“Island Park Mini Zoo”
Location: East Wall at North Second and North Story
Mural partially funded by: The Island Park Mini Zoo & Marvin & Mary Peterson
The Island Park Zoo dates back to the 1930’s. Will Long was the park policeman. He and his wife lived in a cabin in the park in the summer months while maintaining the park. A swimming pool (the river) and a bath house were located on the North edge of the second bridge in the park. Mr Long had a small zoo across from the bath house. At one time he kept “Betty” and “Buddy” – two bears in the zoo.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s a fenced in area at the South end of the park became home to deer, turkeys, ducks, geese & raccoon. Eventually, a building was constructed to house exotic birds. Visitors to the park would stop and view the beautiful peacocks, exotic pheasants, chickens, turkeys, ducks, swans, rabbits, goats and deer,
There were several caretakers of the zoo over a span of 80 years. The unique attraction of the small zoo in the park will be remembered by many. Many thanks to all who volunteered time, materials, and labor to maintain the zoo for so many years.
The mini zoo endured many floods through the years, but the flood of 2014 destroyed the buildings and stock in the zoo. This mural is a reflection of memories of the Island Park Mini Zoo.