Elephant Hotel in 2007
|Location||335 Route 202, Somers, NY|
|Area||1.67 acres (0.68 ha)|
|Part of||Somers Hamlet Historic District (#04000349)|
|NRHP reference #||74001323 and 05000462|
|Added to NRHP||August 7, 1974|
|Designated NHL||April 5, 2005|
The Elephant Hotel is an historic former hotel which today serves as the town hall in Somers, in Westchester County, New York, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on August 7, 1974 as Somers Town House and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005 as Elephant Hotel. It is also a contributing property in the NRHP-listed Somers Hamlet Historic District.
Hachaliah Bailey (known as the creator of Bailey Circus) built the Elephant Hotel in Somers, NY, after buying an African Elephant, which he named "Old Bet". Bailey intended to use the elephant for farm work, but the number of people it attracted caused Bailey to tour her throughout the northeast. Bailey's success inspired numerous others to tour with exotic animals, and during the 1830s the old style circus and Bailey's attractions merged to form the modern circus. Due to this, Somers is known as the "Cradle of the American Circus".
Old Bet was killed on tour in 1827, when she was shot by a local farmer. Bailey later erected the Elephant Hotel in Somers, in honor of Old Bet. It is said[who?] Old Bet was buried in front of the building.[which?]
In 1835, the hotel was incorporated by the Zoological Institute.
The NRHP listing is described in its NRHP nomination document.
Museum of the Early American Circus
The Somers Historical Society occupies the third floor of the building. The Society operates the Museum of the Early American Circus, which is open on Thursday afternoons and for special holidays.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in New York
- National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Westchester County, New York
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Neil Larsen (2005). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Elephant Hotel" (pdf). National Park Service.
- "Elephant Hotel". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- History of the Elephant Hotel, Somershitoricalsoc.org
- Lynn Beebe Weaver (December 1973). "NRHP Inventory-Nomination: Somers Town House / Elephant Hotel". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. and Accompanying photo, exterior
- Media related to Elephant Hotel at Wikimedia Commons
- Elephant Hotel history - Somers Historical Society
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NY-4-101, "Elephant Hotel, State Route 116 Vicinity, Somers, Westchester County, New York", 5 photos, 12 measured drawings, 7 data pages, supplemental material
- Museum of the Early American Circus - Somers Historical Society