Friday, February 3, 2012

Vintage Busch Gardens Swiss House--1965

Front View

Back View

What a magical place Busch Gardens was when I first saw it in 1974. More "real" and not as "phony" or commercial as it is today. Roy Wells and I were both working at Jungle Larry's African Safari in Naples, Florida that year. For two young men from the Dakota's it was quite a special place.


Jim A. said...

Busch Gardens Tampa may have been inspired by Grant's Farm, the Busch family home in St. Louis. Grant's Farm is located in south St. Louis Co., less than 30 minutes from the brewery. On its 200 plus acres. There are small herds of bison, deer, and unusual domestic cattle. There's also a small children's zoo where one can feed goats and watch bird and elephant shows. The highlight is free beer and no admission. It still is a St. Louis institution.

George Vierheller, STL Zoo Director, helped his friend Gussie Busch build a nice bird collection at his Tampa brewery. Shirley Seiler had trained a nice macaw show for Grant's Farm, actually trained extra birds for most behaviors. Rich Naegli (sp?) was the head animal person at B.G. He took half of Shirley's birds and they added A.W.Kenard's (Dorothy Herbert's husband)sulphur-crested cockatoo acts to each show. Busch brought several baby elephants over the years for Grant's Farm, always named Mickey and Bud. The Zoo's Floyd Smith trained some, Carly Peterson was there for a few years around 1970. (Last time I saw the Bird Show it was a Joe Carvallo contract show - very good.)

I remember zoo conversation in the 60s about Busch Gardens when they added the Veldt and monorail. Busch Gardens, like Grant's Farm, had been a free attraction. They started to charge a dollar to park and a dollar for the monorail. "Would the public rebel?" Guess not, it's still here and gets about $80 for an adult ticket.

Wade G. Burck said...

Great stuff, thank you for sharing. I had forgotten that Richard Naglie was at Busch Gardens. I met him in the early 80's when he was Director of Franklin Park/Boston Zoo. I have some pictures of the bird show in 1970 at Tampa. I will look for them and post them. I also have a photo of the sea lions in their pool with fountains going off in the middle.