Michigan City’s Washington Park Zoo started when a retired animal trainer brought his bear to Washington Park for folks to entertain and to be entertained. That was in 1925, and the bruin was such a big hit more animals and some birds were added. By the late 1920s, city officials planned a full zoo.
The Works Progress Administration built Monkey Island in 1933. The zoo’s Castle, built in 1937 and housing small mammals, replicates the official insignia of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Eleven structures are in the National Register of Historic Places.
[Photo by Doug Ross, The Times]