09-12-2010 the Reptile Garden

I have learned a valuable lesson, as a result of “discovering” this interesting location upon the Witte Museum grounds. In February of this year, I came across it… and thought to myself what an interesting place! It apparently housed animals of some type, most likely water fowl, judging by the many “ponds” encircling The Pit. There was an elaborate gate at the entrance, which had a wonderful green patina such as that of copper. The design was hard to determine, it sorta looked like swans and a flower motif… but then again it didn’t. Just inside the gated entrance, were two antiquated turnstiles, so I concluded that what ever this place contained… they charged an admission fee to view it. The entrance and walkways were covered by a decrepit dry rotted shake shingle roof containing many holes, that allowed sunlight to penetrate, casting a dappled effect upon the masonry walls. I simply had to get in there!

I walked over to the Museum and questioned the elderly “Greeter” about the location, but he didn’t know anything. I inquired at the Information/Ticket desk, but the young woman threw me a wrinkled brow and shook her head. (C’mon now, you people are supposedly capable of telling the unraveled mysteries of ancient cultures, and you can’t tell me ANYTHING about something that is on the property!)

Sigh* When all else fails… GOOGLE it!

Many mornings since, I have thought about this location… but procrastinated my plan of capturing it on film. Reasoning, that it had been there for many years, and wouldn’t be going anywhere. Well, as you may have already guessed… the wonderful roof, the turnstiles and that mysteriously ornate gate have been removed. And there is my lesson… from this day forward, if I’m driving down the road and something catches my eye, I’m making the U turn, because it may not be there tomorrow…

The results of my Google query… was this…


~ by myVelleity on September 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “09-12-2010 the Reptile Garden”

  1. how lovely, a snake pit. 🙂 I do like the colors here, the greens and rust. the dappled light is nice throughout.

  2. In case your still interested. That was the Reptile Garden. It housed all kinds of snakes and some alligators. Rattlesnakes were milked during the war for the venom which was then sent to Ross Allen in Florida so that anti-venom could be made for the military. They held rattlesnake fries on Sundays, allowing the spectators who watched from above the open snake pit to sample the fried meat. My grandfather ran the place during that time (circa 1940-1950) and my mother was one of the people who handled the snakes and did the milking. She just turned 94 and still remembers most of the events that went on their.

  3. Thank You Sue, I hope you enjoyed the images. I’m sure your Mother is a wealth of knowledge and has wonderful stories to recount!

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