Zoro Garden Nudist Colony - San Diego, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 32° 43.877 W 117° 08.880
11S E 486132 N 3621506
During the 1935 Pacific International Exposition, spectators could pay to visit a nudist colony attraction. It was so popular, that it had extended hours despite many locals trying to close it down. Today, this sunken city goes mostly unnoticed.
Waymark Code: WM16ZBZ
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 11/05/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 0

The plaque says, "Designed by architect Richard Requa (1883-1941 this sunken garden and stone amphitheater were built by government-funded work relief employees during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The area is used for events and plays and has been cultivated as Balboa Park's butterfly garden since 1997 The garden got its name during the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition when it housed a nudist colony exhibit called "Zoro Gardens, borrowed from a nudist camp in Roselawn, Indiana. Several times a day the mostly female troupe conducted rituals to the Sun God. In 1935, Yvonne Stacey, a genuine naturist from Indiana, presided as "Queen Zorine” In 1936, she was replaced by "Queen Tanya,” Florence Cobit, who also had sisters in the troupe. To enter, visitors were charged 25 cents, later raised to 75 cents, for unlimited observation time.

Between shows the nudists played games, read, cooked, and lounged amidst the vegetation and a running brook. Surviving photographs indicate that the nudists were rarely-if ever-fully nude. The women were usually topless with G-strings while the men wore loincloths. A small Maya-style building provided a kitchen and bathroom. Animal skin rugs and a fire pit were used for chilly evenings. Conveniently placed knotholes in a wooden fence surrounding the upper rim of the garden provided a free peek inside.

Despite several public attempts to close it down, the nudist attraction was hugely popular and kept long hours during the Exposition. According to historians of the naturist movement, Zons Gardens was the only known nudist colony in the world to sell tickets to spectators."
Type: Fabled People and Places

Referenced in (list books, websites and other media): Not listed

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

Website Reference: Not listed

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