Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum
N 41° 22.272 W 073° 24.829
A statue of "The Greatest Showman" P.T. Barnum is located outside the Bethel Public Library at 189 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT.
A 6' high bronze statue of American showman. politician, and businessman P.T. Barnum was dedicated by the Bethel Historical Society on September 26, 2010. The statue was created by local artist Dave Gesualdi and placed on along Greenwood Avenue outside the public library. The statue, dedicated on the 200th anniversary of Barnum’s birth in Bethel, Ct.
The statue depicts Barnum wearing a three piece suit with the jacket unbuttoned and a bow tie. He is standing on a circular bronze plinth set on a 3' high square stone block base with a relief showing a circus scene on the west side. His left knee bent slightly forward and his hands raised over his head. He is holding a top hat in his left hand.
A bronze plaque in front of the base is inscribed:
PHINEAS TAYLOR (P.T.) BARNUM
BORN BETHEL, CT 1810
* * *
"I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF
MERRIMENT MY NATURAL BIAS WAS DEVELOPED AND
STRENGTHENED BY THE ASSOCIATIONS OF YOUTH;
AND I FEEL MYSELF ENTITLED TO RECORD THE SAYINGS
AND DOINGS OF THE WAGS AND ECCENTRICITIES OF
BETHEL BECAUSE THEY PARTLY EXPLAIN THE CAUSES
WHICH HAVE MADE ME WHAT I AM."
*** DEDICATED BY THE BETHEL HISTORICAL SOCIETY ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER 2010 ***
P.T. Barnum was born in Bethel, CT on July 5, 1810 where he founded a weekly newspaper before moving to New York City in 1834. In New York, Barnum creating a curiosity museum and the circus that now is part of the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. His career in entertainment included a variety troupe called "Barnum's Grand Scientific and Musical Theater" and purchasing Scudder's American Museum, which he renamed the Barnum American Museum. He became famous for using the museum to promote hoaxes and human curiosities such as the Feejee mermaid and General Tom Thumb. He also promoted the American tour of singer Jenny Lind, "The Swedish Nightingale". P.T. Barnum is closely associated with the aphorism "There's a sucker born every minute."
Barnum was also served in Connecticut House of Representatives from 1866–1869 and the mayor of Bridgeport, CT from 1875–1876. He died in Bridgeport on April 7, 1891 and is buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery.