This massive collection of ventriloquist dummies and ventriloquism memorabilia started as the private collection of one man, William Shakespeare Berger. Oddly enough, Berger wasn't a professional ventriloquist; he was a hobbyist without particular skill. He didn't even own a dummy until he was 32 years old. However, by the 1930s, his collection started growing dramatically. Over the next several decades, his collection grew to over 500 dummies.
Berger served as president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists for nearly 15 years and worked to grow its membership from 300 to over 1000 members. He was truly passionate about the craft of ventriloquism and maintained correspondence with dozens of ventriloquists around the world, writing as many as 50 letters each week.
Tragically, Berger outlived his wife, son, and grandson, leaving him heirless. Fearing his collection would be dispersed at his death, he worked with his attorney to set up a foundation for his assets, property and collection. The Vent Haven now operates as a non-profit organization and this impressive museum is open to the public.