This just in from my grandma:
“We bought a pair at this ranch. Grampa wanted to raise them for the fur. A short time later the bottom fell out and they weren’t worth much. We paid $1500 for the pair. We had cages in the garage when we lived on Long Meadow Hill Rd. That was the first place we lived when we came to Brookfield. I worked in a home taking care of children in South Salem when we married in Brewster,N.Y . where my step mother and father lived. Grampa and I lived at the home where I worked until grampa found a house for rent in Brookfield. Later grampa built the house on Forty Acre Mt. Rd. and we stayed there until we came to Florida. It has been very lonely in these latter years to be away from my kids. I would never make that suggestion to a couple today. It is hard living away from family when you get old.”
In the book Old Route 7: Along the Berkshire Highway, Gary T. Leveille says this about “Old Bachelor”, “The virile chinchilla on this souvenir tile cavorted in his Route 7 ‘Playboy Mansion,’ the Shenandoah Chinchilla Ranch. He wore himself out, however, long before it became politically incorrect to wear fur. Most of the rodents he fathered also retired by the late 1950’s, and today this facility serves as a health clinic.”
I’d love to know if any chinchilla decendants of Old Bachelor are still in existance. The only thing I could find was this souvenir penny token.
The “health clinic” at the old chinchilla ranch is now Mountainside, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.