Charles Gay was a French performer who met his wife, English-born Muriel, when he was performing in a circus in London. The Gays moved to California with Charles’s circus about 1914 or 1915, and began raising lions near Westlake (now MacArthur) Park in 1919. They relocated their operation to El Monte in 1924, and opened it to the public on July 1, 1925. It remained in operation until December 1942.

Located in the city of El Monte on Valley Boulevard, the entrance to the Farm was approximately where the McDonald's Fast Food Restaurant now sits.

Two lion statues guarded the entrance to the farm. After the closing of the farm in 1942, one of the lions was relocated and it is now guarding the entrance to El Monte High School, located nearby.

In its heyday, over 200 lions were housed at the farm including the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion, Jackie, and several that were used in the Tarzan films from 1918 to 1942.

The facility was open to the public and not only could they see the animals in their cages (the cages were situated in an U-shape), there were also animal show demonstrations performed by Gay and his troupe of helpers.

Special thanks to Javier for the brochure scans.