Thursday, September 27, 2012

West Baden WQ

Springs Valley Herald - July 22, 1915

West Baden, Ind., July 10 - (Special)

Ed Ballard, who, with C. E. Cory, controls the corporation which operates the Great Hagenbeck-Wallace Shows, accompanied by a landscape artist and architect, arrived here today and announced that the Hagenbeck-Wallace Company had chosen this city as the place where it would erect its big winter quarters and repair shop.

The leading citizens were jubilant over the news, and a movement was promptly inaugurated to grant the big circus exemption from taxation for ten years. It is also planned by the people of the valley to raise a fund by subscription and with same to build one of the new buildings.

Mr. Ballard is easily the most popular man in these parts and the people hereabouts feel that in as much as he turned down many alluring and attractive offers from other municipalities that it is up to them to reimburse him.

West Baden feels highly complimented.

Every citizen concedes that Mr. Ballard has treated the town handsomely and deserves handsome treatment in return.

The grooms, animal men, keepers, trainers, and mechanics in the repair shops that will be carried through the winter will easily number a hundred and the population of the town will be permanently increased to that extent.

Besides that the shows will rehearse and open here annually, and that means that the whole 500 employees will be here each spring for periods ranging from two to four weeks each. The money paid out in salaries will amount to huge sums and merchants and hotel men will benefit vastly.

The winter quarters, furthermore, will be a distinct acquisition as a show place and will be an added interest for the guest of the big hotels.

It is planned to erect very beautiful buildings and to park the land all about them and make the site as attractive as artistry and ingenuity can.

Mr. Ballard's handsome home will not be greatly distant from the location chosen. This mansion, the most spacious and beautiful in the Valley, has also lent much class to the great American spa.

Extensive boulevards are building in every direction, and it is planned to "tarvia" all roads and turnpikes centering at West Baden, thus providing many charming drives and excursions for automobile parties.

There is no evidence of hard times or tight money at West Baden. Money is being spent like water on improvements.

By the fall the resort will be the most attractive in American, if not in the world. - Billboard Magazine



Any of these buildings still around?

Bob Cline said...

We were told by a couple CHS members that drove through West Baden enroute to Normal, IL. for the convention a couple years ago that one building still existed. I had a couple photos of it in one of the early CHS Newsletters.

Ole Whitey said...

Bob: I guess you know that during the winter of 1924-25, HW and Robinson swapped quarters with HW moving to Peru and Robinson to West Baden.

They also swapped elephant herds at that time.