Stroop's Snake and Alligator Farm
In 1927 Snoop’s Snake Farm opened two miles south of Edinburg in the small community of Bowman’s Crossing. Though we know little about the site, early advertisements indicated the site featured four types of poisonous snakes and several alligators. The pamphlets claim that “visitors are thrilled and amazed” at the site of these exotic creatures, the lectures given by staff on their natural habitats and behavior, and the snake farm’s hospitality. Individuals were also invited to enjoy a free “helping of the famous rattle snake meat in a sandwich” if they were dared.
This snake farm was one of over a score of tourist stops that popped up along Route 11 during the first half of the 20th century. The emergence of the automobile had led to an increased number of tourists that travelled along Route 11. Innovative entrepreneurs looked to this new population as a revenue source and opened restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and attractions such as snake farms, golf courses, museums, and battlefields to draw in visitors.
The completion of Interstate 81 in the early 1960s shifted traffic away from Route 11. Most local attractions closed or shifted locations to serve interstate travelers. The snake farm was among them.