Oshkosh oddity park: A quirky, head turning experience

By Joel Waldinger | October 4, 2023


There is something a bit odd going on in Oshkosh. Mel Schettl’s business is a menagerie of strange and peculiar things. It is an eccentric collection that grew from his curiosity and imagination as a designer. He has spent a lifetime collecting the unusual oddities to outfit stores, bars, and restaurants for visual impact.

The one question people always ask is, “Where do you get all this stuff?” The items come from old amusement parks, businesses, and even movie sets. Some of his favorite items are a statue of Atlas holding up the world from a health club in Chicago (which he’s had six of), a giant ‘Elsie The Cow’ which he believes came from an old Borden’s milk factory in Manitowoc, and finally he also has a larger than life, ten-foot-tall Remington statue that pays homage to the old west. 

The hodgepodge collection has expanded to more than five acres of quirky, head-turning décor that Schettl has termed his “oddity park.” The unique collection is spread out across two locations and visitors come from as far away as Alaska, New York, and Canada. When visitors ask if he sells any of the zany items Schettl says, “No, I don’t really sell too much of it, but the guy that sells it to me, man, he sells a lot of it, and they look at me just baffled.”

Joel Waldinger

Joel Waldinger

Joel Waldinger is a reporter for the “Wisconsin Life” project and considers a sunset over the “big island” on Manson Lake to be a perfect ending to a day of fishing and fun in the Northwoods. 
2023-10-26T15:37:03-05:00Tags: , |

Sign Up Form

Sign Up for Our Bi-Weekly Newsletter

Get your favorite Wisconsin Life stories, meet the crew, and go behind the scenes.

Our Favorite Collections

Storyteller Rodney Lambright II's comic series about the rich relationship between a single father, his young daughter and his retirement-age parents.
For the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we discover how Wisconsinites experienced the war both at home and on the battlefield.
Ice, cold and winter are an integral part of what it means to live in Wisconsin. "Ice Week" explores the many ways that ice defines us.
Food plays a central part in many holiday traditions. This series honors the foods and meals that make the day.
Escape winter with a look at some of Wisconsin's favorite sports and games.
"Living the Wisconsin Life" is an online series exploring the little things that make living in Wisconsin fun, interesting and meaningful.