Thursday, July 10, 2008

From Richard Reynolds

clip_image002, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This is Rosie at the Candler zoo on Atlanta's Briarcliff Rd. It was installed on the estate of Asa Candler, Jr. , son of the man who made Coca Cola famous.

Candler received his first animals in April 20, 1932 from the Benson farm. They included two young elephants, Coca and Cola. With the shipment came Fletcher Reynolds who became the zoo's curator.

On April 24, 1932 Candler received Rosie from real estate developer Carl Fisher in Miami Beach. Rosie had been with him for 9 years, being used as an advertising attraction.

The zoo opened to the public on August 13, 1932 and just before that he bought two more young Asian elephants which he named Delicious and Refreshing.

To handle the training of the elephants and other animals Candler employed veteran Al Langdon. He was at the zoo for the 1932 opening and was still there in early 1935. That was when Candler closed his zoo and transferred most of his animals to the City Zoo in Grant Park, now called Zoo Atlanta.

On October 25, 1933 Candler had given elephant Coca to the City Zoo to replace old Maude who had died the day before. Maude had been at the City zoo since Jan. 1903. With Coca gone, Candler got yet another young elephant which he named Fragrant.

The City did not have the wherewithal to build a new elephant house in 1935 to accommodate five more Candler elephants so he sold them.

Around the beginning of April 1935 Rosie left for Honest Bill Newton's Walter Main show. She was with it through 1937, then Newton Bros. in '38, and Honest Bill in 1939. Ben Davenport got her for 1940 for his Dailey Bros where she trouped until her death in 1943.

The four remaining elephants, Cola, Delicious, Refreshing, and Fragrant were sold to Downie Bros. and left Candler's estate in June 1935 - -destination Lawrence, Mass. They were delivered to the show there on June 15th.

I was born in September 1934 so the Candler zoo closed before I was old enough to see it. My Mother and Father used to tell me about it. Both said that Candler's was much better than the City zoo which languished for much of its history. Dad said that Rosie was a very large elephant and when you passed the zoo on Briarcliff Rd you could see her back above the wall which separated the zoo from the street.

Can you give us a chronology of Al Langdon's circus career?


Buckles said...

Smokey told me that "Rosie" was with the Dailey Show when he first joined and that she was so tall he could easily walk under her chin.

Anonymous said...

As we know the four who went to Downie became Addie often listed as "Hattie"), Cora, Inez and Marion, but does anybody out there have a clue as to which Candler elephant was given which new name? I have never heard this answered.

Anonymous said...

Was wondering what happen to the recent comments section on the left side of your blog?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the book called "Water for Elephants?" Just wondering if the Rosie the elephant in that book is the same Rosie talked about on the blog? Good book, and I am really enjoying the story of the circus back then. Thanks, Annie

GaryHill said...

If you go to the back of the book and read the,A conversation with the author. You will find that Rosie was based on several elephants,one that actually pulled out her stake and stole lemonade. Well written book, one of my clients bought it for me last year.