pair of pants. Towering, at over 8 feet tall, these pants were rumored to have been worn by the Cardiff Giant himself!