Discovering Florida’s Forgotten Elephant Graveyard
Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, theme parks and alligator-filled swamps, but did you know it’s also home to a forgotten elephant graveyard? It’s a unique piece of history that not many Floridians know about, but it’s an important part of the state’s past.
What is the Elephant Graveyard?
The Elephant Graveyard was created in the late 1800s when circus companies used trains to travel from city to city. The elephants, who were often viewed as a symbol of the circus, were trained to do tricks and perform for large crowds. However, when the elephants died, they were often simply left behind.
In 1929, a group of elephants who were part of the Spark’s World Famous Shows circus died in a train accident in Hawkinsville, Georgia. The circus owner, John Sparks, couldn’t afford to have them buried, so he decided to bring them to Tampa and bury them in a secluded corner of the town’s old Oaklawn Cemetery.
Rediscovering the Elephant Graveyard
For years, the Elephant Graveyard remained forgotten and overgrown with vegetation. However, in 1992, a Tampa Tribune reporter named Tom French stumbled upon the site and wrote an article about it. The article got the attention of local authorities, who decided to restore the site and turn it into a memorial for the elephants.
Today, the Elephant Graveyard is a popular attraction for visitors to Tampa. The site is marked with a plaque that tells the history of the elephants and explains the significance of the site. In addition to the graveyard itself, visitors can also see a life-sized statue of an elephant that was erected in memory of the animals.
The Significance of the Elephant Graveyard
The Elephant Graveyard is an important piece of Florida’s history. It’s a reminder of the impact that circuses had on the state’s economy, as well as the treatment of animals in circuses during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The site also serves as a reminder of the strong bond between circus performers and their animals. Many circus performers spent their entire careers with the same animal, and when that animal died, it was a heartbreaking experience. The graveyard is a testament to the love and respect that these performers had for their animals.
Florida’s forgotten Elephant Graveyard is a hidden gem that’s worth discovering. It’s a unique piece of history that tells a story not only about the circus, but also about the bond between humans and animals. If you’re ever in the Tampa area, be sure to visit the Elephant Graveyard and pay your respects to these magnificent creatures.
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Summary: Florida’s Elephant Graveyard is a forgotten piece of history that tells the story of the bond between circus performers and their animals. The graveyard is now a popular attraction for visitors to Tampa and serves as a reminder of the impact that circuses had on the state’s economy during the late 1800s and early 1900s. #TECH