Finding Aid for Detroit Zoo records, 1929-1964.
03481

Summary Information

Repository
Detroit Public Library. Burton Historical Collection.
Title
Detroit Zoo records
ID
03481
Date
1929-1964.
Extent
7.0 linear ft.
General Physical Description note
(14 boxes, 1 extra large manuscript)
Language
English
Abstract
This collection deals with all aspects of the Detroit Zoo, including operating procedures, training programs, purchases of animals, zoo construction, landscaping and maintenance.

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Biographical/Historical note

The first zoological park in Detroit was established in the early 1880s, and was the result of a small traveling circus that went bankrupt. The citizens of the City of Detroit took up a collection to assist in housing and feeding the abandoned creatures, and the Detroit Zoological Gardens, located on the site that would later become Tiger Stadium, was opened to the public on September 5, 1883. The park suffered from financial problems, however, and by July 1884 was closed. It was reported that the public took many of the animals home with them; the few remaining animals were turned over to the City of Detroit and the Belle Isle Zoo was established to house them. By 1901, the Belle Isle Zoo undertook a serious building program, with the Aquarium, Deer Shelter, Bear Dens and other exhibits erected. The Belle Isle Aquarium, the most ambitious of the exhibits, was opened to the public on August 18, 1904. The Detroit Zoological Society was formed in July 1911 by three prominent Detroiters; over the next few years, more men joined the group, but it took over a decade before the establishment of a Zoological Park Commission. In 1916, one hundred acres of the Hendrie Farm was purchased by the Society, located between Ten and Eleven Mile Roads, west of Woodward, in Royal Oak. Mayor James Couzens encouraged voters to accept the gift of the property by the Society, with the added incentive that an anonymous friend would agree to give the City an additional 160 acres of land adjoining the property. The gift was finally accepted in April of 1923, and a year later Mayor John C. Lodge established the Detroit Zoological Commission. Of the four men appointed to the CommissiOn, noted attorney Horace H. Rackham had been the donor of the additional acreage, which resulted in the Rackham Golf Course, next to the Detroit Zoo. Others on the Commission were attorney Henry Ledyard, Walter 0. Briggs, industrialist, and James S. Holden, a real estate tycoon who was to remain involved in the Zoo's operation for the next forty-three years (see Box 5:1). Under these men, the Detroit Zoo expanded its exhibits and additional structures such as the elegant Bird House, the rugged Bear Dens, and deliberately un-landscaped Cloverleaf Lake. The Detroit Zoo was the first modern zoo to feature bar-less exhibits throughout the grounds. Opening day for the Detroit Zoological Park in Royal Oak was August 1, 1928; over four thousand persons visited the Zoo in the first hour. Originally run by the Parks and Recreation Department, in 1941 the operation of the Belle Isle Zoo and Aquarium was transferred to the Zoological Park Commission. making it ancillary to the Detroit Zoological Park. This collection provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a major metropolitan zoo. It deals with all aspects of the Detroit Zoo, including operating procedures, training programs, purchases of animals, zoo construction, landscaping and maintenance. For example, Tree Moving was a major project in the 1930s, as a Work Progress Administration (WPA) project. Thousands of trees from farms throughout the metropolitan area were moved and planted in Royal Oak to provide a park atmosphere for the new zoo (Box 11-12). Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Detroit Public Library. Burton Historical Collection. Mar. 8, 2010

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use as of Sept. 5, 2008.

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Detroit Zoo records, 1929-1964. (Catalog record)

[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/297170627]

Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Business records. -- aat
  • Correspondence -- aat

Subject(s)

  • Zoos -- Michigan.

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Other Finding Aids note

Finding aid and white index cards available in the Burton Historical Collection and on the World Wide Web.

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Collection Inventory

BOX 1 

1:1 A Correspondence, 1962 

1:2 Administration-Police Details, 1947-1957 

1:3 Air Raid Instructions 

1:4 Alberta Game Farm, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1962 

1:5 American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, 1960 

1:6 American Institute of Park Executives (AIPE) Data, 1960-1961 

1:7 Animal Distributors, Inc., New York City, 1962 

1:8 Animal Division Training program, 1947-1949 

1:9 Animal Inventory, 1960-1962 

1:10 Animal Purchases and Donations, 1962 

1:11 Animal Sales and Donations, 1962 

1:12 Animal Surplus List, 1962 

1:13 Annual Reports, 1958-1960 

1:14 Appelhof, Dr. William K., Associate Curator, Health and Research Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

1:15 Arizona Zoological Society, 1962 

1:16 Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1962 

1:17 Avifauna Traders, Ltd., Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada, 1962 Reptiles-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

1:18 Austin, William A., Assistant Curator, Holden Museum of Living 

1:19 B Correspondence, 1962 

1:20 Baldwin, Howard C., Zoological Park Commissioner, 1962 

1:21 Bear Den and Hippo Exhibit, 1952 

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BOX 2 

2:1 Belle Isle-Reorganization, 1956 

2:2 Reorganization of Manpower, 1956-1957 

2:3 Bird House, 1948-1959 

2:4 Boulan, Edgar H., Office Manager-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

2:5 Boulan-Burke-Survey and Protest, 1936-1958 

2:6 Boy Scouts-Executive Board Meeting Minutes, 1962 

2:7 General Correspondence, 1962 

2:8 Budget, Proposed, 1962 

2:9 Buffalo and Deer, 1952 

2:10 Bulletin Board Notices, 1963 

2:11 Burke, John 0., Principal Public Service Supervisor-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

2:12 C Correspondence, 1962 

2:13 Calgary Zoo, Alberta, Canada, 1962 

2:14 Capital Improvements, 1954-1955 

2:15 1956-1957 

2:16 1957-1958 

2:17 Catskill Game Farm, New York, 1962 

2:18 Chicago Zoological Park, Brookfield, Illinois, 1962 

2:19 Children's Zoo, Belle Isle, 1962 

2:20 Children's Zoo Data, 1958-1959 

2:21 Chimpanzee House, 1952 

2:22 Chimpanzee Show, 1950-1953 

2:23 1962 

2:24 Chrysler Corporation, 1962 

2:25 Civil Service Aquarium Employees Survey and Protest, 1955-1956 

2:26 Civil Service Surveys-Animal Keepers, 1950 

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BOX 3 

3:1 Civil Service Surveys-Building Trades Helpers, 1953-1954 

3:2 Flynn-Evers-Hobbs-Brady, 1958 

3:3 Peck-Olsen-Bromley, 1957 

3:4 Clean-up Program, Belle Isle/Royal Oak, 1952 

3:5 Cleveland Zoo, 1962 

3:6 Cline, Keith F., Junior Zoological Curator-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

3:7 Commission-Mayor Reports, 1958 

3:8 1959 

3:9 1960 

3:10 1961 

3:11 Common Council, 1962 

3:12 Complaints, General, 1962 

3:13 Consumers Power-Gas Heat Data Survey, 1953-1954 

3:14 Cost Papers for Estimating Painting and Tree Moving/Rustic Work, 1945 

3:15 Curatorial Survey Data, 1956 

3:16 D Correspondence, 1962 

3:17 Darby-Riffenberg Survey, 1959 

3:18 Department Report and Information Committee, 1962 

3:19 Detroit News, 1962 

3:20 Detroit Press Club, 1962 

3:21 Directives of Controller, 1947-1961 

3:22 Drake, James J., Assistant Curator, Birds-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

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BOX 4 

4:1 E Correspondence, 1962 

4:2 Educational Division, 1963-1965 

4:3 Your Zoo, 1946-1950 

4:4 Elephant House and Relief, 1950 

4:5 Employee Training, 1959 

4:6 Employment, Requests for, 1962 

4:7 F Correspondence, 1962 

4:8 Feed Room 

4:9 Feed Truck, 1952 

4:10 Finneran, L.C. Aquarium Supervisor-Aquarium Reports, 1947-1960 

4:11 Fitzpatrick, Leo J., Zoological Park Commissioner, 1962 

4:12 Foreign Correspondence, 1962 

4:13 Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, Massachusetts, 1962 

4:14 G Correspondence, 1962 

4:15 General Instructions 

4:16 Groups, 1962 

4:17 H Correspondence, 1958-1962 

4:18 Hectographs 

4:19 Hectographs of Work Program 

4:20 Hermosa Reptile and Wild Animal Farm, California, 1962 

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BOX 5 

5:1 Holden, James S., Zoological Park Commissioner, 1962 

5:2 Hospital, 1952 

5:3 Inventory, 1958-1959 

5:4 Hudson, J.L. Company, 1962 

5:5 Inquiries-General, 1962 

5:6 Miscellaneous Animal, 1962 January-June 

5:7 July-December 

5:8 In-service Training Employee Meetings, 1956-1959 

5:9 Insurance-Railroad, 1951-1956 

5:10 1957-1961 

5:11 International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens, 1962 

5:12 J Correspondence, 1962 

5:13 Jungleland, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, 1962 

5:14 Kellner, S., Exporter of Biological Specimens, Sydney, Australia, 1962 

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BOX 6 

6:1 Kreag, Keith K., Zoological Curator-Animal Division/Animal Inventory, 1958-1960 

6:2 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962 

6:3 1963 

6:4 L Correspondence, 1962 

6:5 Landscape Division, 1962 

6:6 Langhammer, James K., Assistant Curator, 1963 

6:7 Leighton, Herbert R., Landscape Supervisor-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

6:8 Lion House/Baboon Rock/West Swamp 

6:9 Lodge, Floyd, Assistant Curator, Education-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

6:10 Lost and Found Correspondence, 1953-1956 

6:11 Ludington, Ivan, Zoological Park Commissioner, 1962 

6:12 M Correspondence, 1962 

6:13 Maintenance Division, 1962 

6:14 Mayor's Monthly Reports. 1962-1963 

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BOX 7 

7:1 McInnis to Truxton, 1955-1959 

7:2 1960-1962 

7:3 McKee, Robert, Assistant Curator, Belle Isle Aquarium-Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

7:4 Memos to Mr. McInnis from Mr. Lodge, 1963 

7:5 Memos to Staff, 1962-1963 

7:6 Miami Rare Bird Farm, Kendall, Florida, 1962 

7:7 1963 

7:8 Michigan, State of, 1962-1963 

7:9 Michigan Conservation Department, 1962-1963 

7:10 Michigan Highway Department, 1963 

7:11 Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1962-1963 

7:12 Miniature Railroad, 1951-1958 

7:13 Correspondence, 1962-1963 

7:14 Muller, D., Professional Snake Catcher, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1962 

7:15 Municipal Reference Library, 1963 

7:16 N Correspondence, 1962 

7:17 National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., 1961-1963 

7:18 New Aquarium Data, 1955 

7:19 New Theater and Show, 1950; 1954-1956 

7:20 New York Zoological Park, 1962-1963 

7:21 0 Correspondence, 1962-1963 

7:22 Olympic Committee, 1962-1963 

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BOX 8 

8:1 Organization-Belle Isle, 1958 

8:2 P Correspondence, 1962-1963 

8:3 Paid Time-Off Data, 1947-1953 

8:4 1954-1956 

8:5 1957-1959 

8:6 Paint Committee, 1955-1961 

8:7 Pampas Exhibit 

8:8 Paramount Aquarium, 1963 

8:9 Park Previews, 1947-1952 

8:10 1953-1960 

8:11 May 9, 1962 

8:12 Pension Data, 1954-1957 

8:13 Personnel, 1963 

8:14 Caruso, James, Auto Delivery Man-Duties, 1955 

8:15 Notes, 1949-1954 

8:16 Problems-Labor Turnover, 1952 

8:17 Philadelphia Zoo, 1962-1963 

8:18 Pierson, H. Lynn, Zoological Park Commissioner, 1962 

8:19 Portland, Zoo, 1963 

8:20 Press Releases, 1950-1955 

8:21 1956-1959 

8:22 1962 

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BOX 9 

9:1 Progress Reports, 1962 

9:2-9 Public Service Division, 1957-1961 

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BOX 10 

10:1 Public Service Division, 1962-1963 

10:2 Nature Cabin Instruction/Operation 

10:3 Publicity-Miscellaneous, 1962 

10:4 1963 

10:5 Q Correspondence, 1962 

10:6 Quarterly Allotments, Royal Oak and Belle Isle, 1952-1953 

10:7 Questionnaires, 1962 

10:8 1963 

10:9 R Correspondence, 1962 

10:10 Radio Programs, 1962 

10:11 Reptile Import, Medina, Ohio, 1963 

10:12 Rider Animal Company, 1962-1963 

10:13 Roach Spraying Recommendations, 1962 

10:14 S Correspondence, 1962-1963 

10:15 St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, Missouri, 1962-1963 

10:16 San Antonio Zoo, 1963 

10:17 San Diego Zoo, 1962 

10:18 1963 

10:19 Schedules-Miscellaneous, 1962-1963 

10:20 Seneca Zoo, Rochester, New York, 1962-1963 

10:21 Southwick Wild Animal Farm, Blackstone, Massachusetts, 1962-1963 

10:22 Speaking Engagements, 1954 

10:23 Statistics, 1962-1963 

10:24 Steinhart Aquarium, 1963 

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BOX 11 

11:1 Supervisory Training-Complete List of Items, 1958 

11:2 Landscape/Forestry, 1947-1956 

11:3 T Correspondence, 1962 

11:4 Tapir Exhibit, 1952 

11:5 Tarpon Zoo, Tarpon Springs, Florida, 1962 

11:6 1963 

11:7 Television Programs, 1952-1954 

11:8 1962 

11:9 1963 

11:10 Tiger (Siberian)-Case History, 1948 

11:11 Tigers/Aoudad/East Swamp 

11:12 Tile Drains 

11:13 Tote-em-In Zoo, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1962-1963 

11:14 Tractor Trains Operation, 1952-1958 

11:15 Traffic Counters, 1952 

11:16 Training-Government Reports, 1954-1955 

11:17 Training Program, 1947-1948 

11:18 1962-1963 

11:19 Tree Moving, 1934-1935 (See Farm, Weirs Farm, Glass Farm) 

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BOX 12 

12:1 Tree Moving, WPA Job, 1935-1936 (Trowbridge Farm, Ellis Farm, Cass Farm) 

12:2 1936-1937 

12:3 Large Trees moved into Park and History, 192q-1939 

12:4 Native Trees-Locations, 1935-1938 

12:5 Trefflich's Birds and Animal Company, New York City, 1963-1964 

12:6 Trips-General Staff, 1960 

12:7 1962-1963 

12:8 McInnis, Frank, Director, 1958-1963 

12:9 Truxton, Jonathan A., Assistant Director-AIPE, 1951-1962 

12:10 Letters, 1952-1953 

12:11 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1962-1963 

12:12 Personal-Associate Forester/Civil Service Survey, 1943-1945 

12:13 1946-1951 

12:14 1952-1956 

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BOX 13 

13:1 Truxton-Personal, 1957-1958 

13:2 1959 

13:3 1960 

13:4 1961 

13:5 1962-1963 

13:6 Reports, 1951-1955 

13:7 1956-1957 

13:8 to Director, 1958-1960 

13:9 1961-1963 

13:10 U Correspondence, 1962-1963 

13:11 Ueno Zoological Garden, Tokyo, Japan, 1962 

13:12 United States Government, 1962-1963 

13:13 V Correspondence, 1963 

13:14 Van den Brink, G., Soest, Holland, 1963-1964 

13:15 Veldt and Giraffe Exhibit 

13:16 W Correspondence, 1962-1963 

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BOX 14 

14:1 Washington Park Zoo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1962-1963 

14:2 Weekend Operations Reports, 1963 

14:3 Whipsnade Park, 1963 (Zoological Society of London) 

14:4 Wild Cargo, Hollywood,. Florida, 1962-1963 

14:5 Williams, Hon. G. Mennen, Assistant Secretary of State, 1962 

14:6 Winter Work program, 1962 

14:7 Work Programs, 1947-1953 

14:8 1961 

14:9 Worrell, Eric, Australian Reptile Park, New South Wales, Australia, 1963 

14:10 Your Detroit Zoo, 1963 

14:11 Zeehandelaar, F.J., Inc., Wild Animal Importers, New Rochelle, New York, 1962 

14:12 Telegrams 

14:13 1963 

14:14 Telegrams 

14:15 Zoo Guide Books, 1951-1955 

14:16 Zoolandia, 1962 

14:17 Correspondence, 1960 

14:18 Statistics, 1960 

14:19 Zoological Park Commission, 1962 

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