Chico's Monkey Farm
Back in the 70's, my parents started taking us to Florida for vacation. At the time, I-95 wasn't nearly finished and we would have to use US 15, 17 and 301 at times. There was a place along the way called Chico's Monkey Farm. I believe it was on US 17A north of Savannah Georgia. For the fun, I drove the old routes but couldn't find Chico's. Does anyone else remember it?
Chico's was in Richmond Hill, Ga. About 25 miles south of Sav'h. on highway 17 south.
Great catch on Chico's -- this is one of the aspects of this forum that we really like -- the depth of road lore that exists in the collective minds of our members never ceases to astound us!
Originally Posted by Akennedy
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-30-2005 at 06:50 PM.
Reason: darn &^$R&^%^ typo
chico's monkey farm
i am very curious about chico's monkey farm.....like how far off I 95 it was in georgia, what year it closed, why it closed???
In the 70's my folks would drive us to florida from connecticut and we always saw the signs not just for chico's but for south of the border as well and i always wanted to stop (but of course there was never anytime)
those bright pink signs and the thought of monkeys and alligators intrigued me and i always thought that i would go there someday but it seems too late...i just wonder if anyone knows what happened to the place and what year it closed???
Last edited by elise; 09-09-2005 at 02:15 PM.
I Was Stationed At Ft Stewart, Ga, In 2982 About 20 Miles South Of Chicos. I Moonlighted As A Cab Driver And Passed It Many Times On The Way Taking People To Savannah Ga, As I Recall They Also Had Gators Snakes And A Few Parrots. Even In 1082 The Place Was Looking Rough And With 95 They Did Not Get The Customers To Stay Open. Closed Around 1983. Up Until About 5 Years Ago You Could Still Read The Washed Out Bill Boards And There Were A Few Of The Small Buildings Still Standing, One That Was Turned Into A Barber Shop. The Place Is Now A Trailer Park. An Interesting Story An Old Local That Was A Mechanic At The Cab Company Told Me In The Late 60's There Was A Bad Storm, Camille I Think And A Couple Of The Walls Were Blownd Down And The Monkeys Got Out Of There Cages And Not All Were Captured. Many Stories Of Monkeys Being Sighted On The Vast Acreage Of Ft Stewart Were Reported Through The 70s And Eighties. I Just Wish I Had Taken Pictures. When You Are Younger You Take Things For Granted. Ty In Springfield Georgia.
Monkeys on parade?
Ty, Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Thanks for this field report from your memories!
Originally Posted by TYBOUGHTER
Chico's Monkey Farm
I rember Chico's. I went there on my way back from Florida in 1975. I was comming back from my honeymoon & stopped (I-95 was not completed yet as I remember). It was the home of "Gargantua", a very sad and pathetic gorilla. My wife will never forget a one-eyed monkey there she nick-named Popeye!
Chico's Monkey Farm
I finally decided to Google Chico's Monkey Farm and I was very pleased to read the entries on this site. I too was one of the kids who "howled for it" when my family and I passed by Chico's on our way from upstate New York to Florida back in 1974 or 75. (unfortunately, we did not stop). In fact, I was so amused by it, that upon my return to NYS, when my friends all asked me about my vacation (ie. Disney World, Daytona Beach), all I could talk about was Chico's. I did this so much that I ended up with the nickname "Chico" which has stuck with me to this day. Does anyone have any photo's of the place? I would love to obtain one. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce is my best bet.
Hmmm, around here somewhere
Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! In my road notes, I recall seeing a reference to some photos, but now, of course, I can't find them. What I would suggest is to contact the authors of Drive I-95, Stan and Sandra have a really extensive research library and I bet they would be able to track some photos down for you.
Originally Posted by David Hewitt
I don't know how many times I bugged my dad to stop at CMF when we used to burn up the road between Charleston, SC and Jacksonville, Florida. When we finally did stop, I remember being somewhat let down and a bit disgusted at the state of the place and the condition the animals were in. The timing of the place could not have been more perfect. Planet of the Apes had just come out the year it opened and was playing at many of the nearby drive in theatres along the highway. Every kid that saw the movie got fascinated with primates. I learned some very valueable lessons about primates during that time. I had a pet squirrel monkey that only lived a few months after I got it and when I learned of how these animals ended up at places like Chico's,plus the fact that they were (and still are)rapidly vanishing, I wanted nothing more to do with such attractions or activities. If you do a google search, you'll find a pdf document on CMF dated 1978, I believe, that states a rather lengthy list of violations the place was cited for. I suspect that when animal rights activists started getting vocal and popular, places like Chico's were highly visible targets.I remember the one eyed monkey, the psychotic baboon that just rocked back and forth and the spider monkey cage that was way too small.Moreover, the place stunk to high heaven. The Gargantua exhibit was closed during the time I was there (which would've been around 1970-71), which added to my disapointment with the place.
I live in Canada now and I don't think Canadians experienced as much of the roadside attraction phenomena as the US did. As far as I know the Queen's Highway has never been replaced like the old US state roads have, so I don't think Canada experienced as much "road trip attraction" era like the US did.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-21-2011 at 09:49 AM.
Reason: added a line break for reading clarity