Call this a story of not knowing the history of something until it's already gone. A group of barns that once housed thousands of circus animals in Central Indiana are set to be demolished to build a limited-access highway for US 31 near Peru.

The barns were the winter headquarters of the Terrell Jacobs Circus. The Kokomo Tribute reports

The Indiana Department of Transportation has launched a three-month project to demolish the historic circus barns along U.S. 31, while salvaging as many artifacts from the buildings as possible.

Now, it’s the beginning of the end of one of the most unique pieces of circus history in the country that highlights Peru’s deep connection to the big top.

The history of the property dates back to 1939, when Terrell Jacobs bought the land and built a barn to house the “strange beasts” he had collected, including tigers, lions and leopards, according to an article published in 1941 in the Peru Republican.

Peru is home to a Circus Hall of Fame and called by Time Magazine the Circus Capitol of the World as the city

has been home to the Peru Amateur Circus since 1960. Each summer, for eight days in July, 200 young people put on a show that transforms the town of about 11,000 residents into a spectacular festival, culminating with the Circus Heritage Parade.

Here's a look inside the Circus Hall of Fame:

If you want to catch a glimpse of the old circus barns before they're gone, you'll find them north of Peru along US 31 on the east side of the road (to your right as you travel north) just before the junction of Indiana State Road 218.

Circuses are a cherished childhood memory for many. So are classic board games. These will certainly take you back:

KEEP READING: 10 classic board games that will take you way back

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