“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Delavan in Walworth County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Delavan's Circus Colony

Delavan's Circus Colony Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul F, July 21, 2010
1. Delavan's Circus Colony Marker
Inscription. In 1847 two New York brothers, Edmund and Jeremiah Mabie, toured Wisconsin with their United States Olympic Circus. The circus stopped over in Delavan and the brothers took time off to hunt prairie chicken near Delavan Lake. They liked the area so well that they purchased 400 acres of land and established winter-quarters for the circus here.
Because this circus was the largest and most profitable in existence, circus performers and other show personnel flocked to Delavan. Twenty-six circuses winter-quartered here between 1847 and 1894, including Harry Buckley’s National Circus and Roman Hippodrome, W.C. Coup-Dan Castello’s Egyptian Caravan, Holland and McMahon World’s Circus. The colorful days of the circus era in Delavan ended with the E.G. Holland & Co. Railroad Shows.
In 1871 the idea for forming the P.T.Barnum Circus was developed in Delavan by W.C. Coup, who also was first to put a large circus on rails and introduced the second and third ring to the performance. Delavan reached its peak as a “circus town” during the 1870’s. About seventy members of the “circus colony” are buried in Spring Grove and St. Andrew’s cemeteries.
Erected 1963 by State Historical Society of Wisconsin. (Marker Number 128.)
Marker series.
Delavan's Circus Colony Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul F, July 21, 2010
2. Delavan's Circus Colony Marker
This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 42° 38′ N, 88° 39.24′ W. Marker is in Delavan, Wisconsin, in Walworth County. Marker is at the intersection of West Walworth Avenue (State Highway 11) and North Vine Street, on the right when traveling west on West Walworth Avenue. Touch for map. Located in Horton Park. Marker is in this post office area: Delavan WI 53115, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wisconsin's First School for the Deaf (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Delavan’s Historic Brick Street (approx. 0.3 miles away); Birthplace of “The Greatest Show on Earth” (approx. 0.8 miles away); John Bruce (approx. 3.7 miles away); Darien Civil War Memorial (approx. 3.7 miles away); The 755th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (approx. 5.9 miles away); The Webster House (approx. 6.2 miles away); Allen Family (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delavan.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This is a list of Wisconsin circus markers.
Categories. EntertainmentSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 918 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on October 26, 2017, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 23, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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