Saturday, April 28, 2018

Roadside Attraction: Old Bet the Elephant - Somers, NY

Old Bet the Elephant
Somers, NY

N 41° 19.677 W 073° 41.148

Short Description: 

A statue of Old Bet the Elephant is displayed high up on a granite pillar in front of the Elephant Hotel at 335 US Route 202 in Somers, NY.

Long Description:

In 1808 Hachaliah Bailey purchased an African elephant which he named Old Bet. The elephant was the first circus elephant brought to America. Old Bet was the main attraction of his Bailey Circus, which later became a component of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. On July 24 1816, while on tour near Alfred, ME, Old Bet was shot and killed by local farmer, Daniel Davis.

Between 1820 and 1825 Bailey built the Elephant Hotel Old in Somers, NY. In 1935 a statue Old Bet was erected outside the Elephant Hotel in Somers, NY. The 3' by 4.5' by 6' concrete over plywood and cedar with metal mesh statue of Old Bet the Elephant is mounted on a 15' high granite shaft and a 3' high iron scroll support. The statue was created by sculptors Joseph P. Vaghi and Thaddeus Barlow and replaces a version of Old Bet that was created in 1825 and fell into disrepair.

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