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Friday, October 17, 2008

A Butler Mystery Spot ~ Circus Town

Photo: The Long Way Home
Who knows what this is? It is right off Rt. 422 on Keck Road.
Cassie Kelly-Winkler thinks it is an old permanent circus attraction called
Circus Town.

35 comments:

Jim said...

Does anyone know what Preston Labs did in Meridian? I grew up at the corner of Eberhardt Road and Brown Avenue in Meridian. The ominous gate and the mysterious woods around Preston Labs were always a huge mystery to us. Rumors ran rampant and security guards kept us from exploring the fenced complex. To this day I am curious; but on the other hand I almost would like to think of Frankenstein-like creatures roaming the wooded areas of Meridian. Speaking of Meridian..does anyone remember Kempers Store, Vince Caccamo's Barber shop or McGill's Grocery? My uncle Ken Jenkins bought McGills and it became Ken's Grocery. Kens wife Lucille was my dads twin sister.

Moonshiner said...

Preston Labs did glass research if I'm not mistaken.

I remember buying aluminum foil bags of Snyder's potato chips at Kempers!

Moonshiner said...

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=qt9t9h8bfq0h&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=23474507&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

Anonymous said...

Preston Labs did glass research. Unfortunately there is nothing spooky about that. I remember those gates too and thought the same things.

There is a good article on the company owner in Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

it is a place called circus town

Anonymous said...

It was Circus Town. It had many exotic animals there.I believe Lions and tigers and bears. It was started by the Kefalas family. The same ones that owned the bar on main street and had a painting business. At least one son or grandson is in the real estate business now.

EasyToInsureMe said...

lol that is like this old school near my parents house. There was a horrible fire in there before i was born. However, all my friends would go in there because it was abandoned and it kind of looked like the building in the picture.

www.EasyToInsureME.com/pennsylvaniahealthinsurance.html

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know why Circus Town closed? I heard everything from disease, to a kid bieng killed by an animal...

Anonymous said...

Is that the yellow brick one that stood along Route 8 near Armco? I crawled around in that one as a kid.

Anonymous said...

THIS WAS CIRCUS TOWN, I'VE HEARD STORIES, MORE THAN ONE, THAT A CHILD WAS KILLED THERE BY AN ANIMAL AND THEY CLOSED DOWN. THE BIGGER BUILDING HAS ALOT OF OLD ITEMS FROM WHEN THE CIRCUS WAS OPEN.

Anonymous said...

what is this near on keck road?

Anonymous said...

any pictures of when it was open or articles on why it closed would be awsome

Anonymous said...

Prestons gate was put there for us to imagine what its for. I grew up in Meridian and Mr and Mrs Preston always woukd talk to us kids. Mr Preston wrote a book and i read some years back and it stated that the gate was put there for no reason , he just liked the mystery of why. He got the idea from a friend whom did it in Ohio in the middle of the woods. As for the Lab , It is where the original AGR started (American Glass Research). Mr Preston was the first guy to master the color change of glass. Mr Preston was a brilliant !

Anonymous said...

I remember as a child being told that circus town was closed down because a child was killed by a gorilla.

Anonymous said...

This is Circus town. I went there with my buddies about 10 years ago in the middle of the night. There's a half collapsed barn back in aways and we climbed up there. It was filled with circus items, unopened toys from the 60's and more! It's a shame no one ever grabbed that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Well I grew up in Meridian myself, and I remember all the tall tail story's of Preston's Lab. I never believed any of them but thought they were funny. For Kemper's it was a store where every kid knew about Penny Candy and baseball cards. We all would meet there at the same time everyday and hang out there then would go back in the woods to ride bikes and jump the dirt ramps. Before Kempers, how many people remember Morrows Market? It was deli/store as well. Now Ken's Market use to be the best place to go for any kind of meet to salad spreads . They use to have the old wooden floors and the old cash registers in there. I also remember getting the space ship candy's that dissolved in your mouth at kemper's too.

What great memory's !

PS I was also with the Person at Clown Town while we walked the path of mystery .. Very Cool !

Anonymous said...

This used to be a circus with a Farris wheel and other rides back in the early 60's----i do not know about the child dieing or why it closed---but i remember going and riding the rides ---it was really cool

Anonymous said...

hey thats circus town i live near it. It was built by Peat Kefffalas who died last summer (2008). There was no kid that died there. My grandma told me that she used to take my aunts there to see the animals. me and my buddies checked it out last summer and it has alot of neat stuff there. There are no trespassing signs there so i dont recommend going there. Oh and also i think it got shut down because it cost to much

Anonymous said...

I actually workd at Circustown as a kid. Me and my buddied would ride our bicyles there every morning at work our tails off for 50 cents an hour. Place was pretty much closed to the public at that time. There were still plenty of animals to take care of still; black bears, Gibson Ape, bobcats........

lots of memories....

Anonymous said...

I also grew up in Meridian. I Lived on the Barrackman farm that got sub-divided. Preston established the glass research facility very early (1926?). This later became AGR that has grown into a successful corporation.

Regarding Kemper's - this store became what is now Meridian Station. The site was a station on the Harmony Short Line. Mr Kemper died I believe in PA, but Mrs Kemper moved to Tucson, Arizon and lived there for years before passing.

I grew up in Meridian in the old days of Kempers, Gehrings store, Tom the Barber, and the Meridian Inn. My grandfather helped run power down Meridian road. How about the original Catholic church?
Good place to grow up.

Anonymous said...

I grew up around Fenelton, and remember tails of an escaped black panther from Circustown. Made for great scary tales. When you're 10 or 11 and riding your bike in McGrady Hollow near dark, you could actually see the glowing green eyes of the ghost of the black panther as you raced for the bridge at the end of the hollow, much like Icabod Crane racing for the end of Sleepy Hollow.

Jerry said...

That was Circus Town. I used to go there when I was a kid.I lived just up the road from there. Also I went to the old Keck school. A one room school house that taught eight grades. My teachers were Mr Carter, and Mrs. Cooper. Anyone wishing to exchange pic's of the school e-mail me at GVHMAN2442@aol.com.

Anonymous said...

Ok so im highly aware of circus town and Snyder cemetery... but does anyone else know of some creepy places? I am interested mostly in taking the photograhy, but i want some good and odd shots. If you know of anything, even an old abandoned house or anything that is a bit odd or weird, please email me at blondebeaner99@yahoo.com

thank you!

Anonymous said...

That place is Circus Town. I went back there with my dad, brother and step brother. Then again with my other brother and his girlfreind and her little sister. The first time i went it was past twelve and we were kind of freaked out because we had gone to snyders before coming to Circus Town, so we didn't go very far back or stay for very long. The second time, it was daytime we went down pretty far until jagger bushes and a big metal roof that we were afraid to walk over held us back. We went inside of the small metal buildings to the right (i think there are three) and found some animal bones and chicken cages. The bones looked like they were deer or somthing. They second, there was alot of old things it looked like mostly kitchen ware i took home a small metal bottle, i weird like reverse plyers looking thing that says sterling on the handles but there obveisly plastic and an old golf ball. The metal bottle turned out to be a bottle opener. We walked to the third one and couldent find a way in but found a bullet hole in the window. There was no way the hole was from a rock or other object, it was clearly from a bullet. I heard a story that kids spent the night up there and one of them had brought his rifle incase of a bear. The morning after he was messing with it and it shot off killing a kid in the hills. I don't know if it is true or not but it explains the bullet hole. Another story that I heard was that there is a guy who lives far back and he sends his dogs after poeple. There is a no trespassing sighn out on the front entrance building, so if there is a guy who owns it it wouldnt suprise me if he owned guns and this could also explain the bullet hole. It is amazing how a place could just shut down and leave so much behind. With the sighn out front and the story about the guy i wouldnt recommend exploring it. If anybody has anymore information or qestions please contact me.

davidpierce94@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

If you go to one of the map programs like in google and in Bing (Bing's is better) you can check out remains without getting in trouble with current owner. It show quite a lot of the building still there in Circus Town.

Irish Queen said...

The Preston estate has been left to Butler Township with the stipulation that it remain a park, when Jane Preston died about a year ago.
The Carnegie Museum had it's collections lab there for years and left around 1975 moving everything to Oakland/Pittsburgh.
Everything that was not on display at the Carnegie Museum was stored in the big pole building on the Preston estate.
Last I heard Ken Jenkins was working at Brose's market on North Main St. Hill - still making that ham loaf shaped like a pigs face.

Anonymous said...

The Preston estate is now open to the public as a walking trail.

Anonymous said...

The entrance gate that you see in the picture for circus town has been demolished along with some of the other circus building. I just went there the other night and there were bulldozer tracks from some jerkface who has no soul. I was very disappointed. there still are a few buildings and one cage from the circus though

Anonymous said...

yes I remember McGills market when I was young. My mother would order meat and McGill's would deliver to your home.

Anonymous said...

i saw the same dozers there this week also, wonder whats going on now?

captain9 said...

circus town was opened in the 50s it was open for ten yrs no one was klled there my uncle was mawed there they shut down cause they had no bisness i heard all about it my father use to go there all the time the owner of the proprty is now tearing down all of the building

Anonymous said...

Wonder what's on all that cirusland land now adays.I knew some kids in high school who claimed they used to go there and drink/get high.
I remember seeing it from RT 422 when we went to Wothington carnival.Otherwise never got out that way.

Anonymous said...

o worked their on the power lines that go right through where the circus once was. all I seen their was an old cage, aka corn crib, surprised to see the top still on it. a big pond an old building with benches in it, and a building with animal cages, and a 50s vw beetle, a horse drawn fire truck, a fire truck from id say late 20s early 30s. and a few other way awesome things still in great condition. I would not go their unless you have reason of being there though. I worked on the power lines so they couldn't technicly throw me out. they could but id end up back anyhow...

Anonymous said...

Kid was NOT killed, just had severe scars. All of those store are untrue!

Diana Baptiste said...

My brother was bit by a monkey in the 60's. But , I guess that was a monkey that our grandfather had.