Articles in the Salamanca Republican-Press announced the opening of the outdoor museum/zoo on October 1, 1933, describing the structure and some of its fascinating creatures. Concrete tanks in the center of the structure housed fish and turtles. Cages and other exhibits sat on walls or were hung from overhead supports.
Near the outdoor museum were a "snake pit" and a bear den; both still visible near the ruins. Since the outdoor museum was only open during the summer, captive animals were released back into the wild at season's end.
A popular postcard shows the north end of the museum as approached from the nature trail. The building was cleverly concealed by huge sugar maples and served as an exhibition place for local animals, rocks, insects and fungi.
The foundations and walls, to a height of 3 1/2 feet, are of vari-colored sandstone. The roof is supported on chestnut poles used as columns and knee-braced of the same material. The trusses are of chestnut and black cherry, while the whole is roofed with thick-butted shake shingles.
The rectangular museum is 25 feet wide and 40 feet long. In the
Salamanca-Republican Press, September 30, 1933.
This photograph of the outdoor museum comes from a camp report for SP-19, the first of the C.C.C. Company 249's permanent camps.
Irving Knobloch, a National Park Service naturalist and later a professor of botany at the University of Michigan, was in charge of trail development projects undertaken by Company 249. A nature trail, now called Red Jacket Trail, was constructed near the outdoor museum.
"Cubby" and "Suzie" were the first to use the fenced bear den, which may have pre-dated the museum/zoo. The cubs were rescued after being separated from their mother by a forest fire in the Crick's Run area.
On opening day, the outdoor museum featured several animals, including a racoon, a skunk, a woodchuck, a porcupine, a chipmunk, five kinds of turtles, five kinds of snakes, toads, frogs and salamanders as well as special displays on nature.
Photographs of Outdoor Museum exhibits courtesy Buffalo Museum of Science.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
Location. 42° 6.024′ N, 78° 45.013′ W. Marker is in Red House
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Weather Station (here, next to this marker); Civilian Conservation Corps (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ski Jumping (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stoddard Hollow (approx. ¾ mile away); Allegany State Park's Camp Allegany (approx. 1.4 miles away); Fire Observation Stations: / Fire Tower is Reborn (approx. 3.1 miles away); Sweet Water Spring (approx. 3.3 miles away); From the Mountains of Afghanistan (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Red House.
More about this marker. A motor vehicle entrance fee to the park is typically required during regular business hours in season.
Also see . . .
1. Allegany State Park - New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Red House Area (Submitted on September 28, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Zoo Ruins Allegany State Park - You Tube. A short vignette of the site by Paul (Submitted on June 30, 2018, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Additional keywords. Civilian Conservation Corp, Red Jacket Hiking Trail
Categories. • Animals • Charity & Public Work • Education • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 30, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 347 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 28, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.