Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey

There were 5 Ringling Brothers who knew how to grow fantastic mustaches--and had a small circus on the side. Through the late 1800's and into the early 1900's as each of the brothers died  he left his share of the circus to his other brothers.  The 'last man standing' was John Ringling who ultimately became as rich as Croesus (whoever he was).

John Ringling was bigger even than Walt Disney--providing entertainment through his circus at a time prior to movies, TV, computers, Ipods, Wii's, Disney World and Las Vegas.  He was all there was for the kids of his day.  And, like all really rich men of his era, he had a winter home in Florida.  And that home makes Viscaya look like a prefab with a view.

Outside of his home he kept a yacht--125' long for his family and guests to enjoy.

His property today covers many acres in Sarasota, Florida and includes his palatial home, an enormous museum, fantastic circus memorabilia, many incredible gardens, a theatre and a restaurant.

Ringling Brothers Circus eventually bought out Barnum and Bailey and a dozen smaller circuses to become a vast empire that survived until 1929 and the stock market crash almost did them in.

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