For millions of fans worldwide, Kermit the Frog stars in some of their earliest memories. Whether playing the banjo in the swamp or flailing with excitement to introduce “The Muppet Show,” Kermit is a beloved cultural icon.
Our favorite frog exists in a strange and delightful world of talking animals, dancing food, and other unidentifiable critters. However, Kermit’s kind and unique personality grounds us and is a reliable calm in an often chaotic world.
For decades, Kermit the Frog has reassured audiences that maybe, just maybe, everything will be okay and that kindness and character count.
Kermit has remained ageless as his viewers continue to grow up and grow old. You’d never know it from his youthful, froggy face, but Kermit is almost 70 years old! This famous frog has undoubtedly accumulated a rich history since its creation.
“Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, grew up and played along Deer Creek during 1936-1948, exploring its flora and fauna from here to Stoneville. Sometimes, he was joined by his friend, Kermit Scott. These experiences and fond memories spawned in Henson’s mind that timeless creation—”Kermit,” the original Muppet.“ –Birthplace of Kermit the Frog.
Jim Henson would grow up to be America’s most famous puppeteer. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised in Leland, no movie star ever had more humble beginnings: Henson scraped together the original Kermit from his mother’s torn-up coat and used two ping-pong ball halves for eyes.
Henson’s goal was for his best animal pal, Kermit, to live on forever. Of course, both Henson and his iconic creation, Kermit, became a huge success and continued to entertain audiences for generations to come. The Muppet Show can even be found on Disney Plus today, and Kermit and his friends have been featured in several television shows and movies, even proceeding Henson’s death in 1990.
In 1991, Henson was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, “The Jim Henson Museum: The Birthplace of Kermit the Frog” was opened to the public to honor Henson and his frog.The Exhibit was given by The Jim Henson Company as a “gift to the people of Leland.”
The museum includes a real Kermit the Frog in a display case and an impressive Muppets collection. There’s also a play area for children and a lot of nostalgia to entertain parents too!
Located on the locally well-known Deer Creek, the museum can be found on this same creek in Leland, where Jim Henson sat one summer day and first imagined Kermit the Frog.
“When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there. ” – Jim Henson
*Photos courtesy of birthplaceofthefrog.com and muppetfandom.com