Benson’s Wild Animal Farm

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Benson’s Wild Animal Farm in Hudson, New Hampshire, opened to the public in 1927. Due in part to the evolution of the automobile, the attraction grew in size and attendance to become one of New England’s major family destinations. Benson’s was a zoo to the public, a work station for many circus animal trainers and performers, and a source of summer employment for generations of local teenagers. The attraction closed in 1987 and a bit of Americana faded away, but its memory remains vivid to many. The property was sold to the state for the development of a highway, which never materialized. In 2009, after years of negotiations, the town purchased the land from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation with plans to develop it into a large park filled with picnic areas, walking paths, and bicycle trails. A Benson’s museum is planned for the future.

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