Man Behind “Greatest Show on Earth” Born in Bethel, CT


Bethel, CT is the birthplace of P.T. Barnum - and Home Medical Care

Bethel, CT is the birthplace of legendary showman P.T. Barnum

Located about 60 miles from New York City, Bethel, Connecticut is a small town both in size and population. Settled around 1700, the town has fewer than 19,000 residents and covers just 16.9 square miles but interestingly enough, Bethel has strong ties to the entertainment industry. Once the home of actress Meg Ryan and the site of several film shootings for movies such as Revolutionary Road, Bethel is also the birthplace of one of the greatest showmen in U.S. history and the founder of the most popular circus in the world – P.T. Barnum.

Modern Day Big Top is Born

Born in Bethel in1810, Barnum became a small business owner in his early twenties and founded a weekly newspaper before moving to New York City in 1834. He began his run in the entertainment industry by putting together a variety troupe and later purchased a museum. After stints as a concert promoter and lecturer, Barnum partnered with James Bailey, his chief competitor and founder of the Cooper and Bailey Circus, in 1882 to create the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1907, the Ringling brothers, who operated a small traveling circus of their own, purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the modern day Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was born.

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