Z – Zoo

This is my ninth year of blogging the A to Z Challenge. Everyday I will share something about my family’s life during 1950. This was a year that the USA federal census was taken and the first one that I appear in. At the end of each post I will share a book from my childhood collection.

Springfield Forest Park Zoo

I don’t remember going to the zoo in Springfield. In fact I wasn’t sure if they had one. They do. It was founded in 1894 and is still open.

Dr. Seuss lived in Springfield as a child and his father worked at the Zoo when he was a boy. According to this post, he was inspired by spending time there to draw some of his bizarre animals.

“Located in the heart of the city’s largest park is the Forest Park Zoo. After Prohibition closed the family brewery, Ted’s (note: Ted was Dr. Seuss) father took a job as Superintendent of the Zoo. Ted’s childhood home was just a short distance from the zoo and he must have spent many an hour watching the exotic animals there since many of his zany creatures in his books bear a striking resemblance to animals he saw in Forest Park. Forest Park Zoo/Seuss in Springfield

We had our own zoo of stuffed animals and dolls.

After we moved to Detroit we used to go to the zoo once a year with my maternal grandparents and our cousins.

Good Morning/Good Night.

Some of the pages from Good Morning/Good Night, Little Golden Book

16 thoughts on “Z – Zoo

  1. Visiting zoos is fun, especially with children as there’s always plenty to see. Love your zoo!

    Congratulations on finishing your 9th (!!!) A to Z. You will have to do 2023 to make it 10. It was fun learning about your life during the 50s. You’ve had me thinking about somehow covering our lack of personal census data.

    Strangely I didn’t recognise any of your books.

    1. I wonder what books you did have. I had many that didn’t make the challenge. I hope to do 2023. I hope to finish it before next April and get them all scheduled. It really makes for a different challenge.

      1. Love your personal zoo! Thanks so much for putting these together in April. Yes, that book is one I had…as well as a couple of others through the month! Loved hearing about Dr. Seuss’ childhood, since his animal drawings are so creative!

  2. During my last visit home I was going through some of my childhood pictures … there is one where my dad is feeding some leaves to a giraffe at a zoo with one hand while holding my then toddler brother in his othet arms … Zoos build beautiful childhood memories

  3. Oh, zoos! Zoos, contemporary ones, are so essential to maintaining endangered population’s genetics through managed breeding. I took my daughter to the zoo every time my husband traveled when she was small. She once wandered over to a group of people and corrected what they were saying, with “These are gibbons, they are not monkeys, they are lesser apes!’

    Yes, Kristin, CONGRATULATIONS on completing this year’s A to Z! Nine years. How impressive. So glad I finally found you and your blog.

  4. I’ve got one of Dr. Seuss’s creatures over in my Z post, but it certainly isn’t one of the ones that looks like a creature you’d find in an actual zoo!
    Congratulations on completing the challenge – nine years is impressive.
    Z is for Zany

  5. You both look so proud of your “Zoo”. It reminded me of having a zoo of play animals.” 5 cents to see the zoo” – read our sign.

    It has been a joy to visit each of your memories – I hope you enjoyed the glimpse over your shoulder.

  6. Congratulations on another A to Z challenge completed.

    We did not have a zoo in Canberra when I grew up but I visited the zoo in Adelaide when on a holiday to visit my grandparents. I can remember the hippopotamus yawning and riding on the elephant.

    1. The only time I rode on an elephant was when I was visiting my parents and we took my two children to the children’s zoo where there was an elephant. I rode it with my youngest daughter. It was a small elephant. There’s photo somewhere (of course)

  7. Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge. Ninth one!I have many fond memories of zoos growing up. I grew up in New York City, which has what may be the oldest zoo in the country (the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan), founded in 1864. I’ve lived the past 35 or so years near Binghamton, New York, which has the fifth oldest zoo (1875). I loved going to the Bronx Zoo in my youth with one of my aunts. I also got to visit the St. Louis Zoo on a trip as a teenager. I’ve been to several more as an adult (San Diego, Omaha, Wichita, among them.) I have never been to Springfield and now I want to visit.

    1. I have been to the St. Louis zoo a few times as an adult. My husband’s family reunion was in St. Louis and there was always a trip to the zoo. My children were young and so we went. It was in June and always so hot!

  8. You must have done so much research to complete this challenge! The photographs are lovely! ~Ria

    1. Thank you Ria. I did have to find the articles, but I didn’t try to sandwitch it into the month of April, so it was less stressful than many of my A to Zs

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