Goliath the Bear.

Goliath the Bear

Field review by the editors.

Beemerville, New Jersey

Died 1991

Pet Cemetery.

When Goliath, the Alaskan Brown Bear, was put to sleep in 1991, his rheumatism was so bad he couldn't stand up to get a drink of water. Still, the twelve foot tall bear was twenty-four when he died ("96 in people years"), and while he was alive had entertained a generation of visitors to Beemerville's Space Farms Zoo & Museum.

Back in 1989, Parade Magazine named Space Farms one of the "Ten Worst Zoos In America" (Along with other Roadside perennial, Saunookes Bear Land of Cherokee, NC). In 1990, a follow-up story reported that three of the bad zoos had closed, four had improved substantially, and three were still business-as-usual (including both Space Farms and Saunookes Bear Land). One judge was especially bothered by Goliath's confinement in a small cage with a concrete floor.

Fred Space, son of founder Ralph E. Space, and current proprietor, blamed the poor report card on humane society prejudices against Space Farm's antique trap display and animal exhibits that provide information on the value of pelts. His dad had been founder and president of the New Jersey Fur Breeders Association, and president of the National Board of Fur Farmers Organization.

Perhaps to appease the judges, Space Farms now has programs focusing on saving endangered species, like the South Korean elk and Taiwan's fallow dear, and is using their breeding pair of Hokkaido bears to help restore that species to its native Japan. A large petting zoo also ups the PC factor.

But as a golden link to the bygone days when 100,000 visitors came each year, Goliath is still at Space Farms, mounted in between a case of guns and a hat rack made of antlers, entertaining the children of today.

Also see: Behemoths | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Space Farms Zoo and Museum

218 CR 519, Beemerville, NJ
From US Hwy 206 a mile west of Branchville, turn north onto Ridge Rd. Drive two miles until the road ends, turn left and then right onto Mattison Reservoir Ave. Drive 2.5 miles, turn right ontp Dennis Phillips Rd, drive one mile, bear left onto CR 519. Space Farms will be one mile on the right.
May-Oct. daily 9 am - 5 pm. (Virus outbreak may affect access to attraction. Call to verify.)
Museum is free. Admission for Zoo.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Hachi, Loyal Dog of JapanHachi, Loyal Dog of Japan, Lafayette, NJ - 8 mi.
Tri-States MonumentTri-States Monument, Port Jervis, NY - 10 mi.
Erie Railroad TurntableErie Railroad Turntable, Port Jervis, NY - 11 mi.
In the region:
Roebling Bridge, Minisink Ford, NY - 24 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in New Jersey

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in New Jersey.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

May 26, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

New Jersey Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Old Trail Town, Cody, Wyoming (May 25-31, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: Beemerville, New Jersey

Nightly rates found:

Book Now