In October 1869, workers unearthed what appeared to be a petrified ten-foot giant on a remote farm in upstate New York. The discovery caused a sensation, and over the next several months, newspapers devoted daily headlines to the story and tens of thousands of Americans flocked to see the giant on exhibition. Ultimately, the discovery proved to be an elaborate hoax. Still, the story of the Cardiff Giant reveals many things about America in the post-Civil War years. The story of the Cardiff Giant sheds light on a complicated, mysterious past.
Scott Tribble is a freelance journalist in the fields of American history, music, and sports.