The Marion County Heritage Center is home of the ONLY Turtleman Museum in the WORLD!
While Turtleman (Ernie Lee Brown Jr), a local American Folk Hero, was raised here in Marion County, KY, he’s nationally recognized for his world-renowned ability to wrangle the most vicious of critters. From the tender age of 7, Turtleman has been diving into ponds and catching turtles. He estimates he’s caught over 12,000 turtles to date, but after awhile, we’re sure they all start to run together! That is, of course, if you can picture a turtle running . . . . His show, Call of the Wildman, airs on Animal Planet and has entertained adults, children, and the young-at-heart alike for several seasons. Turtleman’s escapades (and sometimes, mishaps) never fail to be entertaining. With his loyal sidekick Neal, his trusty ol’ knife Thunder and a good dog at his side, you can be certain that no matter what happens, though, he’s prepared to come out on top!
He chose his hometown (Lebanon, Kentucky) and the Marion County Heritage Center as the home of his very own Turtleman Museum. Everything in the museum was carefully selected and chosen by Ernie. He’s included his personal, ever-growing collection of arrowheads, props from his TV shows and guest appearances, gifts that have been sent to him from fans of all ages and from every corner of the world and pictures, videos and memorabilia of his most treasured moments. We’ve also got a replica of the shelter that he would take from festival to festival to showcase his turtles and skills before he entered the national spotlight as Turtleman.
Due to his tour schedule, work obligations and production plans, we never know when he will be at the museum, but Turtlemom (Lola Brown) is always available to come to the Heritage Center when we know groups or families visiting. In addition to the Turtleman museum itself, you’ll also find Heritage Center-exclusive Turtleman t-shirts, post cards and other gear.