“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Madera in Madera County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Madera Zoo

Madera Zoo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, July 11, 2007
1. Madera Zoo Marker
Inscription. In the year 1912 a Mr. William King Heiskell built an aviary with its first inhabitants being a green parrot and several species of birds from around the world. The zoo also had several ponds and water fountains and a bandstand. Although the Madera Zoo wasn’t full of many species of animals, there are several stories about a famous parrot named “Polly” and a alligator named "Galahad".
Polly was most popular for his colorful vocabulary that he learned from his miner friends and his ability to mimic them. Galahad - A nine-foot alligator spent most of his early years in a small bathtub behind a saloon owned by a Mr. Glass, who used to kid with the Chinese and tell them that he was actually a little Chinese dragon.
Polly nearly met his demise when he and another occupant of the park (a raccoon) had encountered each other and the raccoon’s intention was to have Polly for dinner. The raccoon was banished from the zoo and Polly lived his remaining years with Mr. Heiskell's daughter. After his death, he was sent to a taxidermist, stuffed and resides in the present Courthouse Museum.
Erected 2007 by Grub Gulch Chapter 41-49, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Madera Zoo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, August 11, 2007
2. Madera Zoo Marker
Picture taken during the dedication showing many of the volunteers that erected the monument.
36° 57.6′ N, 120° 3.619′ W. Marker is in Madera, California, in Madera County. Marker is on West 6th Street 0.1 miles west of South Gateway Drive, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located at the Madera Courthouse Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 106 West 6th Street, Madera CA 93637, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Madera County Library Service (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Madera to Yosemite Stage Route (about 700 feet away); Madera (approx. 4 miles away); Berenda (approx. 7.4 miles away); Sycamore Point (approx. 9.5 miles away but has been reported missing); Sierra Sky Park (approx. 13.5 miles away); Forestiere Underground Gardens (approx. 14.4 miles away); Railroads of Chowchilla (approx. 15.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Madera.
More about this marker. The marker is topped with a concrete and river rock alligator.
Categories. Animals
Top of Madera Zoo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, August 11, 2007
3. Top of Madera Zoo Marker
A concrete and river rock "Galahad the Alligator" tops the monument.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 1,669 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of "Polly" at the Courthouse Museum. • Can you help?
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