I went with the Valencia Lakes Singles club to the Florida History Museum in Tampa and they had an exhibit called – Finding Fairyland – Rediscovering Tampa’s Lost Theme Park. Located in what is now Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, it was originally founded and named in honor of Sumter Lowry, Sr in 1925. The zoological portion had its start in the late 1950’s. The main attraction back in in 1925 was not the animals though – at least not real ones. Instead people came to see animals and people from their favorite nursery rhymes and storybooks. They came to see Fairyland. Tampa mayor Nick Nuccio is credited with creating the zoo that we know today as well as the establishment of Fairyland. It was modeled after Storyland in New Orleans. Fairyland consisted of over a dozen different nursery rhyme and children’s storybook vignettes.
By 2016, the city of Tampa determined that the figurines were surplus property and would be sold at auction. Nunez wanted to find a way to rescue the figures and have them restored. He partnered with several people including Dan Perez of Tampa Pix, to create the movement that soon took the name Saving Fairyland. The auction took place on January 2017, and they acquired some of the figures.
This is what the figurines looked like in their original settings.
How many do you recognize?
Hickory Dickory Dock. The mouse ran up the clock…
Little miss muffet, …along came a spider….
inside the pumpkin
Humpty Dumpty…… all the king’s men…
Jack and the beanstalk.
Three little pigs…
Ahh, history fading away. Hopefully they can restore some of these.