A History you Probably Didn’t Know: Alfred T Ringling – By Desiree Roose

The Ringling Brothers were known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the Circus Kings of all Time. The seven Ringling brothers transformed their small touring company into one of the largest circuses in the world. Eventually the brothers merged with America’s other leading circus, Barnum and Bailey, creating the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which operated until 2017.

Alfred Theodore “Alf” Ringling was born in 1861 and was the fourth Ringling brother born. He began as a juggler and passed down his love of the circus to his son Richard Ringling, who started his own circus know as the R.T. Richards Circus.  

In 1916, Alfred took up residence in Petersburg, New Jersey, where he is known for the creation of Lake Swannanoa. The property was also used as the winter quarters for his son Richard’s circus. Alfred died in his 28-room New Jersey mansion, three years after its completion, on October 21, 1919.

He was buried in Kensico Cemetery in New York and has an Egyptian style mausoleum crafted out of Milford Pink granite, designed and built by the George Dodds Granite company now known as Dodds Memorials.

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