Old photo album

The circus was in town!

This image by Lock Haven photographer J.W.C. Floyd shows one of the circus parades that came through town. Floyd took many photos in the late 1800s and just after the turn of the century, but we don’t know the exact year of this one. Maria Boileau, city planner for Lock Haven and author of “Images of America: Lock Haven,” is sharing this photo with other Express readers. Steve Getz updated the photo, she tells us. Local historian Lou Bernard, adult services coordinator at Ross Library, said a lot of circuses came through town in the old days. During the Civil War era, the circus grounds was on land between First and Third streets — this includes the location of the Ross house, which was built in 1887 and later became Ross Library. The parade shown here is most likely not for P.T. Barnum’s circus, since Barnum would have had the elephants marching in blankets with his name on them. But “the greatest showman” did stay at the Fallon Hotel once and his circus performed in the Opera House, which was on the corner of East Main and Grove streets. Bernard also tells us he once saw a photo of an elephant being lifted to the third floor of the Opera House by crane!

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