Back in the old days Adirondackers had our own roadside attractions. Sterling's 1,000 Animals Farm near Lake Placid was mainly occupied by mink. A few monkeys, bears, and other assorted animals were thrown in to make it an even 1,000. Santa's Workshop is still operating and features live reindeer and some goats and sheep. Tom Quesnel's Animal Farm near Stevenson's Cottage also had a small collection of live animals.
Dunton's business obviously didn't last long because in 1918 there was a newspaper article telling about the death of his 31 year old widow, Bea, who had accidently shot herself while attempting to shoot a cat. She had been using a 22 caliber pistol with a stock extension and had slipped on ice. The article states that the bullet had penetrated the left side of her abdomen, passed through her intestines and had lodged in her kidney. She died a short time later at the Saranac Lake General Hospital which was just across the road from the farm. The cause of her husband's death remains a mystery for now but eventually his obit will surface.
It may have been a hangover or just a desire to return to the woods that made Happy grumpy enough to break through his cage one morning as Mrs. Terlizzi was bringing him breakfast. Luckily for her, Frank Mose of Sugarbush and his wife happened to be driving by. Frank stopped, jumped out and fought the bear off with a club. As Frank was putting Mrs. Terzlizi into his car for her safety the bear broke through the screen door and entered the house. The frantic woman screamed that her four week old baby and three year old son were in the house. At that moment Alex arrived and, after realizing the dangerous situation, ran into the house and coaxed the bear out and into it's cage. Mrs. Terlizzi was brought to Stonywold Sanitarium to take care of the bite and claw wounds. The next morning Alex shot Happy.
Alex's Grove in later years became Sparky's Tavern and then The Pine Grove Lounge.
One evening some boys let one of the bears loose and it wandered toward Branch And Callanan's lumber yard which was behind the indoor golf building. John Ward, 73, was night watchman at the yard and he had a bad heart. The sight of the polar bear coming toward him was more than it could take and he died. Henry closed the Happy Hour in 1933 and sold the bears to a circus for $600.00 apiece.