In the Churchill County Eagle from April 17, 1915 there is a big to-do about a 26 car circus coming to town. This gigantic show was said to bring 600 people and wild animals to small Fallon! The Eagle states that the Barnes show will include, “Stately horses, ponies, elephants, performances and clowns… acrobats, jugglers, areal performers, high divers, bare back riders, lions, and leopards” Another article claims that, “Pumas and bears ride galloping horses, sea lions juggle balls, dogs and monkeys jump from the top of the tents into nets.” There was also said to be included, “Twenty four man eating African lion are introduced in one act.”
This seems like a fantastic event to come to Fallon even by today’s standards. Apparently a lot of people at the time were questioning why such an elaborate circus show would take the time to come to tiny Fallon. The Eagle wrote, “Foot and mouth disease quarantine in the eastern states has made it impossible for them to show [there].” The article explained that the big circus shows needed to make an effort to travel to smaller towns so that they had at least some chance to make money in 1915.
The circus was headed to Fallon on Wednesday, April 28th where they were going to present a four mile long parade to the public at 10:30 am and give two performances in the circus tent at 2 and 8 pm.
The Al. G Barnes Circus ended up meeting with a little misfortune! Find out what happened in the next Churchill County Museum post.