Jackie Miley of Teddy Bear Town is featured in the “Guinness World Records 2018” book. Being in a Guinness World Record book isn’t new to her, but it is different this year because she has a two-page spread in the book. In fact, it is the first time that there are photos of her in a Guinness World Records book.
The number of teddy bears the books says she has isn’t correct due to a mailing address problem with the Guinness World Record office. As of Sept. 8, Miley has 10,617 teddy bears.
Her most recently added bear has sentimental value to her, as it is a Hamm’s bear from Hamm’s Brewery in Minnesota, circa 1960.
She grew up only a few blocks away from the brewery that shut down in 1997.
“It kind of brought back memories,” Miley said.
Teddy Bear Town in Hill City is just that: a treasure trove of memories.
Miley said she is more of a keeper of memories rather than a keeper of bears.
Miley said people will remember the teddy bears they have or had when they go home.
“It brings back childhood memories,” Miley said.
Teddy Bear Town means something to many people that come in.
“They see I’m taking care of their bears,” Miley said.
“Some just come here because of the teddy bears.”
Little stories get added to the bears as people come in and visit or the teddy bears might have already had a full life when they arrived at Teddy Bear Town.
Miley has been featured on various news shows and gets recognized a lot in public.
“I can’t go anywhere — hospitals, stores — without being recognized,” Miley said.
According to Miley, “just getting out there” brings in more visitors.
“The chamber is a big supporter,” Miley said.
Thousands of people have come into the building over the course of the existence of the Teddy Bear Town. Miley said it was a little bit of a slower year this summer. She thought it could’ve been because of the rain or the heat.
She received a visit from four men with Guinness World Records last fall.
“I had to laugh when they first came in,” Miley said, as they looked around and were thankful they didn’t have to count each one.
They already had an itemized list of each bear.
She said they first took her in the back room to get ready for photos. It was kind of difficult for her because they took her display apart for the photos.
“They wanted me to smile as they were destroying my display,” Miley said.
She said they were nice guys and they went to Slate Creek Grille after finishing everything.
Miley feels honored now that she has seen the book.
In the book it declares she is the world record holder at 8,026 teddy bears. She hopes the number gets changed in the next edition. In a year she could have 1,000 more bears and make the record over 11,000 teddy bears.