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Giant 1885 Circus Poster Discovered Behind a Wisconsin Bar Wall

Giant 1885 Circus Poster Discovered Behind a Wisconsin Bar Wall

If you happen to swing by the small town of Durand, Wisconsin, pay a visit to Corral Bar & Riverside Grill along the Chippewa River because inside it lives a 134-year old hand-printed circus poster that’s 9 feet high and 55 feet long, unearthed by the owner, Ron Berger while renovating the place in 2015. The poster from the Great Anglo-American Circus, one of the most renowned of its time, is a full-color display printed from multiple impressions of painted wood blocks and purposely located near a major train and boat route for maximum exposure. Berger’s theory is that the circus printed the poster on the wall of ongoing construction of a saloon at the time, and it was simply built over when the circus left town and construction resumed. After painstaking work to preserve the historic piece, the poster is now on full display in Berger’s establishment, protected behind UV-resistant glass. It stands as an original example of the heyday of the traveling circus, and the mere fact that it was preserved in such a state by mere chance makes it a true unicorn, perhaps the one animal that didn’t make it to the circus.

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