Old West Lifestyle & Stories


Solid MuldoonDo you think that rock stars are a creation of modern history?  Not necessarily so.  Back in 1877, the Old West had a rock star.

It was 1877, and Darwin’s theory of evolution was a hot topic of conversation.  To support his theory, in March of that year, a giant petrified man was found in Colorado, along with a petrified turtle and fish.  It was announced by its finders that, “We have found the missing link which Darwin claims connects mankind with the beast creation.  It is certainly the petrified body of a man with a tail.”

It was named “The Solid Muldoon.”  The Solid Muldoon made a tour of the United States ending up in New York.  People stood in line to pay money to see this “missing link.”  Although Darwin himself, only seeing pictures, felt the whole thing might be an imposture; others said it was definite proof of evolution.

It was February 15, 1878…less than a year after the Solid Muldoon was discovered, that one of the members of the exhibition company, feeling he wasn’t being paid enough, spilled the beans about the missing link.

It seems that back in 1877 two men met to see if they could make some money in connection with the excitement over Darwin’s theory of evolution.  One of the men was George W. Hull.  Eight years earlier Hull had made money by creating and exhibiting a Cardiff giant he had made with 2,900 pounds of cement.  The other was a P. T. Barnum, the great showman and promoter.  Hull took some cement and cast the Solid Muldoon along with the turtle and fish.  Then they had it hid in the Colorado wilderness, so they could later find it.

With the exposure of the Solid Muldoon as only a piece of rock, this star of the Old West faded. But P. T. Barnum continued showing us just how gullible we really are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *