Holland Land Office Museum
Genesee County, New York
131 West Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
Museum, Gift Shop and
Book Store Hours:
Sunday - Monday
Tuesday - Saturday
10am - 4pm
(Closed July 4th)
$10 Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)
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At Home Exhibits submitted by the community:
David Reilly -
Ringling Brothers Circus
In July 1956 The Ringling Brothers Circus under the "Big Top" tent came to Batavia for the final time. Ten shows later in Pittsburgh the owner, John Ringling North, decided that using the tent was unprofitable and laid off hundreds of workers. The above ad is from the Batavia Daily News about a week before the circus arrival.
Here's an article from the Daily News from July 6, !956 detailing the circus' arrival.
An unused ticket from the Batavia afternoon show 7/6/1956.
1956 Ringling Brothers program. 25 cents.
The program had a number of cigarette ads which would not be the case in 2020.
The feature article was ironically about how the circus tent moves from city to city by train. Ironic of course because this was the final year the Big Top was used.
Peanut and popcorn bags from the 1950s circus.Price 5 or 10 cents.
When I took my kids to the circus at Blue Cross Arena in the early ‘90s snow cones were $8.
Ringling Brothers went out of business in 2018. They do have a museum in Sarasota, Florida. Some people applauded the death of the circuses due to mistreatment of animals. Nonetheless, their passing signified another loss from the landscape of America along with the railroad trains that once carried them.
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