Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Circus!

Friday, June 30th [1893]. Pembina, N. D., N. P. R. R., 90 miles. Hotel, Winchester. Pop. 1,000. Rained nearly all day. Business good. Large excursion from the Queen’s Domain, many pleasure-seekers coming from Winnipeg to view the wonders of the Big Show. At night a heavy wind-storm frightened the audience, and they left the canvas before the conclusion of show.

Source: Official Route Book of Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Railroad Shows, Season of 1893, Buffalo, NY: Courier Co., 1893. Circus Historical Society

Bud E. Anderson's Jungle Oddities
visited Pembina in 1939

[Click to Enlarge]


There were other circuses that came by in other years, of course:

  • Great Wallace Show (Pembina on Sunday, July 15 1896)
  • Forepaugh Circus (Pembina on Sunday, June 27, 1900)
  • Bud E. Anderson's Jungle Oddities & 3-Ring Circus (Pembina on August 6, 1939, and Hallock on August 4, 1939)
  • Carson & Barnes Circus (Pembina on June 5, 1960)
...One of the active workers is a "reformed circus man," McFarland of Pembina county, who was a performer with Van Amberg, and later a saloonkeeper. He is now radical in temperance and religion... [Source: St. Paul Daily Globe, January 31, 1887]

Evidently, going by the above quote, it wasn't considered proper work to be a circus performer, at least by some.  I always thought it was amusing that people can look down on certain other people, yet be perfectly willing to have those people entertain them.  Then again, it was a different time, and even then, not everyone agreed about these issues.

If anyone reading this have old family photos or oral history about the circus visits to our area, I'd love to hear them. You can always contact me privately through my profile on the sidebar, or leave a comment!
Trick Cycling would have been very popular with audiences
during the Bicycle craze of the 'Gay 90s
' [Click to Enlarge]