Holland Land Office Museum

Genesee County, New York
131 West Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020

(585) 343-4727


Museum, Gift Shop and
Book Store Hours:

Sunday - Monday

Tuesday - Saturday
10am - 4pm

$1 Child
$3 Student/Veteran/Senior
$5 Adult
$10 Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)
Members Free

Executive Director:
Ryan Duffy

Museum Marketing Coordinator
Jodi Fisher

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Thank you to our Business Sponsors
Houseknecht Insurance Agency
Kleen-All Company

At Home Exhibit


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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