WOODWARD'S GARDEN FINAL YEARS
Eventually Woodwards Gardens popularity began to fade. RB Woodward passed away in 1879, and his heirs did not try to keep things up to the standards of the gardens founder. In the 1880s, Golden Gate Park (San Franciscos newest public park) started pulling even more visitors away. People were also becoming more sophisticated in general and less-easily amused by the old fashioned attractions like Woodwards. During the mid-80s, attendance waned and there were increasing complaints about the gardens odors and horrible noises. In 1891 Woodwards Gardens was closed down forever. As happened to many animal attractions back in those days, there were some sad stories about their individual fates. One of the more bizarre endings was how one of the long-time bear attractions, Old Jim, was shot by a local German butcher and then served up to the public as an unusual delicacy.