Old West Virginia Amusment Park

Friday, February 20, 2004 6:00 PM
around 1985 i remember passing a small, deserted amusement park off of rt. 7 at a tiny unincorporated area called "lake shawnee" outside of princeton, wv. this park featured several children's rides including a miniature coaster similar to the High Speed Thrill Coaster at knoebel's. any of you know any information about this park?

tina? did you ever visit it?

seek first to understand then to be understood
Friday, February 20, 2004 9:17 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Hmmm, can't say I have Johnathan. :-(

Worth trying to find some history on it though.

Other than Terrapin Park, which used to be in Parkersburg, it is very hard to find any good photos or info on any defunct parks in WV online. :-/

If I find anything I will let ya know. This is a new one to me. :-)


Friday, February 20, 2004 11:49 PM
About 2 years ago I saw this article in the Charleston Daily Mail I believe. I cut it out and saved it. The article was called "The Way it Was," by Richard Andre. It's about the old Luna Park in Charleston.

"Beautiful Luna Park was Charleston's most popular amusement site from 1912 until May 1923 when it was destroyed by fire.

Located on the city's West Side and bounded by present-day Park and Glenwood avenues, Park Drive, Grant Street and the river, its main attraction was the elaborate roller coaster seen here in 1916.

Among other features were a dance pavilion and a roller skating rink where races were often held.

Streetcars provided access from all over the Valley and steamboat excursions to Luna Park were popular.

On one long-ago Fourth of July, more than 30,000 people paid 15 cents to take in the delights of the tree-shaded park.

Almost all prosperous towns like Charleston had their amusement parks, including Parkersburg's Terrapin Park and of course Cincinnati's Coney Island.

After the 1923 fire, the owners wanted to rebuild but couldn't raise the money.

The walkways were eventually paved over and the park became a residential area.

The outlines of the park can be seen by the odd arrangement of streets in the neighborhood. My friend Bob Becher, who provided the postcard, lives there."

Well that is the article. There is a picture and the coaster was named "Royal Giant Dips Coaster."

Saturday, February 21, 2004 12:07 AM
wow, i feel so informed. have i stumped everyone with this one?!?!?
seek first to understand then to be understood
Saturday, February 21, 2004 12:19 AM
I don't know anything about it, I just thought i would throw in that info about Luna Park. That was a tad before my time. Usually my parents mention old parks and stuff to me, but i don't think they've ever said anything about this little attraction. Wish I could help.
Saturday, February 21, 2004 12:30 AM
It's helpful that Route 7 north of Princeton is only about 5 miles long.

Would it be in the Gardner Junction area?

[I drive through Princeton every time I go between home and school]

Saturday, February 21, 2004 1:08 AM
I was born in WV and I have always found it strange that the whole state only has one amusement park.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing in the media a lot of plans for parks that never made it off the ground. I just find it odd. It's a heck of a drive to get to KI from lower and mid WV (4 or more hours).

Saturday, February 21, 2004 5:44 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Yeah, I have that Luna Park article from the Charleston Daily Mail. Pretty cool!

There used to be quite a few parks in the Wheeling area, which is in the Northern Panhandle.

I tried looking for any info about that park in Princeton but I can't find anything on it.

Dexter I know how you feel. For me, Charleston is at least centrally located and within 4-5 hours drive to most of the larger and smaller parks from Holiday World to Busch Gardens to Cedar Point to Dollywood. It's still the pain in the arse though.

Living very near PKI over the summer spoiled me. ;-)

Anyway, back to this mystery park........I am sure there is SOME mention of it somewhere. :-/


*** Edited 2/21/2004 10:48:06 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Saturday, February 21, 2004 8:28 AM
I used to live close to princeton, spend lots of time in the area, and have never heard of a park in or around the area, so this is one that stumps me. Heck, I've lived here all my life, and only been to Camden once(plan to change that this summer). I too, dexter, feel that its weird that WV dosen't have any other park, at least like Kennywood sized.

Oh well...

Saturday, February 21, 2004 11:10 AM
There's only one park remaining in WV this time. There were several parks that were close to the Ohio and PA state lines. Rock Springs Park in Chester survived until the late 70's,early 80's as I recall. It had relied upon industial picnics for most of it's life.There was also a park in Wheeling at one time.
Saturday, February 21, 2004 1:36 PM
When I make it big and marry janet jackson, I plan on opening a nice park in WV, but it will be in the middle of the state, so as to be central to everyone in the state. Our biggest past time is Bargin hunting @ Wal-Mart. Unless ofcourse, there is a Marshall or WVU game....
Saturday, February 21, 2004 6:14 PM
I know there used to be a roller coaster on Wheeling Island. I don't know if it was an actual park or not. I think it sat on the current location of the roller rink and Wheeling Downs(now called "Wheeling Island Race Track and Gaming Resort").

I'll go ask grandma about it. She'll probably know, not that it directly relates to this topic.

Saturday, February 21, 2004 7:24 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Speak for yourself, Clint. ;-)

If it's not a Super Center it's not worth going. :-D

I do wish they had the Meijer Super Centers down here though. They could give Wal-Mart Super Centers a run for their money.


Saturday, February 21, 2004 7:31 PM
rollergator's avatar Not that I would know about this PARTICULAR park, but you ARE aware of this site I imagine....if not, here it is: :~P


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Saturday, February 21, 2004 7:46 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Been there done that Bill..........:-)

Unfortunately it only lists some of the parks that used to be in WV. There are no photos, history, articles..... all that good stuff. :-D


Saturday, February 21, 2004 7:47 PM

Mr. Ninja said:
I know there used to be a roller coaster on Wheeling Island. I don't know if it was an actual park or not..

Here's a postcard of an old wooden coaster that use to be in Wheeling.


Sunday, February 22, 2004 11:47 AM
Rock Springs Park in Chester was THE park in West Virginia. It was a big rival to KW and West View for a while, and it was still thriving until it was closed by a federal highway condemnation. The hilltop roller coaster there was a wild and hairy experience in those pre-Beast and pre-steel days. Rock Springs was comparable to today's Holiday World in number of rides and hilly terrain.
Sunday, February 22, 2004 4:25 PM
Not only that, but it had the very last carousel out of the Dentzel shop. Wm. H. Dentzel personally supervised the installation, and passed away shortly afterward. It was unfortunately parted out after the park closed. The frame is now for sale by Brass Ring Entertainment with a new set of figures. *** Edited 2/22/2004 9:26:51 PM UTC by Dutchman***
Sunday, February 22, 2004 4:49 PM
and here's an old postcard showing the Cyclone at Rock Srings Park.


Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:17 PM
The park is still there, abandoned. ABC Family featured it in their "13 nights of halloween" series this month. There are some old postcards on this webpage:


The ferris wheel is still standing.




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