ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Brammers' Mountain Menagerie

Updated on September 2, 2015

The Menagerie

In the Boston Mountain foothills of the Ozarks', local residents just called the place Brammer’s Farm. Outsiders would have called it Brammer’s Menagerie. On his sprawling ranch in Lancaster Township of Crawford County Arkansas, were domestic as well as exotic animals.

Apparently Old Man Brammer had a penchant for collecting animals. He had a Brahma bull, black bear, buffalo, peacocks, alpacas and all types of caged chickens and rabbits. These were in addition to his cattle and horses with representatives of numerous kinds. There were also a few boa constrictors, a black panther and a wild cat. These he also kept caged.

Scenic Mountain Valley

My grandparents, who for some reason, considered Harlan Brammer a good friend, lived about a half mile down the old country dirt road from his place. I spent part of my childhood growing up on that scenic mountain overlooking a valley and creek with Harlan’s cattle grazing in his pastures below. It was a painting reminiscent of a “Norman Rockwell” creation.

Unfortunately, today the peaceful scene has been marred with construction of interstate overpasses. Community residents didn’t want them there, but in the name of progress they were built anyway.

A Real Penny Pincher

But I digress. Adults in the community didn’t seem to know why Harlan wanted to keep so many different species of animals unless he was trying to build a zoo. But I, my brothers and other youngsters in the area did. The man was a penny pincher. He’d do anything to make a dollar. Harlan always had some entrepreneurial scheme in the works. If he couldn’t get rich with one big enterprise, he’d do it with a lot of smaller ones.

It was mostly children who were interested in his menagerie, although it did attract some tourist traffic by word of mouth. People who came to see his animals were charged 50 cents each. Back in those days that was a lot to a kid. But we broke open our piggy banks and gave him his admission fee anyway. The 50 cents came nowhere near covering the cost of caring for the animals but Harlan figured every little bit helped.

I never knew Old Man Brammer to be poor. He was simply cheap. Most of his money was earned from his cattle and crops, but he had other things in the fire. He rented out his big red barn on weekends to local square dancing clubs and charged admission to boot. Of, course refreshments such as popcorn and sodas cost extra. Regardless, the dancers still had a good time as I watched many times. Yes, he tried to charge my brothers and me too, but grandpa reminded him we were his guests and merely spectators.

He also rented out some of his horses for horseback riding around the countryside. The fee was another 50 cents each per hour. Sometimes we felt cheated because his horses and pony’s had become lazy. It was a major project to get them to leave the luxury of their shaded barn and green pastures.

It wasn’t until after I had grown up I learned more things about Harlan’s greedy nature. I was told things about him by people who knew him well. For instance, apparently he taught agricultural courses somewhere in nearby Fort Smith and received some kind of government compensation for them. However, his students were never informed of that and were charged tuition fees.

Harlan had a few adult hired hands to help with all the chores on his place. But he also employed some of the older state foster children which kind local elderly couples had taken reduced wages of course.

Although Harlan had faults, his menagerie and other farm attractions gave us many fond childhood memories. And those are worth a lot more than the 50 cents we invested.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)