Friday, January 22, 2010

Alton Bay, New Hampshire Reptile Zoo



Here's an interesting New England oddity preserved on a picture post card from my collection: The Alton Bay Reptile Museum. It reminds me a bit of Perry's Nut House (also re-visited here) of Belfast, Maine. Look at the cute monkeys framing the second floor windows!

The owner, Eugenia Shorrock, was mentioned in a "miscellany" article published in Time magazine on September 4, 1944: "Safe. In Alton, N.H., Mrs. Eugenia Shorrock, keeper of a reptile zoo, kept her purse in the python cage."

I found an advertisement from 1950 for the Reptile Museum (image here) which reads: "REPTILE ZOO AND GIFT SHOPS. PRESENTING Living Reptiles, Animals & Curios. A choice line of Jewelry, and Gifts for all occasions. Miniatures & Collectors Items. Toys - Souvenirs - & Greeting Cards. NEW Arrivals from the Far East. Bicycles. Row Boats for Rent. Live Bait for Sale. ALTON BAY, N. H. Tel. 156. ON LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE. EUGENIA S. SHORROCK, Prop."

12 comments:

Postcardy said...

That's a great card. I love roadside postcards like that.

Sheila said...

I love cards like that, ones that show what everyday life is/was like. And I can tell you it doesn't look the least bit like the Alton in Hampshire in the UK, which is what I thought when I first saw the title! I used to live nearby.

Shaunna said...

Happy PFF!! Gorgeous scene. :)

Snap said...

Great card. I can remember visiting some of these roadside attractions when I was a kid... many many many years ago. Seems sad that kids today won't have those same adventures! Happy PFF!

Christine H. said...

This post made me think of so many things. First, it immediately reminded me of Perry's Nut House even though I had forgotten that you were the one who posted that. I had to take another look at that one too. Then, it reminded me that gas stations don't need to be ugly. Then, it reminded me of the picture of Sarkozy in the boat on Lake Winnipesaukie in 2007, and how the French press photoshopped his love handles out of the picture before publishing. Ha ha, thanks for waking up some brain cells.

AnitaNH said...

Photoshopping is less painful than liposuction, quicker than exercising and easier than dieting!

Lyneen said...

WOW... interesting story to the area of Alton Bay. being from the west I had no idea there were ferries there. PFF

AnitaNH said...

Thank you to everyone who commented on the Alton Bay Reptile Zoo this Postcard Friendly Friday! I got off on a bit of a tangent researching its owner, Eugenia Skinner Shorrock:

http://anitanh.blogspot.com/2010/01/eugenia-shorrocks-snakes-and-shrunken.html

I will post further information about Eugenia's fabulous collection when the auction catalog arrives.

I guess my intense interest in this woman is due, in part, to the fact that I detect a kindred spirit. We both relocated from Massachusetts to this area and established retail shops to reflect our idiosyncratic personalities. I'll be developing this theme further in a future post!

And to think it all started with a single postcard that I've had hidden in a box for years. Thanks to Marie for providing the reason to research the story behind it!

Marie Reed said...

My Mom just emailed me! She LOVED your post! I'm thinking about installing a handy dandy python guard cage for my purse too!

Beth Niquette said...

How cool is that?! Happy PFF!

Margo said...

this card is fabulous. I agree with Sheila, about the cards that show everyday life. The details are so telling. I bet those reptile zoos were very exciting. (I just remembered one time there was a tiger behind a fence at an old Esso station when I was little in the 60s ('put a tiger in your tank') Happy PFF, Anita!

Jerry's SCORE blog said...

Thanks for your post. I picked up the identical card this weekend. My interest comes from a poster I found a few years ago advertising the Zoo. Admission was 10 cents and camp groups were welcome