St. Thomas-Elgin Tourist Association
St. Thomas-Elgin Tourist Association
St. Thomas-Elgin Tourist Association
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City of St. Thomas

Jumbo the Elephant


Jumbo, the African elephant was the star of the Barnum and Bailey circus and P.T. Barnum's greatest coup. He is reputed to be the largest elephant ever in captivity and is probably the best known non-human that ever lived. His name is a household word in most countries of the world and is used to describe everything from ice cream cones to jet aircraft.

Dressing up Jumbo? Someone having a little fun at the Jumbo Monument
Dressing up Jumbo? Someone having a little fun at the Jumbo Monument

On his second visit to St. Thomas, on September 15, 1885, Jumbo had a fatal collision with a Grand Trunk locomotive (See pen and ink drawing of the accident below). To commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of this fateful event, the St. Thomas Jumbo Foundation unveiled a monument on June 29, 1985. ( See Map for Location )

The statue was designed and constructed by Winston Bronnum in Sussex, New Brunswick. It is made of concrete with steel reinforcing rods throughout. The body is hollow and the walls are about seven inches thick. The legs are solid concrete and steel. The skin texture was achieved by trowelling on three quarters of an inch of coloured cement and sand plaster. The statue with its six inch base weighs thirty-eight tons. The base pedestal was constructed on the site and weighs over one hundred tons.


A reproduction of a pen and ink drawing of the tragic event
A reproduction of a pen and ink drawing of the tragic event

In order to clear the bridges on the 1,070 mile trip down the Trans Canada Highway, the lower part of the legs and the six inch base were poured separately from the upper part of the legs and body. The two sections were later joined at the site and held together by four large concrete pegs which were attached to the lower leg sections and inserted into the upper sections. Transportation was done by two large tractor-trailer trucks. The journey from Sussex to St. Thomas and the assembly at the site captured the attention of media throughout the nation and across the border.

The project was funded totally with contributions from citizens, corporations and organizations of St. Thomas and Elgin County with the St. Thomas Kiwanis Club raising over $50,000.00 towards the project. The City of St. Thomas provided the site where Jumbo stands. The unveiling took place during five days of celebrations, fittingly called 'Jumbo Days'.




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Daytripping in Southwestern Ontario

Talbot Trail

Cycling and Hiking along the Talbot Trail

Elgin County

The City of St. Thomas

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