International Circus Hall of Fame

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American Circus Corporation winter quarters

Welcome to the International Circus Hall of Fame

The Circus Hall of Fame, rests inside the original American Circus Corporation winter quarters barns and buildings, now designated as a Historical National Landmark. The major construction began in 1922, with more buildings added again in 1925 and then again in 1928. Sadly, fire of various origins consumed many of these buildings over the years.

In the glory years between 1922 and 1929, the American Circus Corporation owned five different circuses with three of them staying here in Peru. There were hundreds of horses and ponies in stables and pastures each winter. Camels, llamas and zebras grazed in the same fields as the horses. Forty plus elephants were here every winter. Springtime found them down in the river frolicking in mud and water. Lions and tigers and bears, called Peru home every winter. The polar bears had a pool to play in. There were monkeys, great apes, reptiles, exotic birds, giraffes and more animals from around the world.

The winter quarters had its own Fire Hydrant system, using water from the river via pumps. They had a hospital, a large mess hall, a company store, a commissary, dormitories for the hired help, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, wagon builders, wood carvers, canvas sewers, wardrobe designers, press agents and railroad agents.

Below is a map to show you how big the winter quarters were in 1929. A building Directory is listed below the map.

  1. Loose Straw Storage
  2. Wagon Storage
  3. Corn Crib
  4. Sells-Floto Pony Stable
  5. Ostriches and Giraffes
  6. Machine and Wagon Shop ( 2nd floor – canvas )
  7. Elephants and Hippo ( 2nd Floor – hay storage )
  8. Lions and Tigers and Bears ( 2nd floor – harness shop )
  9. Horse stables
  10. Horse Stables
  11. Stables
  12. Pony Stables
  13. Horse Shelters
  14. Auto / Electric Repair Shop
  15. Wagon and baggage storage
  16. Kitchen Storage
  17. Tractor Repair
  18. Side Show Equipment and Seating storage
  19. Heating Plant
  20. Bunk House
  21. Dining Room and Kitchen
  22. Commissary
  23. Paint Shop ( 2nd floor – Club Room, Barber Shop and Hospital )
  24. Lumber and Coal Shed
  25. Pump House
  26. Lumber Storage
  27. Horse Shoeing
  28. Horses
  29. Bunk House
  30. Slaughter House
  31. Office
  32. Dog House and Yard
  33. Animal Acts ( 2nd floor – Prop Storage )
  34. Bear Pens
  35. Bear Training Arena
  36. Incinerator
  37. Wagon Shed
  38. Camel Shed
  39. Pole Shed
  40. Horse Slaughter