"Myrtle" The World's Largest Desert Tortoise Statue
Joshua Tree : California : USA
World's largest Tortoise is located on the main drag of Joshua Tree California. Perhaps this largest is the tiniest of all "Largest" category. The sculpture is famous namely "Myrtle the Turtle".At first it was only a float, made of wood and wire framework with cement and plaster, and a thick enamel-type paint skin. Even the creator didn't know that this the largest tortoise sculpture in the world. The Sculpture was gifted to the Chamber of Commerce there, they were amazed to find out they had a World’s Largest.
History Behind Myrtle
"Myrtle the Turtle" started out as a concept in 1957, by Willis Keys and his wife, Guin.She suggested they enter a float in the next turtle race parade and asked Willis if he would build some kind of turtle on wheels that could be pulled by the two of them. They entered Myrtle in the Turtle Days Parade in Joshua Tree.
|Google Street View|
Willis believes "Myrtle" was actually the second turtle float entered in any of Joshua Tree’s turtle race parades. When Willis dismantled "Myrtle" from the scooter he asked the Joshua Tree Chamber if they wanted her. The chamber agreed and this is how she became a permanent resident of Joshua Tree.
|Murtle of Turtle Island by Tom O'Key|
She was then adopted by Howard Pierce
, restored, and changed into her present-day form. One of Myrtle’s plaques records a dedication to Turtle Island and "Al Mackin, known as Mr. Turtle." The second plaque states "Donated to the Community of Joshua Tree by Howard Pierce in 1998.Therefore it was quite a hard work for the CCJT to find out the creator of this desert turtle, and and to reveal the story behind this significant road side attraction of the city.
Location : 61622 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA, United States