Jim Henson has three separate memorials along the Route 1 corridor.
The creator of the Muppets spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississippi, which has a small welcome center with educational displays, memorabilia and a gift shop. But his family moved to University Park in the 1940s.
Henson’s career started here, beginning with him falling in love with television and checking out books on puppetry at the local library. He made the first Muppets in his parents’ home at 4002 Beechwood Dr., then took them to WTOP for his first job.
Three local towns along Route 1 honor Henson’s legacy in some fashion.
Hyattsville, where he went to high school, has a large planter at Magruder Park with images of characters from “Sam and Friends” and several nearby benches with quotes from Henson.
And College Park, where he went to college, has a statue of Henson talking with Kermit the Frog on a bench outside the student union.
Artist Bill Culbertson, who designed the memorial, visited the original puppets at the Smithsonian and worked with Bonnie Erickson, who designed and created Miss Piggy, to ensure the sculptures would be accurate.