Category Archives: Somers

Birthplace of the American Circus

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Routes 202 and 100, Somers

Hachaliah Bailey purchased an African elephant in 1815 and set upon the countryside to make his fortune. Menageries were an early form of American entertainment; but unfortunately, a disgruntled Somers farmer shot Old Bet and brought to a close Bailey’s preBarnum activities. The monument, originally erected by Bailey and later restored, stands in the center of Somers, which considers itself “The Birthplace of the American Circus”.