Historical figures in the banner above are (L-R):
Rev. Jesse Knight, Frank Higel, Bertha Honoré Palmer, Dr. Fred Albee, John Nolen
Circus Train Car
Pictures of the circus car's move from the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, FL; renovation in Venice; and its final move to the Historic Venice Train Depot.
Circus Train Car Update
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus wintered in Venice, Florida between 1960 and 1992. With the help of numerous donors from the Venice area and around the nation, VAHS brought a retired circus train car to the Historic Venice Depot Campus. VAHS found an ideal car, built by Pullman Standard and once owned by Ringling, at the Florida Railroad Museum (FRRM). The Society has raised the funds to purchase it, restore and reconfigure it, and prepare the Depot site to receive it. Originally called the Short Leaf Pine, the 85-foot long rail car had its last brake check in Venice in 1993.
Thank you to:
The car is currently at the Venice Train Depot next to the caboose. Check the calendar for tour dates and times. The exhibits illustrate how Ringling performers lived on the circus train and describe the many innovations that took place in the Ringling Bros. Circus during the Venice years. Venice’s circus legacy is also celebrated.
Having a retired Ringling Bros. car that was actually used in Venice is the ideal fulfillment of the original vision and plan for the Historic Venice Train Depot. VAHS is proud to play a part in the vision.
The Society now leases all historic assets on the Depot campus. It needs funds to provide ongoing maintenance of the interior and exterior of both the caboose and circus car, a requirement of its lease agreement with Sarasota County. All donations, both large and small, are important in helping VAHS. Please send checks, made out to VAHS, to:
Venice Area Historical Society
Circus Train Car Project
PO Box 995
Venice, FL 34284-0995
Thank you for helping to preserve Venice's circus heritage!