Slaughter of circus monkeys a dark spot in North Fulton ‘history’

In Johns Creek, there are small statues of monkeys lurking in the woods.

“That seems weird,” you might say to yourself after reading that sentence, because it totally is.

The statues are off a trail at the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve. They are made of stone and were created by an anonymous local artist as a tribute to the victims of the city’s monkey massacre, according to the city’s website.

READ: What’s up with that castle in North Fulton?

That’s right. The monkey massacre.

Johns Creek calls it “fabled.” The website, which describes itself as an online “guide to the world's wondrous and curious places,” called it “folklore.”

Indeed, it seems that no one has been able to confirm the following as fact, but here goes ...

According to those outlets, at some time near the turn of the 20th century, a train with circus animals as its cargo crashed near Duluth. Monkeys that were on the train escaped into the woods and eventually ran up against some sheltered farmers.

Having never seen a monkey before — remember, this was pre-Animal Channel — farmers near Sal’s Creek were scared by these furry creatures climbing up trees and screeching at them.

And so in what Johns Creek calls a “less-than-proud moment” in the city’s folklore, those farmers grabbed their firearms and took aim at the monkeys, shooting and killing every single one of them.

READ: What’s Theodore Roosevelt’s connection to Roswell?

READ: How does Roswell stack up against that other city in New Mexico?

According to AtlasObscura, the unknown artist wanted to create these statues to send a message that not understanding something isn’t a reason to destroy it.

It’s unclear when exactly the memorials for the monkeys were made, but they were donated to Autrey Mill by the artist at sometime during the 1990s, says Mary Winder, the mill’s program director. Today they can be found along Forest Trail North, which stretches over a third of a mile in Autrey Mill.

“We assume the artist heard the story and was inspired,” Winder said. “Besides the documentation that Autrey Mill has just from fliers and handouts we have found no other record of the story.”

Winder said that the moral of the story remains important.

“While exploring in nature, it is not uncommon to come across an animal that you cannot identify or that makes you nervous. Despite your fear, remember that all animals have their place,” she said. “If you are truly frightened, simply take two steps back and walk away. The animal in question is likely more scared of you than you are of it.”

READ: Milton father runs North Pole half-marathon for diabetic son

READ: A day in 1985 will go down as the coldest in North Fulton

Using the Google Machine to find out more about the “Monkey Massacre” may lead you to a fan page for the popular Netflix show “Stranger Things.

The production company behind it is called “Monkey Massacre Productions.” Much of “Stranger Things” was filmed around Atlanta, though no scenes were shot at the supposed site of the monkey massacre.

Like North Fulton County News Now on Facebook and follow on Twitter 


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Fayette County restaurant inspection scores

Fayette County • HJ Wings & Things Express, 565 Highway 74, Peachtree City. 91/A • Johnny’s Pizza, 230 N. Glynn St., Fayetteville. 90/A • Pita Mediterranean Street Food, 1240 Highway 54, Fayetteville. 96/A • Smokey Bones Barbeque, 100 Market Place Blvd., Peachtree City. 88/B • Ted’s Montana Grill, 314 City Circle...
Rockdale County restaurant inspection scores

Rockdale County • China Star Restaurant, 2870 Highway 212, Conyers. 100/A • Don Tello’s Tex-Mex Grill, 1432 Dogwood Drive, Conyers. 91/A • New Orient Express, 425 Sigman Road, Conyers. 82/B • Outback Steakhouse, 1188 Dogwood Drive, Conyers. 75/C • Ruby Tuesday, 1714 Highway 138, Conyers. 86/B
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Catty Wampus Grill food truck, 3127 Process Drive, Norcross. 100/A • Hong Kong Harbor, 2184 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta. 93/A • Mix’D Up Burgers, 313 Blvd SE, Atlanta. 97/A • Roly Poly, 8 Park Place South, Atlanta. 92/A • Ronaldo’s Resto Bar, 3719 Main St., College Park. 72/C
Gwinnett County restaurant inspection scores

Gwinnett County • Anatolia Café, 2855 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 85/B • Cracker Barrel, 6175 McDonough Drive, Norcross. 81/B • Kabob-ish, 3555 Gwinnett Place Drive, Duluth. 89/B • La Fuente Mexican Restaurant, 5045 Singleton Road, Norcross. 84/B • McCray’s Tavern, 100 N. Perry St., Lawrenceville. 85/B
DeKalb County restaurant inspection scores

DeKalb County • CineBistro @ Town Brookhaven, 1004 Town Blvd., Atlanta. 90/A • El Patron, 3302 Laventure Drive, Chamblee. 86/B • La Sultana Restaurant, 3648 Shallowford Road, Doraville. 80/B • Maurice’s Café, 100 Crescent Parkway, Tucker. 96/A • Mo Better Chicken, 3929 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur. 85/B
More Stories