Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Somers in Westchester County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Elephant Hotel

 
 
Elephant Hotel Markers image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, October 24, 2010
1. Elephant Hotel Markers
Inscription.
[ top plaque ]
Elephant Hotel
Built 1825
National Register
Of Historic Places


[ bottom plaque ]
Elephant Hotel
Has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
This site possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.
Built 1825 by entrepreneur Hachaliah Bailey, owner of the elephant, "Old Bet". This site was the symbolic center for the emerging traveling menagerie and circus industry. The building also served as an important stagecoach hostelry, banking and social center.
2005
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior

 
Erected 2005.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 41° 19.698′ N, 73° 41.144′ W. Marker is in Somers, New York, in Westchester County. Marker is at the intersection of Somerstown Turnpike (U.S. 202) and Somers Road, on the right when traveling west on Somerstown Turnpike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Somers NY 10589, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow
Elephant Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, October 24, 2010
2. Elephant Hotel
The markers are to the right of the entrance.
flies. Somers World War I Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Somers Veterans Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Somers Soldiers Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Salem World War II Memorial (approx. 1.5 miles away); Reis Park (approx. 2.3 miles away); Mt. Zion Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); Thompson House (approx. 3.7 miles away); Knickerbocker Ice (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Somers.
 
Regarding Elephant Hotel. Around 1805 Hachaliah Bailey, a Somers farmer and cattle merchant, acquired an Indian elephant, which he began exhibiting locally, then further afield. Hachaliahís success in showing “Old Bet”, as she was known, attracted numerous partners and competitors from local families, who joined in the business of importing and exhibiting exotic animals. The resulting thriving menagerie business paralleled the development of the small performing circus troupes, which were first seen in Philadelphia in 1793. By 1828 these two forms of popular entertainment merged to form the basis of the modern American Circus. The majority of early 19th century circus and menagerie proprietors came from Somers and neighboring towns in northern Westchester and Putnam counties. This resulted in Somersí claim as “Cradle of the American Circus”.
Hachaliahís
Elephant Monument image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, October 24, 2010
3. Elephant Monument
elephant was killed while on tour in Maine, and he soon imported two elephants, Little Bet and Columbus. He built the Elephant Hotel, which opened in 1825, and soon after the granite shaft and statue of an elephant was erected in front, in honor of his elephants. The building functioned as an inn, a tearoom, a private residence, and a meeting place. The Farmers and Drovers Bank, the second bank chartered in Westchester, opened here in 1839. A wooden structure extending out to the side contained a general store, ballroom and post office at various times, and increased the Hotelís capacity to accommodate guests traveling on local stagecoach lines.
The Elephant Hotel was purchased by the Town of Somers in 1927 and presently houses the Town Offices and the Somers Historical Society and museum. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005.
 
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to Somers, NY. (Submitted on October 29, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Somers, New York on Wikipedia. (Submitted on October 29, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 465 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 29, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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