Let’s Address the Elephant in the Room at Goodale Park

If you’ve ever been to Goodale Park, you may have noticed the park’s pond with it’s unique fountain.

In late 2009, local artist Malcom Cochran was commissioned to design a new fountain for the pond. The fountain was influenced by Columbus, Ohio based, Sells Brothers Circus.

Brothers, Ephraim, Allen, Peter, and Lewis Sells started the circus in 1862 and was known to have played in integral part of Franklin County’s history. The brothers invested over $35,000 into their newly founded show business.

Their tale would start with the idea they needed an elephant as their featured animal in order to be successful. Due to undocumented circumstances, their first elephant died on its way to its first show. The circus would later acquire another elephant, which not only lived, but became the circus’ main attraction and made the circus profitable.

Hence, the two elephants on the fountain.

The Sells Brothers circus was featured in a 1901 silent film directed by Edwin S. Porter titled Day at the Circus. The film depicted the circus’ “collection” of animals as they marched down an avenue for a parade.

The circus would go on for about 24 years and later merge with a circus ran by Adam Forepaugh in 1900.

The Sells “Circus House”, or should I say “mansion”, resides on the corner of Buttles & Dennison just outside Goodale Park; which overlooks the fountain as a tribute to the Sells family.

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