Object No. 15: Duke's Farm

WATCHFUL EYE | An Emu watches passing traffic Wednesday from his roadside home along Forest Avenue.

Llamas and emus and peacocks, oh my!

For many people in the Maysville and Mason County area, fond childhood memories are attached to what was once known as Duke’s Farm, located on Kentucky 10 across from the Maysville Cemetery.

There was no admission, no concession stands, no gift shops to entice visitors to drop a few bucks at the small private zoo. Instead there was an eclectic collection of animals, some exotic and others not so much, on display for anyone, young and old, to stop and visit, anytime.

The Duke family opted to sell the animals after Andrew Duke’s death, since he had been primarily the caretaker of the animals. Before Duke's death, school buses full of children used to come to see the animals.

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A 2001 news story reported the family of Duke's father, Thomas A. Duke, started the zoo with some deer and later his son took over and added to the collection. Duke's small zoo included sheep, goats, emus, a llama and a donkey.

Today, the zoo remains open under new ownership for people to stop by with their children or grandchildren for a visit and for an opportunity to feed the animals which call it home.

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Editor

Editor and reporter, covering Mason County.

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