P.T. Barnum was born in Bethel, CT and is the brains behind the world famous Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. Most people in our area know at least that much. There's a lot more about the man and most of the highlights of his life came well before the circus.

We have a new feature on the Ethan and Lou Show called: "The Place You Live." We do it every Tuesday morning between 8 and 9 am on I-95. The segment research and stories come courtesy of Mike Allen.

Mike was the News Director at I-95 many years ago and Ethan and I thought he'd be a great resource to help us learn more about the places we all live. On Tuesday (2/15/21) Mike focused his energies and attention on Bethel, CT and P.T. Barnum and we learned a lot.

For instance:

  • The Bethel, CT home that P.T. Barnum was born in, stands today and is in great condition.
  • Barmum wasn't just born in Bethel. His local connections include; Danbury, Bridgeport and Somers, NY.
  • He was one of the most rich and famous men of the 1800's.
  • PT Barnum had an Uncle who owned a store in P.T. Barnum Square on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. Mind you, it was not called P.T. Barnum Square back then.
  • Greenwood Avenue in Bethel is named after John Greenwood who was Barnum's sidekick.
  • Barnum brought the first ever circus elephant to the United States and the second elephant in the U.S. The elephant's name was "Old Bet" and there is a statue of "Old Bet" in Somers, NY right outside the "Elephant Hotel."
  • Barnum started a newspaper in Danbury, CT that was called "The Herald Freedom."
  • Barnum was arrested for liable and thrown in the Danbury jail.
  • Barnum was the Mayor of Bridgeport for one term.
  • In 1890, Thomas Edison used Barnum's voice in an audio recording to show off his new invention, the phonograph.

For the rest of the P.T. Barnum story and more on his connection to the Greater Danbury Area, click below and hear Mike Allen tell you about "The Place You Live"

P.S. I didn't want to ruin Mike's flow, so I didn't mention it, but Barnum's elephant "Old Bet" was shot and killed in Maine by a jealous farmer.

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