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Visiting Circus World

Flora and Duffy recently vacationed to Midwest, visiting Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

One of their stops was to Baraboo, Wisconsin- home of AL Barnum of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.

They visited Circus World which included a marvelous museum of circus posters and memorabilia from old time circuses around the world. The absolute highlight of the visit was the several building collection of old-time circus wagons there. The collection includes over 250 wagons from many circuses. They ran into one of the long-time restorers of the wagons. He has been with Circus World for over 45 years. It was obvious as he spoke that he has a love for this work. He had a deep history about most of the wagons and spoke about the intricacies of finding and restoring original wagon parts and the detailed restorations they make- including one wagon with a huge amount of gold leaf restoration.

This was a visit of a lifetime!

3 Responses to Visiting Circus World

  1. Patricia Ryan says:

    What a fabulous treat. Now I’ve been to Circus World without leaving home. Your pictures are wonderful. The only thing missing was commentary about the wagons. They have hidden doors and windows. Were they homes away from home, offices, storage for animal food and props? How old? Pulled by elephants and horses? Guess I’ll just have to go there and find out for myself. Thanks a million for sharing these pictures with us.

    » Reply
    • Duffy Selter says:

      Thanx Pat

      These wagons were all for parade use, pulled by horses. I think they accompanied the circuses for promotional purposes. Many go back to the late 1800’s early 1900’s. This is the largest collection of circus wagons in the world. Just fabulous, and to have one of the restorers guide us through with his stories of 45 years working there was really special.

      » Reply
  2. Fabulous photos of the magnificent restored circus wagons. Thanks to Duffy for sharing his experience visiting Circus World. I have been clowning 44 years but never got there. It is on my bucket list!
    Smiles, Bingo the Clown from Gainesville, VA

    » Reply

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