A sign points the way to the International Circus Hall of Fame in Peru.
CARSON GERBER, Kokomo Tribune
17 May 2012
PERU, Ind. (AP) - Miami County historian Kreig Adkins remembers the days when there was a chance you'd be driving down U.S. 31 and see elephants.
That's right. Elephants. On U.S. 31.
And if Adkins has his way, people will once again see the titanic mammals while cruising on the highway between Kokomo and Peru.
Last month, his dream moved closer to reality when the Terrell Jacobs Wild Animal Circus Winter Quarters that used to house the elephants — as well as tigers, hippos and monkeys — was placed on the National Park Service's Register of Historic Places.
"This is a big step in the right direction," Adkins said.
In 1939, "Captain" Terrell Jacobs, who was once known as "the youngest, most fearless animal trainer in the world," purchased several acres along Pipe Creek in Miami County to construct two large barns to accommodate a menagerie of animals. The barns are located across from what's now the Grissom Aeroplex.
In one barn, Jacobs trained elephants for his independent act before starting his own short-lived circus in Peru, which now dubs itself the Circus Capital of the World.