Featured Photo: Buffalo Zoo Bear Pits, Early 1920s

Bear Pits Buffalo Zoo 1920

Buffalo Zoo Bear Pits, Buffalo, New York, ca. early 1920s. Note the car in the photo is mostly open-bodied, with no windows and certainly no heat. Tire chains are on the rear tires. I cannot say with any certainty, but I believe it is Lewis Reed’s car with his wife and baby daughter, Mary Jane, sitting inside all bundled up. Photo by Lewis Reed.

Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo, located at 300 Parkside Ave in Buffalo, New York, is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is the second largest tourist attraction in Western New York; second only to Niagara Falls. The zoo traces its history to the mid-19th century when Jacob E. Bergtold, a Buffalo furrier, presented a pair of deer to the city of Buffalo. Five years after the deer were donated, more animals were added to the collection, and the first permanent building was erected, signifying the establishment of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens in 1875.

From this simple gift would grow the earliest origins of the Zoo, still operating on the same spot as that original 1871 Deer Paddock. A pair of bison and eight elk were added to the animal collection in 1895, and a zoo curator was hired the same year. Two years later, the bear pits, designed to look like Roman ruins, were built as the zoo we now know was beginning to take shape.

Source: Wikipedia

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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