The Teddy Bear House Museum opens in Picayune - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Teddy Bear House Museum opens in Picayune

Holiday teddy bear on display at the museum (Photo source: WLOX News) Holiday teddy bear on display at the museum (Photo source: WLOX News)
Welcome sign at the museum (Photo source: WLOX News) Welcome sign at the museum (Photo source: WLOX News)
Collection of bears at the Teddy Bear House Museum (Photo source: WLOX News) Collection of bears at the Teddy Bear House Museum (Photo source: WLOX News)
PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) -

More than 15 thousand bears fill the Teddy Bear House Museum in Picayune. The museum features bears in all forms, shapes and sizes.

It's set up like a house and there are seven rooms including a bear themed bathroom and a bear man-cave.

"We actually have the largest collection of bears in the world," said Cornel Jeansonne, co-owner of the museum.

The museum has special ties to our state. Former President Teddy Roosevelt was hunting in Mississippi and refused to shoot a baby bear. From there the 'Teddy bear' was born.

After running the museum for some time in New Orleans, the owners of the Teddy Bear House Museum feel it's only right to bring the bears back home.

"I decided to move to Picayune, open the Teddy Bear Museum and give Mississippi back a little bit of its history," Jeansonne said.

The owners hope the museum will draw tourism to the area.

Christina Kastbarg is visiting the Gulf Coast from Denmark and was one of the first to view the collection.

"We just crossed the state border this morning and heard about the place at the visitor's center and thought we must go,'" Kastbarg said.

Kastbarg says she could see it bringing visitors from around the world.

"I mean who doesn't like bears. It'd be a great place to take your kids and your grandkids," Kastbarg said.

In addition to being a boost for tourism, the museum is also a non-profit organization.

"The money goes back to the city and to other non-profit organization groups here in Picayune," said Ricky Lenart, co-owner of the museum.

Locals who came out to the grand opening say they're just happy to have something special in the city.

"When there's not much to do in a small town, it's cool to just get out and come to something that's in your backyard," Stormy Ladner said.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for kids 12 and under and free for kids under two.

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