Adding Ohio parks to the database

I have a fairly extensive collection of amusement park postcards, concentrating on "classic" cards dating from turn of the 20th century to about 1970.

For fun, I decided to compare my Ohio park cards (which I tend to preferentially seek out) to the CB database. I was surprised to discover I have a number of parks not on the list.

I'm not the best-versed in the history of parks, though I know a little bit. Any historians who are willing to help, I'd like to check this list against already-established entries. A lot of parks have had multiple names over the years, and I wouldn't want to double-up one or more of these:

Casino Park, Toledo -- not to be confused with the one in Mansfield

Chester Park, Cincinnati

Fairport Harbor, Lake County -- I have a postcard of the beach, ca. 1950's, showing a Spider or similar ride on the sand in the foreground. Not sure if this was a permanent installation or merely a photo of a temporary beachside carnival.

Hiawatha Park, Mt. Vernon

Indianola Park, Columbus -- anyone know if this was merely a different name for Zoo Park/Wyandot?

Lakeside Park, Dayton

Moxahala Park, Dayton

Riverside Park, Findlay

Silver Lake Park, Cuyahoga Falls

Spring Grove Park, Springfield

Stanton Park, Steubenville

Walbridge Park, Toledo

White City, Toledo -- not to be confused with the one in Cleveland

For all the above parks, I have postcard evidence of amusement rides located at the sites.

I also have two Ohio cards that were sold as "amusement park" postcards, but which display no amusement attractions on the card and for which I can't find other corroborating evidence. Anyone know about these two?

Gordon Park, Cleveland

Star Lake, Mt. Orab

On both of those, I have pictures of beach and bathhouse (which frequently but not always accompanied or evolved into traditional parks).

I have a large list of other sites in Ohio that are alleged to have been parks, but for which I haven't had the chance to pick up postcards yet. As I add to my collection, I'll share the results.

Sometime I would love to post my collection online. Unfortunately, my scanner is older than the hills and I don't even know if its resolution is at all decent by today's standards.

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Hey Mike,

I collect pre 1950 amusement park post cards (they must have a roller coaster in them). In the last year I have collected about 80 cards. It would be cool to compare lists of Ohio parks.

James Whitmore's avatar

I'm pretty sure that Indianola Park and the Zoo Park/Wyandot Lake are two different parks. But I can't give you any proof.

James -- I thought they were different parks, but just like you, I don't have any proof.

Zak -- is that 80 cards just in the last year? That's quite a pace. You'll be cornering the market at that rate. ;) It would definitely be cool to compare. I'll post my list here fairly soon.

Disclaimer: this thread is not intended for purposes of commerce. Strictly fun and education.

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To the best of my knowledge, Gordon Park was a landscaped area with picnic groves and the bathhouse which you have a postcard of. It never evolved into any type of amusement park. The Cleveland Aquarium operated there from 1954 to 1986, but that was the only attraction.

DaveStroem's avatar

Indianola Park and Wyandot Lake were definitely 2 separate parks. From my understanding there is still one of the original buildings from Indianola Park still standing. This park was just east of the OSU campus. Wyandot Lake/Zoo Park/Goode Zoo Park was in Powell.

I too collect old amusement park cards. The thing is I was doing this before I was a serious coaster enthusiast. I have taken 12 different Olentangy Park card and turned them into 8x12 prints that I sell in my shop and through the Clintonville Historical Society.

Last edited by DaveStroem,

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Indianola Park was different from Wyadot Lake/Zoo Amusement, as Dave already said. And yes, there are still original buildings standing.

Also, the original site of the Columbus Zoo was in Clintonville, and the original brick entrance gate and monkey house are still standing near North High and Beechwold.

Don't forget about Buckeye Lake Park, too. 50 years ago that was the place to be! There are still buildings standing from that one as well.

Buckeye Lake is already in the CB database. I have three postcards from that park. I was only a couple years old when my parents visited it without me (the nerve of them!) and took a very rickety ride on the Wild Mouse, which was the only coaster remaining at that time (guessing 1969; the park closed completely ca. 1971).

Okay, so far we've established:

Gordon Park <> amusement park

Indianola Park <> Zoo/Wyandot/Goode Zoo Park.

I was looking over the list of defunct parks at, and I noticed that database doesn't seem to be any more authoritative than the one here. Does anyone know of a more exhaustive database? If there isn't one around, it would be worthwhile to eventually make the CB list as comprehensive as possible.

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I'm thinking RCDB is about the best around. If they don't have a park listed, it probably didn't exist.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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