Fire Destroys Wolf's Museum of Mystery

Wolf's Museum of Mystery was a landmark attraction in St. Augustine, Florida for the past 5 years.  It was the home of its owners' Wolf and Ali Von Mertz, and was an amazing collection of oddities, antiques, rare art and artifacts.  Wolf spent the last 30 years of his life collecting items under the simple philosophy of collecting what you like, and what he liked evolved dramatically over time, which is why the museum was such an attraction.  In one room of the museum you could view centuries old African Art, and in the next room you could experience an Alien Autopsy, and everything in between that you could ever imagine.  Despite the vast scope of the collection, many would say the most sought after attraction at the Museum were Wolf and Ali's pets: the cats Lilly, Koby and Misery; Mr. Nibbles the chinchilla; Melania the chihuahua; Irma the chicken; and an entire colony of albino rats! 

In January of this year, Wolf and Ali embarked on a new adventure by moving to New York when they were presented with the opportunity to purchase a 120 year old church in the beautiful countryside of southwestern New York.  The opportunity to own and nurture such a special place was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Wolf and Ali.  So over the past month, Wolf and Ali worked tirelessly to move the entire collection and all of their beloved pets to New York.

On Saturday, February 9, 2019, Wolf and Ali traveled to a town about 1 hour away to run errands, when they received word that the entire church was consumed by fire.  I cannot sufficiently put into words what happened, so I am re-posting what Wolf and Ali posted to the Museum's FaceBook page: "The unimaginable has happened here.  Lilly; Koby; Misery; Mr. Nibbles; Melania; Irma and our entire albino rat colony perished in a fire.  We don’t know the cause.  Along with everything that made up the museum and which we owned personally is gone so the dream of relocating our family and recreating the museum is over.  Can’t replace the 100s of art pieces with their thousands of hours spent nor the rare things acquired around the world these past 3 decades but losing our entire animal family is more then we can bare and there is no words to write to express our anguish we are suffering.  We want to thank everyone who has supported us and this dream we pursued."

Wolf and Ali created the Museum as an extension of their home, and in doing so hopefully inspired the curiosity of their visitors and brought some joy into people's lives.  Right now Wolf and Ali are deeply hurting, they have lost everything, and could use your help.  Please consider donating to help them get back on their feet.  Any amount is greatly appreciated and will be used to help Wolf and Ali, secure housing, clothing, food and other necessities while they begin the process to rebuild their lives.
  • Jayden Wysynski  
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
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    • $10 
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  • Rene Hammel 
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
  • Thomas Lund 
    • $20 
    • 43 mos
  • Thomas L 
    • $10 
    • 44 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Jeff Wilkins 
Jacksonville, FL
Mary Mertz 

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