search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts


Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,631 other subscribers


Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

Benson’s Wild Animal Farm

Some might say it was a place of horrors, the world didn’t know any better and I honestly believe it was a simpler time and the animals were well cared for. Others might remember it for its gaudiness and the wonders it brought to a rural New Hampshire town. Many, who visited it as children, will remember it as a magical escape that fed your imagination for weeks to follow.

Benson’s Wild Animal Farm was a Sunday afternoon treat with my grandparents. We would arrive in the dusty parking lot and leap from the monstrous 1960-something Buick. The parking lot alone was an adventure in all the exotic vehicles gathered, waiting for their families to return. More than a farm, Benson’s was an adventure that balanced amusement park rides  with ponds and shady winding paths between the exhibits. There were clowns selling balloon animals, hats, and souvenirs such as dyed rabbit’s foot key chains that would be cherished for years.


Today it is a public park through the hard work of volunteers and the support of the town government. I was surprised when we wheeled into the parking lot in Laura’s Jeep. Having grown up nearby, she had her own memories and tales of the original venue. Some remnants of the original remain and have been restored.

High atop a hill in a shady glade that was Story Town, the Old Woman’s Shoe has been shined up and stands tall. I have to take exception with the “politically correct” version of the saying that accompanies it, however.  In my memory “…she whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”

DSC_7944 DSC_7948

It is a whopping big shoe. Suddenly  a memory; wishing I could look down into the toe, which was where I was sure the children slept. Perhaps the kitchen was in the heel? Why did she have so many kids? Who would think of living in a shoe? I needed more information…


8 comments on “Benson’s Wild Animal Farm

  1. Doppleganger says:

    You do indeed live in a wonder filled state!


    1. Now don’t forget, you used to live here too!! Wonders are where you find them…


  2. Didn’t the train run under the shoe? My strongest memory of Benson’s was having to walk about 5 miles to the nearest house after my father’s car broke down on the way home.


  3. Well, so there you go! Everyone has weird memories from Benson’s! There is an really interesting article here, and the last guy to own it has been on Chronicle telling his story. It is a magical place in so many ways. Disney got ‘nuthin on Benson’s!


  4. Joanne Corey says:

    I remember going to Benson’s on school trips.


    1. Hi Joanne! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was a magical place though the PETA folks would probably have an issue with the zoo part these days. Glad I stirred up some memories!


  5. mariekeates says:

    We had a zoo here when I was a child and I remember walking around looking at all the animals. Of course it closed when these things stopped being acceptable and I wondered what happened to the animals. Now we have Marwell, a huge zoological garden near Winchester, where the animals are not in cages and have masses of space to roam. It has a breeding program to reintroduce endangered species into the wild.


    1. The animals from Benson’s were sold off to other zoos and wild animal farms. There are little plaques around the grounds telling where they all ended up. Laura, from saw the white tiger and lion at a big cat rescue preserve in Florida. I guess that would be a more appropriate place for a lion in winter…


Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pragma Synesi - interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson


Oh, the Places We See . . .

Never too old to travel!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Going to Seed in Zones 5b-6a

The Adventures of Southern Gardeners Starting Over in New England

I Walk Alone

The World One Step At A Time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order. News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling


Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.


Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. -

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, PhD


Diana Tibert

~ I write -

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East


Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List



International Cowgirl Blog

%d bloggers like this: