Bridgeport is the largest city in Connecticut.
Once upon a time it was home to one of the greatest shows on Earth. In the late 19th century circus showman, P.T. Barnum was a resident of the city and served as the town’s mayor for a period of time. He built four houses in the city and housed his circus there in the winter when weather made it rough to tour the United States. Because of the time that he spent there and because of his connection to the city, there are quite a few Barnum related sites scattered throughout the city.
The museum was once a bustling place for people to experience all things Barnum. Amongst the collection visitors will find famous exhibits from the touring circus. Included on display is the famous Centaur skeleton, a fake Merman that was made for a television production as well as a variety of other famous Barnum exhibits. The Museum is located at 820 Main Street in Bridgeport. Hours of operation vary. More information can be obtained by calling 203-331-1104.
Barnum’s Baby Elephant.
Also at the museum visitors can view the mounted hide of Barnum’s baby elephant, Bridgeport. When the pachyderm was born in February or 1882, it was only the second recorded elephant birth in America. The event drew over 50 scientist from around the world to witness the baby’s entry into the world. It was said that Bridgeport was about the size of a Newfoundland dog at the time of his birth. Sadly he died four years later in the very spot that he was born.
P.T. Barnum Statue.
Just a short drive from the Barnum Museum, on Iranistan Avenue, in Seaside Park sits a statue of P.T. Barnum. Barnum was a huge part of creating and financing the development of the park in later part of his life. Barnum owned the land on which the park is situated and donated it to the city in 1865. This statue is elevated on a pedestal facing Long Island Sound, giving the greatest showman on the Earth an awesome view for his memorial.
There are several other Barnum related sites to be seen in Bridgeport. If you are interested in learning more check out bridgeportct.gov.