Sand Springs’ zoo

From 1912-1926, cages for bears, deer, ostriches, monkeys, bobcats, alligators, parrots, buffalo and lions, among other animals, occupied the Sand Springs Zoo at Parthenia Park.

 

Before Tulsa Zoological Society was incorporated in 1927 (paving the way for the Tulsa Zoo), Sand Springs opened its own zoo, on July 4, 1912, on 80 acres it shared with Parthenia Amusement Park, located on the north side of the Arkansas River. 

Situated at South 81st West Avenue and Sand Springs Park Road, the park included a 20-acre spring-fed fishing and rowing lake with diving boards and beaches, landscaping, a penny arcade and a playground. Visitors could find a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and bumper cars among other rides, all for 10 cents each. Other amenities included a picnic area, concession stands, opera house, dance pavilion with live orchestra, skating rink, picture gallery, player piano, shooting gallery and a "crazy mirror" house. 

Two McKeen motor cars provided transportation to and from Tulsa every 20 minutes. The zoo and park closed in 1926, and the area is now the site of a housing addition and a church. 

 

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