Eng and Chang Bunker

Original Siamese Twins Exhibit
Mount Airy, North Carolina

Siamese Twins Exhibit

The Siamese Twins Exhibit is located on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Playhouse, home of the Surry Arts Council.

Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Included with Admission to the Andy Griffith Museum and Old-Time Music Heritage Hall

 

Andy Griffith Playhouse
218 Rockford Street
Mount Airy, North Carolina 27030
Phone 336.786.7998
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The Siamese Twins came to reside in western NC as the result of an invitation from a physician friend to visit the area for some hunting and fishing. They liked it and decided to build a home and stay.
  2. The Twins moved to Mount Airy and lived in the same house for 12 years before they built two homes. The Eng and Chang Bunker Bridge crosses Stewart’s Creek, the body of water that divided their land when they built the second home.
  3. The wills of Eng and Chang Bunker are shown in the Siamese Twins exhibit. They summarize the Twins’ family values and their focus on the education of all of their children.
  4. Eng and Chang Bunker were the first Asians to become citizens of this country. When they became American citizens, it was actually not legal for them to do so.
  5. Eng and Chang were excellent fishermen, expert in the use of firearms, excellent performers on the flute, excellent with tools and construction, and above average in intellect.
  6. Eng and Chang were Whigs.
  7. Eng and Chang each had a son who fought in the Confederate army. Each son was captured and held in a prisoner of war camp. The sons wrote home about their experiences. Both returned home following the war.
  8. Eng and Chang were the first Buddhists to enter America. This is documented by the Siamese Buddhist text that they brought with them into this country.
  9. Eng and Chang remain the only conjoined twins to have children.
  10. Chang developed pneumonia and died. Their physician had promised to separate them if one died. A son went to get the physician following Chang’s death but did not get back in time. Eng died a few hours after Chang.
  11. Sarah died on April 29, 1892. Sarah is not buried with the Twins at White Plains Baptist Church. She was buried in a cemetery with slaves and some of her children on Bunker property near the church.
  12. Adelaide died at the age of 94 on May 21, 1917. At that time, the bodies of Eng and Chang were moved to the church cemetery and Adelaide was buried with them.
  13. The bodies of Eng and Chang were autopsied in Philadelphia. Extensive data and photos of the autopsy are in the museum files. The livers of the Twins are on display at the museum demonstrating the nature of their connection.
  14. Their last living child, Robert E. Bunker, died on January 25, 1951.
  15. One grandchild of the twins is still living.

 

Recommended reading on the lives of the Siamese Twins:
 
“The Two” by Irving and Amy Wallace;
 
“The Lives of Chang and Eng: Siam’s Twins in Nineteenth-Century America” by Joseph Orser; and
 
“Duet for a Lifetime” by Kay Hunter.
 
These are available in the Andy Griffith Museum gift shop and on Amazon.

Copyright 2016 Surry Arts Council