Small child sitting in a chair, holding a toy.

Harry Richard Boos, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Boos, sitting in a child’s chair holding a toy armadillo, 1923. On the back of the photograph is a reference to the 1914 newspaper article. (Gift of Jacqueline Boos Tucker)

April 4, 1914 – An armadillo caused a bit of uproar in town. The Beacon reported that “Mrs. Simon Boos is having a great deal of trouble on account of the actions of an armadillo which escaped from a side-show at the recent Apple Fair and which seems to have been hibernating underneath the Boos barn ever since.” The Boos barn is now the medical office of Dr. Jeffrey A. Berenson on Little Lake Street.

“About two weeks ago, Mrs. Boos found that her garden was being torn up by some animal which left very strange tracks. The tracks led to a hole under the barn, and a trap was set for it. The animal was seen by some children and was described as being of good size and having a shell on its back, so there can be no doubt that it was an armadillo which escaped from a side-show and which was never recaptured.”

“So far all attempts to catch the animal have been in vain and meanwhile it is doing a great deal of damage to the Boos garden. Does any one of our readers know of a good way to trap an armadillo? If so, please communicate with Mrs. Boos.”

In response to the Beacon’s first article, people began offering their help, and the armadillo story continued the following week. “That very night, a good-sized crowd of friends and neighbors called at the Boos home at midnight, armed with all sorts of weapons and implements, ready to get old Mr. Armadillo if they had to dig a hole big enough to put the high-school building in. Their friendly aid was not appreciated by Mr. Boos, however, who, sad to say, turned the hose on them and routed the gang.”

The armadillo was finally captured in a box trap. “The armadillo is about two feet long and weighs about twenty odd pounds. It is a curious looking animal to those who are not familiar with the sight of such beasts.” The Boos garden was saved.

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.