Johns Creek, Georgia: Monkey Massacre Memorial

A circle of small monkey statues on a forest trail serves as an odd memorial to circus monkeys that escaped into the trees from a 1915 train wreck and were shot.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve

Address:
9770 Autrey Mill Rd, Johns Creek, GA
Directions:
Autrey Mill Nature Preserve. From Old Alabama Rd turn north onto Autrey Mill Rd. Drive a half-mile. Park in the paved lot on the left. From the parking lot, bear left on foot onto Forest Trail North. In about a hundred yards you'll come to the monkey statues.
Hours:
8 AM - dusk (Call to verify)
Phone:
678-366-3511
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Monkey Massacre Memorial.

Monkey Massacre Memorial

Surprised there were no signs. Exactly as described. [Fran Cohn, 08/28/2018]

Monkey Massacre Memorial.

Monkey Massacre Memorial

My boy and I saw an interesting memorial in our hometown of Johns Creek.

Out in the woods of Autrey Mill Nature Preserve there's an arrangement of about a half-dozen concrete monkey statues. About 80 years ago, a circus train wrecked in nearby Duluth and the monkeys escaped and climbed up into the trees. Farmers in the area were startled, so they shot and killed every one of them.

An artist created the statues because he wanted to remind people that just because you don't know what something is, that's no reason to kill it!

[Jeff Martin, 07/09/2011]

The incident attributed to a supposed monkey massacre in Duluth (and the implied moral lesson) appears to be based on an actual tragedy that occurred in 1915. A circus train outside of Columbus, Georgia collided with another train. Many circus people died (24) as the train burned, and a group of monkeys escaped into the trees along the train tracks. Circus staff shot them so they wouldn't interfere with rescue efforts.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Eastern Continental Divide MonumentEastern Continental Divide Monument, Duluth, GA - 5 mi.
Two-Cell JailTwo-Cell Jail, Duluth, GA - 5 mi.
Twisted Guy - Not a Muffler ManTwisted Guy - Not a Muffler Man, Norcross, GA - 5 mi.
In the region:
Road to Tara Museum, Jonesboro, GA - 35 mi.

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