Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 66° Clear
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Exotic animals on display at Al Barnes circus

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

The Al G. Barnes Animal Circus staged a wild series of performances to a capacity crowd in a tent on the courthouse grounds.

Here are a few of the noteworthy sights:

A panther, a bear, a leopard and a monkey rode on the backs of four horses.

Leopard trainer Martha Florine “caressed or whipped into subjection” her wild cats in an iron cage. (Florine was only recently back with the circus after “being torn by a leopard” and spending months in the hospital.)

Three elephants promptly obeyed the commands of trainer Grace Marvell.

Clarence Copper “mussed up the bears when they appeared on the verge of mutiny.”

Captain Stonewall “made the seals do things they would never do at home.”

Mabel Stone wrestled with a tiger.

Venus Fashion entered a cage containing 12 lions.

Austin King paraded his “pet” zebras in a “variety of dancing figures.”

Bob Thornton “got more out of the trained pigs than could Mr. Armour himself.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.