Floyd Gooding

Tuesday, April 2, 2002 11:21 AM
In the 40's,50's & early 60's Floyd Gooding owned and operated Gooding Amusement Co. & Gooding Zoo Amusement Park dba/Wayondotte Amusement Park. His logo on his trucks and trailers was largest and most reliable. Is Gooding's Million Dollar Midway, related in any way??
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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 12:40 PM
Where is that?

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 2:11 PM

Gooding Amusement Co.= Columbus, Ohio

Wayondot Lake dba/ Gooding Zoo Park= Delaware, Ohio

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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 2:32 PM
Isn't Wyandotlake in Columbus?

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 3:01 PM

Wyandot Lake is in the Columbus, Ohio area but it is actually located Northwest of the city in Delaware County (not Deleware city). I'm never sure what the town it is in - Powell perhaps?

The following citation may offer some insight to Floyd Gooding. I just stumbled upon this reference this afternoon but I haven't had a chance to read the article yet.

BLUE CHIP PROFILE: FLOYD E GOODING, PIONEER AND KING OF THE PORTABLE
RIDE OPERATORS, LOOKS BACK ON 55 YEARS AS OWNER-OPERATOR OF HIS OWN
GOODING AMUSEMENT CO., COLUMBUS DISPATCH, Date: 09/13/1970, Page: 53 A

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everything's better with a banjo

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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 5:57 PM

Floyd Gooding got into the business in the early part of the Twentieth Century, working for his uncle who had became so enamoured with a steam riding gallery that he bought one. Floyd and other members of his family worked for his uncle, adding other rides. He eventually bought out the other family members and the Gooding Amusement Co. as it was to be known from then on came into being.

Floyd was a thoughtful, kind man who looked out after his people, both his employees and the many fairs and festivals that he supplied midways for. Most of these dates were played without a contract (which is done today), simply a handshake. A handshake from Floyd Gooding was as binding as any contract written. If one of his units were supposed to be set up and running at set date, they would be there, guarenteed.

The business grew untill there were 12 seperate units on the road at one time, including one big enough to play a state fair. In the 1960's he decided he liked playing the smaller county fairs and festivals better, and sold the state fair unit to Bostonian Milt Kaufman. The name "Goodings Million Dollar Midways" was given to this show. After then Floyd had nothing to do with that show.(At present the name is dormant as Milt hasn't taken a show out for some time now.

Floyd Gooding passed away in the winter of 1974. His heirs fulfilled the dates for the season, and then liquidated the firm. Thus ending the run of one of the classiest operations on the road.

Gooding's Zoo Amusements was also the site of winter quarters for the traveling shows.Mr. Gooding was one of the first in the carnival business to have a dedicated winter quarters,when most shows just camped out on a fairground somewhere in the South. He would rotate pieces through the park, sometimes testing them out there before sending them out on the road.

I pulled down my first jenny on one of Mr. Gooding's shows one cold November night in Kingwood , West Virginia. I was a student at WVU and had performed at the Preston County Buckwheat Festival as a member of the Moutaineer Marching Band. I came back later in the day,in the drizzle, which turned to snow and the rest as they say is history. Thirty years later I'm still at it.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2002 2:29 AM
Dutchman, Very well said. I had the honor of meeting this great gentleman a couple of times in the late 60's. He was really a fine man.

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Thursday, April 4, 2002 3:15 PM
Don Stinson of Stinson Organ Co. has written several recollections of the old Gooding Amusement Co. He was their last organ repairman before the firm was folded. You can read them at http://www.stinsonorganco.com. They are listed under the title of "Organ Notes" Don not only repairs and services old band organs, he also builds new ones as well.
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