February 26, 2024

Repairs needed at barn, home to circus hall of fame museum

PERU, Ind. (AP) — A historic barn that once housed elephants and tigers from well-known circuses and now is home to the International Circus Hall of Fame museum is in need of emergency repairs.

Bob Cline, treasurer of the nonprofit hall of fame, said volunteers discovered in December that a main beam supporting an upper wall of the structure had rotted out completely and given way, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

The barn was built in 1922 by the American Circus Corp. It is among several structures located east of Peru, in northern Indiana, that once served as the winter quarters for the world’s largest circuses, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

The hall of fame has been working for years to preserve the structures.

Cline said the $4,200 to repair the barn’s beam is just the “tip of the iceberg” of what needs to be done. The group is seeking donations to help cover costs for the project.

“We know what all needs to be done,” Cline said in an email. “It’s going to be costly and time consuming. This is far more than a paint job.”