Tiny Tales of Tinker Town
America is riddled with stories of neighborhoods built by and for little people. There are dozens of supposed “Midgetvilles,” “Midget Towns,” and “Hobbitvilles” spread across the country. New York is no different. In the following passages, readers tell us their recollections of a mythical neighborhood in Long Island said to be the home of a group of reclusive (and diminutive) residents.
Remembering Merrick’s Tinker Town
I was recently speaking with many of my friends who grew up with me on Long Island. We remembered a place called "Tinker Town," which I believe is somewhere in Merrick.
It is a small geographic area of several streets where everything is built in miniature! There are small houses and such, as little people live there. If you haven't already heard about it, it might be something to investigate. –Jan Moran
Tall Tales of a Tiny Town
I first heard about Midgetville in high school, right around the time everyone started being able to drive. My friends frequented a few diners, one of which was the Seaford Palace. I heard that near the Palace was a neighborhood of little people called Midgetville. No one knew exactly where it was, but we all had a general idea. I don’t recall anyone I know actually going there, but someone always knew someone who went.
It was purported to be a community of small houses, about half the size of "normal" houses. The street signs were lower to the ground (which of course makes no sense when you consider that cars are the same height no matter who is driving them). I remember hearing that there were not only many "No Trespassing" signs around, but sinister ones like "Trespassers Will Be Shot On Sight." I heard about Midgetville residents running out of their homes with shotguns, trying to scare curious gawkers away.
Sometimes late at night, after the diner run, we'd go looking for Midgetville. I was a wimp, so the shotgun stories worked on me. We'd drive around the neighborhood we thought it was located in, but usually gave up after about twenty to thirty minutes.
We never called it Tinker Town. We knew the place as Midgetville. We were always told that it was in Seaford, LI south of Merrick Road, somewhere near the bay. –Flynn Barrison
For Scares and Intrigue, Nothing Beats Tinker Town!
Growing up, Tinker Town was unbeatable. My friends and I had been in our fair share of abandoned buildings—even asylums. We had gone looking for ghosts and had explored more sewer tunnels than most Con Ed workers. But nothing scared us and intrigued us more than the idea of an entire town full of angry midgets just waiting to lash out at normal-sized people like ourselves.
We often got drunk and went looking for the midget section of town. I only remember finding it once, and we were so hammered that we never managed to find our way back there again. The houses were shorter than usual, I remember that. We didn’t see any low street signs or cameras set up, though.
We got out of there fast, because something happened that completely freaked us out. As we drove past each house, the lights would come on inside. These weren’t motion detectors, either. These lights were inside the house. And it was well after two in the morning. The idea that people were up and waiting for people like us made us get the hell out of there fast. In our minds, the light on meant that all the rumors we had heard about the midgets murdering outsiders and torturing people who came to laugh at them were entirely true.
That was many, many years ago, and we never went back. But I still think that growing up on Long Island, Tinker Town was easily the craziest local legend. And that’s saying a lot, considering all of the strange things that happen out there every day. –Shane Figg
You can read more about Tinker Town and New York’s many other Fabled People and Places is Weird New York.
Weird New York