Historical Marker Barnett Brothers Circus/Bennett Brothers Circus

South Carolina State Historical Marker 46-51

This very interesting marker about the Barnett Brothers Circus and the Bennett Brothers Circus is at 13 East Jefferson Street in York, SC.

This marker was sponsored by the Yorkville Historical Society, 2012.

Photographs courtesy of Karenmarie Marley, August 2017

Historical Marker Text  Side 1

Barnett Brothers Circus, 1929—1945

This site was the winter quarters of the Barnett Brothers Circus, from 1929 through 1945. Founded by Ray W. Rogers (1889-1946), the circus was one of the first to travel by truck instead of by train. That freedom helped it succeed during the Depression and World War II. It began its tour each March or April with a performance in York, then returned in November.

Historical Marker Text  Side 2

Bennett Brothers Circus, 1928—1938

A highlight of the York Christmas parade was Santa Clause riding an elephant. In 1929 five sons of C.P. and Olive Bennett, living nearby, started their own circus with encouragement from Ray Rogers, who loaned them his big top and a few animals. All six Bennett sons and two daughters participated, along with other local children.Their circus performed in York, Rock Hill, Clover, and Sharon through 1938.