America's Wackiest Museums

Apr 5, 2012

The JELL-O Gallery 
Le Roy, New York 

 
The Dessert That Swept America

Getting to the small, but fun, JELL-O Museum in upstate New York isn’t hard. Once you’re in Le Roy, the town where this jiggly confection was invented in 1897, you can just follow the Jell-O Brick Road from East Main Street to the museum. There, under the pleasant tutelage of Le Roy Historical Society Curator Lynne Belluscio, you can wallow in JELL-O history, from vintage ads illustrated by the likes of Norman Rockwell and Maxwell Parrish to a large exhibit of JELL-O molds – including some shaped like hockey pucks, designed to serve the Canadian market. 

Jell-O manufacturing left Le Roy in 1964, but nostalgia for the jiggly dessert remains strong. Visitors can view vintage Jell-O boxes in both English and French, some for flavors that definitely didn’t make the cut – Granny Smith Apple JELL-O anyone? Perhaps most fun of all: the videos of old TV ads, featuring the likes of Bill Cosby, the Fifth Dimension, and Opie from The Andy Griffith Show—the kid who would transmogrify into film director Ron Howard. 

The Facts: Open April 1 through December 31, weekdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sundays, 1-4 p.m. January 1-March 31, weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $4.50. Groups should call ahead.