do you know the birthplace of the American Circus??

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Well of course we love to claim Somers, New York and point out the Landmark Statue of "Old Bet" but this is what History Magazine had to say about old Bet :

The elephant didn't get into the circus until the 1800s. Hackaliah Bailey, a farmer from Somers, New York, had a brother who was a sea captain. The brother, while in London, bought a female African elephant at auction for $20 and sold it to Bailey for $1,000.

The captain put the elephant on board a sloop bound up the Hudson River for Sing Sing, the nearest river town to Bailey's home. Bailey walked the animal, which he called Old Bet, from Sing Sing to Somers, 56 miles away. He walked the elephant only by night so that the public wouldn't glimpse the beast along the route "for nothing". During the day, he exhibited the elephant for a small fee and began to make a profit.

Bailey's success encouraged others to invest in unusual animals for exhibition and take them on tour. Unfortunately, a ruffian in Maine shot Old Bet to death in 1816.

Old Bet's death didn't stop her from going on exhibition. Nine months later, advertisements began appearing in New York newspapers saying that Bailey had had the remains of Old Bet stuffed and preserved. For the next four years, Old Bet's remains toured New England.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
garyk 2yrs+
From Wikipedia....
Somers is known for being the "cradle of the American circus". It gained this notoriety after Hachaliah Bailey bought an African elephant, which he named "Old Bet". Bailey intended to use the elephant for farm work, but the number of people it attracted caused Bailey to take her throughout the Northeast. Bailey's success caused numerous others to tour with exotic animals, and during the 1830s the old-style circus and Bailey's attractions merged to form the modern circus. Old Bet died on tour in 1827. Bailey later erected the Elephant Hotel in Somers in honor of Old Bet, and it was purchased by the town in 1927. It is a town landmark and in 2006 was dedicated a National Historic Landmark. The elephant remains a symbol of the town to this day, with the high school sports teams nicknamed "Tuskers". The Elephant Hotel is currently the Somers Town Hall.
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