Calling all Columbus area historians! The book _Columbus, Ohio: A Personal Geography_ by Henry L. Hunker mentions an amusement park in the area around Capital University (Drexel Ave. and Main Street in Bexley) All it says (besides the location) is that it existed in 1956 and there is no trace of it today. Anybody have any more info?
Are there any parks missing from this list of amusement parks in the Columbus Ohio Area? Zoo Amusements/Wyandot Lake Olentangy Park Minerva Park Possible park at 18th ave and 4th st. (current home of old run down shopping center. Possible park at Drexel and Main. ------------- everything's better with a banjo
Brad, yes, Indianola Park is on that list: that's the park that was on 4th at 18th. I've done some poking around on that site. I suspect that the large building on the site (next to the Quonset hut, with the thrift store inside) is the old pavilion building. Indianola Park was best known for its swimming pool, located on the Southeast corner of the property...which is now parking lot. According to a 1920 map, the park extended from 18th Ave. North to Iuka Ave, and was mostly located East of an alley located 140' East of 4th St. I actually found a map someplace which showed the positions of the swimming pool and of the Blue Streak roller coaster.
There was also a property just North of there, actually just North of the Indianola Middle School field, which is listed on some old maps as "Smith's Park". Mom has mentioned Smith's Skating Rink, and on a map I noticed the skating rink building is shown right in the middle of where a street is indicated (Northwood Ave.). A 1937 map shows "Smith's Park" extending from Norwich (indicated on the map as "Indianola") North to Alden, from the alley on the West to the railroad track on the east.
My Mom has told me of Norwood Park, which she claims was located on the bank of the Alum Creek, on what is now a vacant lot. This would be a bit to the West of Drexel, but Drexel makes a good landmark. That would still be East of the railroad track, but would put it on the West bank of the river. That space is now occupied by a sewage pumping station or something of that nature.
So what's that give us now... Gooding Zoo Park (Wyandot Lake) Indianola Park Minerva Park Norwood Park Olentangy Park Smiths Park
The trouble with Olentangy Park is that only the 125' wide strip on the extreme East side (High St. side) was within the city limits prior to 1940, and so none of the fire protection maps show anything in there. In 1940, L. L. LeVeque Co. bought the land and started creating Olentangy Village, so during the time it was an amusement park, it was mostly Clinton Township.
Thanks Dave! I have yet to see Indianola. I just ran across an online timeline that mentioned Norwood Park being demolished in '65. Still searching for Bexley... ------------- Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002! Model coasters and rides
Norwood Amusement Park was at what now is Alum Creek and Main street. The park hosted approx. 25 rides which included a Eli wheel, Dodgems, octapus,Catapiller,Rollaplane and many kiddie rides with a mangel's whip,small ferris wheel and a large riding dark house in the middle. There was also a large swimming pool ajacant to the park to the west. In the back there was a very large shelterhouse,dancefoor which last time I was there was partly standing. I spent many days there in my childhood. It was torn down to make room for I-70 ramp wish I had some pics.......Bill Scholer
Thanks for the info! The park sounds a little more extensive then I would have guessed. I don't go by that area often but last time I was down there I thought I saw the crumbling remains of a pavilion-like structure.
----------------- everything's better with a banjo
Dave - Are you talking about the empty lot across from the Kroger and former Burger King on Main? I have heard it mentioned before that there was a park on that site but have never been able to find much info on it.
That's the place. I want to get my hands on an early-1960's plat map and see exactly how that area looked before IR-70 went through...my guess is that Alum Creek Drive has moved a little bit from its original position. I think there is a sewage pumping station on the site today, and within the past year a fresh split-rail fence and a new layer of grass seed has appeared on the lot. I pass that corner every day on my way to work.
Damn, Dave ! Is there anything you don't know ?!? :)
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Wow, I can now tell one of my friends that the place he got mugged used to be an amusement park. Such an unfortunate situation, but that area isn't the best. Too bad these old parks have vanished, I could walk to Indianola Park if it still existed (seeing as I live on Indianola and all). Thanks for pointing out some historical information that I did not know.
I went down to the Columbus Metropolitan Library this afternoon and looked at some Sandborn real estate maps. With any luck, Monday evening I may have some photos available, though without a proper macro lens and with only 720x486 resolution I don't know how the stills came out. The plat map in question is to the scale of 1" = 200' or so, and so has lots of detail. I found several maps dating back to the 1920's, and then finally a map that was drawn in 1922, updated in 1937, and had additional updates pasted in through 1961.
The map corrections are particularly annoying as they corrected Indianola Park clear out of existence. Looking closely at the map as it now appears, it looks like none of the present buildings existed when the park was there. The pool was at the corner of 4th St. and 18th Ave. and two roller coaster paths were visible under two layers of paper. The page with Olentangy Park was even more annoying as it clearly showed the positions of the carousel, the pony track, several other ride buildings, and at least one roller coaster, identified on the map as the "Red Devil." But that map is useless even for comparison with the present alignments because when it was pasted over, both the scale and the angle of the map were changed to make room on the page for the new city boundaries. Cuss!
Then I turned to the page showing Norwood Park. There it was, in all its glory, what little bit there was. Alum Creek Drive as we know it today did not exist. The park sat on the ground along Main St. between Holzman and the Alum Creek. This particular map had last been updated in 1961, and showed a few buildings: A building near Main St. was not identified, in the center of the lot is a "concessions" building, and a "dodgem" building appears along the back line of the lot. I'm guessing that all the other rides and structures at the park were temporary and therefore not shown on this real estate map.
Wow. And to think all the times I went by Capital U., I had no idea I was passing a park! This is great....can't wait to see pics. Thanks for the research Dave! ------------- Brad Sherman Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002! Model coasters and rides
This is great- finally something on Columbus. Let's keep this thing running.....Anyways, about Olentangy Park does anyone have any pictures or ride info? Was it located near a present day pool, and near a bike path? I've heard something about a park around there- and since I'm there a lot maybe I could do some research once the weather is nicer (looks out window to rain, and thunder, and half flooded yard)
pezmanguy3 said: about Olentangy Park does anyone have any pictures or ride info? Was it located near a present day pool, and near a bike path?
Olentangy Park was located on the site of Olentangy Village Apartments on High Street in Clintonville. The original pool existed until a year or so ago when it was ripped out for some new townhouses. A new pool was built in a former parking lot area. The Olentangy bike path passes behind the apartments but there is virtually no trace of the former amusement park. "Olentangy Park" now refers to the OSU wetland research area across the river (great place to visit and also accessible on the bike path). Warning about the bike path: That section of the path is scheduled to be closed until May 25 for resurfacing (although work hasn't started yet).Some info on Olentangy Amusement Park is available here.Thanks for the research Dave. Sounds like I'll have to make a trip to the library. All I had around here is an old 1967 topo map. The Norwood Park area is labeled only as "park" with a dotted line around the perimeter.
----------------- everything's better with a banjo
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for digging up this history. I've been a Columbus resident for most of my life, and I still didn't know about Norwood or Indianola. BTW, the Meijer store on Cleveland Avenue (across from the town of Minerva Park) used to have a couple of pictures of the old park hung on the walls up in the front. I haven't been there in a while though...
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