Bensons Animal Farm
Benson’s Animal Farm
    23 Kimball Hill Rd, Hudson, New Hampshire Monday, September 1, 2014   
Bensons Animal Park

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Bob Arctor February 18, 2012 20:33:36 (EDT)

What's the point of your post Larry? If you're so interesting in returning this message board to the Benson's people then why are you baiting Mercer? Larry Records opinion is obviously a little biased given the line of work he's in...

He's right about one thing, circuses and zoos are not necessarily cruel, just exploitative. It does all depend on the people. Major zoos have the benefit of ACTUALLY educating people about conservation and natural behaviors. I've yet to see a circus that has anything to do with actually helping animals or inspiring children to care about animals actual well being, rather than the tricks they can do. As for Mr. Records traveling "petting zoo" I could not say. But I assume it's nothing special.

You're all or nothing attitude ("I truly respect your view if you are a vegan, do not keep pets and would refuse life saving medical treatment developed thru testing on animals. Otherwise your high and mighty ideals make me want to barf.") is by far the worst attitude anyone can take toward an ideology. It's this kind of thinking that people use to reassure themselves that any kind of effort is pointless if it not the absolute most you can do.

As you can tell from the language he used, "do-gooders", "bleeding-heart", "animal rights activist", Larry has had some problems with people telling him "his business". For a man that knows all the counter-points, Larry may not understand the difference between the "animal rights" and "animal welfare" positions. Someone interested in either would object to Cole Bros. but not necessarily to a well maintained zoo, with caring people who are interested in conservation and education. Although Larry may call his rinky-dink operation a "zoo" it's just another circus.


Dana Sion February 16, 2012 17:55:45 (EDT)

Hello Anonymous(Urban Explorer),
The park is no longer abandoned and has become a passive recreational municipal park open for free to the public 365 days a year. (more details at www.facebook.com/bensons.waf).

You are more then welcome to visit the new Benson Park as it is called now however all buildings are now secured, alarmed and watched by the police and only open with special permission or if you are part of one of the many public clean up days at the park. In the future (if article #14 passes at the upcoming March 13 vote (2012) ) there will be a museum to the old park, concession stand and gift shop in the old Elephant Barn.

Why are many items about the old park noted as "Nashua, NH" it was because at the time Hudson, NH was much smaller then it is today and not well known at all and to mention the city of Nashua that it is next to was much more marketable.

For more details about the museum and park fundraising check out www.friendsofbenson.org (also on Facebook).
-Dana Sion


Larry R. February 16, 2012 15:28:46 (EDT)

I've been trying to stay out of this. But...

Good Lord! What a pile of BS.You do-gooders have no idea of the bond that can form between trainers and elephants and other exotics and the the benefit the animals can derive from the mental and physical excercise required in training for performing. Training and travel are not cruel. The important thing is how it is done.You can take great pride in knowing no child will ever again know the wonder of riding an elephant in New Hampshire.

I truly respect your view if you are a vegan, do not keep pets and would refuse life saving medical treatment developed thru testing on animals. Otherwise your high and mighty ideals make me want to barf. If you don't like the circus then don't buy a freaking ticket! Beyond that please leave this message board for FANS of Benson's . It was what it was. It's dead now. May it rest in peace.

After animal trainer Gunther Gebel Williams died an animal activist dressed in a devil costume danced on his grave. True story. Thats kind of what's going on here.

I am confident I know the bleeding heart counter point to everything I have written here.

My sincere thanks to Freinds of Benson's and the town of Hudson for the wonderful job they are doing in creating a beautilul park and preserving fond memories of a happier time. Now if they could just set up an animal rights activist filter at the entrance the place would be perfect.


Brad February 15, 2012 12:02:13 (EDT)

Thank you Wilbur Mercer for your comments. I too recall Benson`s as a child and have good nostalgic memories. To quote you:

"Take your nostalgia and remember the great times you have had with friends and family and Benson's, just don't forget to learn from the creatures that were taken away from theirs. We as a species are the product of millions of years of evolution and we have learned so much, especially recently. We need to start acting like it. Treat others as you would have them treat you. "


....is what i have learned as an adult that i had no awareness of as a child, But we need to know and share with other adults that we need to protect the animals, They are not willing volunteers. I would not let my children attend any circus with animals from what i have learned...and my children are all the better for it and know that they want the animals to be as happy as they are and enjoy the world we share with them.


Michael February 12, 2012 15:44:16 (EDT)

The Friends of Benson Park, Inc., hope to soon secure the purchase of Benson's Wild Animal Farm memorabilia. Help them secure a permanent home at the park: vote YES on article #14 in Hudson town elections in March of 2012.


Deb February 11, 2012 10:05:49 (EDT)

A little while back I found this site by accident & thru Friends of Benson's facebook page. I just wanted to say that I enjoy this message board for the insight and information that I would not find otherwise. I found the elephant sanctuary because of it and can watch the elephant I saw as a young girl at Benson's, that has spawned a great interest and as I discover more about these wonderful creatures, I share that knowledge with my young granddaughter.

So happy to hear about the good sized gift to the organization!


cheryl February 9, 2012 10:58:01 (EDT)

I don't think anyone considers anyone 'lowlings',
at Least I Hope Not.

I'm for....
No more Traveling Circus'

But we must agree to disagree
And
stop the bickering on this site.

The sun is shining brightly...
Get out and smell the fresh air !
Go to Benson Park if you have the time !


:) February 8, 2012 16:46:38 (EDT)

Thank goodness we have someone like a Wilbur Mercer to guide the rest of us through our ignorant ways. A burden has been lifted. We have his superior approval, so that of us 'lowlings' may continue on with our nostalgia. Now that we have moderately met his approval, we can again lift our heads with some degree of sentimental dignity. We may now proceed with our reminiscing and great memories per the yawning 'ok' of the Great Mercer. Pay heed, however, to his domineering threat of a mighty return, if we waiver from our sentimentally naive and ignorant ways:)


dottie February 8, 2012 16:21:36 (EDT)

i saw a message from you about bensons farm that said you are looking for a picture of your grandfather. he worked with betsy the elephant. i have a picture of my mother from 1933 getting on betsy there is a man helping her who looks like he works there do you think it could be him? if so i could scan picture and send it to you.thanks Dottie my email is mespringhill@aol.com


Wilbur Mercer February 6, 2012 18:35:26 (EDT)

Of course you can have your nostalgia Deb. I am certainly not trying to take that away from you folks. Times were different and standards were low. For enterprises like Cole Bros. standards are still low. I was completely behind the renovations at Benson's until a disgusting, abusive Circus came into the picture. We've learned so much about animal emotions and psychology since the days Colossus occupied his cell, I guess I was just hoping I wasn't the only one who's interested in moving forward. To use Cole Bros. cruelty to make money to pay homage to the lackluster conditions at Benson's is a double slap in the face to the animals that were forced to call Benson's "home".

Friends of Benson's claims that they have no intention of inviting Cole Bros. back to Hudson this year. As long as that remains true, this is the last you will hear from me on this message board.

Take your nostalgia and remember the great times you have had with friends and family and Benson's, just don't forget to learn from the creatures that were taken away from theirs. We as a species are the product of millions of years of evolution and we have learned so much, especially recently. We need to start acting like it. Treat others as you would have them treat you.


The Friends of Benson Park, Inc. February 4, 2012 14:39:13 (EDT)

For more Info. on how you can support Benson Park and the future Benson's wild Animal Farm Museum, Gift shop and concession stand please visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsBensonPark


The Friends of Benson Park, Inc. February 4, 2012 14:36:24 (EDT)

Be it known

It has been announced that The Friends of Benson Park Inc., has received a gift of $ 138,000 from an anonymous donor. The donor has stipulated that the money be used for the acquisition, display and housing of the large collection of Benson memorabilia owned by the last owner of Benson's Wild Animal Farm, Arthur Provencher.

The vast collection will form the basis for the intended museum which would be situated in the former Elephant Barn building which remains on the Benson Park property. A portion of the memorabilia was displayed at the former Hudson Library several years ago. It was well received with over 4,500 viewing the exhibition in over two weeks.

The acquisition of the Elephant Barn by the Friends of Benson Park, for use as a museum, will be decided in March 2012 by the citizens of Hudson voting "Yes" on a Warrant Article # 14.

It is important that voters know this transaction will involve no cost to the Town of Hudson and its tax payers. All expenses for acquiring the memorabilia, remodeling the building, and maintaining the museum will be the responsibility of The Friends of Benson Park, Inc.

The $138,000 donation stands as the kickoff for a major fund raising campaign to bring this outstanding museum to the Town of Hudson.

The Friends of Benson Park , Inc.
PO Box #91
Hudson, NH 03051
info@friendsofbenson.org


cheryl February 3, 2012 23:24:38 (EDT)

It's a great update on Liz.
and there's a sweet picture of dear departed Queen too !

It's the anniversary of them finding sanctuary in 2006.
What a nice feeling it is to know they made it there !!!!


Lisi February 3, 2012 19:35:43 (EDT)

There is a great (and thorough!) update on Liz at TES:

http://www.elephants.com/elediary.php


Michael February 2, 2012 22:16:31 (EDT)

PS... I'd really like to see this page grow. I know it's a lot of work, but someday I'd love it to be a true tribute to the Park in a virtual sense... like you click on the different attractions and each attraction has it's own page with pictures and history. Maybe people who worked there get a page. I've been trying to find pictures online, and I'd love to see more of the actual attractions, signs, buildings, animals, etc. Just a request. How do we send you stuff too?


Michael February 2, 2012 22:13:13 (EDT)

I've always been fascinated and somewhat obsessed with Benson's. I loved it growing up, and was terribly upset when they went under. I'm 29, so it's hard for me to believe that I was only 5 when they closed, yet I'm filled with wonderful memories. I wish there were more. Every now and then I check up on this site and others and have actually started my own little collection of memorabilia. For some reason the past few dyas I've been thinking about it a lot and reading up on it. I think a part of it for me is that I have memories of this really great Zoo and Amusement Park, that was busy, huge and full of animals... and now it's gone. There's little trace of what once was... a place where wild animals roamed and loads of happy people. It has someone of a mystical vibe now for me.

I think Benson's was a great place for most of it's existence and the majority of animals were cared for with love. I know there have been a lot of negative stuff on here lately, and I agree with some of the more recent postings. Things like the lack of space (notably the Gorilla house) we now know to be horrible, but that wasn't lack of love or purposeful abuse. It was ignorance. It's something we learn from, and of course if Benson's were there today, they would have expanded those sections. It's no different than ost other Zoos at the time. That doesn't make it right, but I think the intent gets lost on here.

There are those who are against the idea of zoos in general, but Zoos are important to educate and expose children and adults to these animals. I didn't end up being one, but for years I wanted to be a vet, in large part because of Bensons. I still have a strong love of animals, and I'm sure those animals at Bensons over time were responsible for giving us lots of Veteranarians, and animal supporters. I feel like animals in zoos are "taking one for the team" for the better of the animals of the world. At the same time, I think they are shown love and are treated well for the most part. And the zoos of today are getting better and better at that.

Sorry for the long email... I've just been in a strange place with Bensons the past few days. I do really miss it. I miss the memories and even more so , I miss what I don't remember. I miss the scenery that I couldn't possibly remember. Just needed to vent. Thanks.


Nicole January 30, 2012 18:39:26 (EDT)

I am desperately in search of at least one photo with my late Grandfather in it!. He worked for Benson's and took care of the Elephant Betsy. I'm not sure the exact years he worked there, but it has to be after 1950 and before 1970. His name is Roy "chick" Shikrallah. Thank you for your help!


steve January 28, 2012 12:51:57 (EDT)

We have been having trouble with our web server and recently had to restore from backups. Unfortunately, any messages posted since 1/16/2012 have been lost. Sorry!


Deb January 14, 2012 17:35:41 (EDT)

I do enjoy reading the upbeat posts and traveling back in time, growing up in Nashua, Benson's was a treat and I have many memories. We were kids in a simpler time, not thinking about where the animals came from, only that it was amazing we were able to see them, for most of us that was a close as we would ever be to some of the animals we went to visit. So let us have our nostalgia. Sure when I think of it now, of course it saddens me. On another note I did get the chance to visit NH and Benson's over the holiday and I am so happy to see the wonderful park that they are creating! Bravo! Residing in VA now, I look forward to my next visit!


Dee Stellato Bean January 12, 2012 20:10:16 (EDT)

In the late fifties and early sixties, when I was very small, my parents drove me up from Shrewbury, Mass. in the summers to visit the farm. I just loved it.


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