Skip to Content

Reviewer notes

Use this space to describe your geocache location, container, and how it's hidden to your reviewer. If you've made changes, tell the reviewer what changes you made. The more they know, the easier it is for them to publish your geocache. This note will not be visible to the public when your geocache is published.

This cache has been locked, but it is available for viewing.

Locationless (Reverse) Cache

Zippy's Roadside Attractions

A cache by Gator Man Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/14/2002
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Size: Size: virtual (virtual)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:



BORN 11/14/2002 DIED 01/01/2006

I am looking for real pictures of the unique roadside attractions Zippy the Pinhead has visited in the comic strip “ZIPPY”, created by Bill Griffith. Kind of a REVERSE CACHE. You see it in a comic strip, then find and photograph the real place. The list can be found at: zippythepinhead under Zippy’s Roadside Attractions or Roadside Tour. These categories seem to be interchangeable as of 5/18/2003, AND ARE SEARCHABLE BY STATE/COUNTRY.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT ADDED AS OF 5/18/2003: B.G. is doing multiple comic strips about the same attraction in some instances. Only the FIRST to be logged will be allowed!

And, as your MOTHER told you, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is not allowed!

This list is not limited to America, there are international roadside caches to be found, and perhaps there will be more created in the future?

When claiming this cache, have your pictures ready to upload IMMEDIATELY. I’ll give you no more than a few hours, then…, you know. Also, due to the uniqueness of these roadside attractions, some have been claimed as other caches already. One example is FROG ROCK, Eastford, CT. Those previously claimed for other caches CANNOT be used again, and will be deleted. (I will find them) To log your find you must report the coordinates, and name the location where found (city, state/province, and country). You must take photos of your find with your GPS visible - old vacation photos and photos downloaded from the web won’t be allowed. The usual rules apply. Only one log per location will be allowed, and only one log per geocacher/team. Make your 1st photo as similar to the cartoon strip as possible! Then take some others.


Zip the Pinhead, born William Henry Johnson, (1857 Liberty Corners, New Jersey - April 28, 1926 New York, New York) was an American freak show performer famous for his oddly tapered head.

William Henry Johnson was born to a very poor African-American family. His parents were William and Mahalia Johnson, former slaves. As he grew his body developed normally but his head remained small. His tapering cranium and heavy jaw made him attractive to agents from Van Emburgh's Circus in Somerville, NJ. His unusual appearance caused many to believe that he was a "pinhead", or microcephalic. Microcephalics are characterized by a small, tapering cranium and impaired mental faculty. A furry suit was made to fit him, and his afro was shaped to a tiny point that further accented his sloping brow. Finally, he was given the name, "Zip the Pinhead," the "What-Is-It?"

Zip's early performances were set against a background story. It was told to the audience that a tribe of "missing links" had been discovered in Africa, and that Zip was one of these. It was further explained that the "wild man", the "What-Is-It", subsisted on raw meat, nuts, and fruit, but was learning to eat more civilized fare such as bread and cake. Zip would then be revealed in a cage where he could rattle the bars and screech. This act was tremendously successful for Barnum, and Zip was as big a draw to his American Museum as the famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. In later years Zip became more "civilized" in his act. He shared the stage with other prodigies, including his friends Jim Tarver, the Texas Giant; Jack Earle, the Tallest Man in the World; and many others. Zip also traveled extensively with the Ringling Brothers circus.

In his later years Zip eschewed traveling in favor of displaying himself at Coney Island. One Sunday afternoon in 1925, during one of his strolls on the boardwalk, Zip heard a little girl cry for help. He noticed the girl waving her arms in the ocean and swam out to rescue her. He instantly became a hero, being cheered by all who witnessed, but shyly ran away from the attention of being a good samaritan. He took seriously ill in early 1926. He had bronchitis and despite the wishes of his doctor and Captain White he continued to perform in a stage play in which he had a part. Upon the closing of the play he returned to his home in Bound Brook, NJ, where he was cared for by his doctor, Captain White, and his sister. When his condition worsened he was moved to Bellevue Hospital in New York City where he passed away. It is estimated that during his astonishing 67 years in show business, Zip entertained more than one hundred million people. He was termed "The Dean of Freaks". His funeral was attended by the greatest side show acts of the days, including Madame Olga, the Bearded Lady; Frank Graf, the tattooed man; and many more. During the ceremonies the distraught Capt. White collapsed. He died three days later. Zip the Pinhead, William Henry Johnson, was buried in Plot 399 of the Bound Brook Cemetery in New Jersey. A small gravestone bearing the inscription "William H. Johnson, 1857-1926" marks his resting place.

William Henry Johnson was not a true microcephalic; he merely had an oddly-shaped head. He therefore did not suffer the mental retardation that a microcephalic suffers. There has been interest in ascertaining Zip's actual mental capacity, however. William Henry's sister, Sarah Van Duyne, claimed in a 1926 interview that her brother would "converse like the average person, and with fair reasoning power," when he came to visit her. Zip's last words were to his sister, Mrs. Van Duyne. He is quoted as saying, "Well, we fooled 'em for a long time!"

Rest In Peace ZIP, May your humor live on!


This information was gathered from public information available on the www.


Additional Hints (No hints available.)


...other caches hidden or found by this user

185 Logged Visits

Found it 173     Write note 12     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 508 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:57:45 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:57 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

Return to the Top of the Page