Delavan's Circus Heritage

Cty P just north of WI 11.

Delavan claims to be the circus capital of the world


Giraffe Monument

The monuments are located downtown.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning




The connection between Wisconsin and the circus goes back to the mid 19th century, with both the P.T. Barnum show and the Ringling Brothers' circus being founded in Wisconsin.

In 1847, Edmund and Jeremiah Mable came to Delavan with their United States Olympic Circus and liked the area so much that they bought 400 acres to use as their winter quarters. Between 1847 and 1894, 26 separate shows claimed Delavan as their winter quarters.

In 1871, W.C. Coup conceived of the show that would eventually evolve into P.T. Barnum's Circus.

Meanwhile, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the Ringling Brothers formed their famous show, and eventually, the P.T. Barnum Show combined with the Ringling Brothers' Show to form The Greatest Show on Earth™.

The Greatest Show on Earth™ is a registered trademark of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows and is used here for educational purposes only.

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2011: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com