Roller coaster accident in 1930 ended Ohio park

Posted Monday, May 9, 2022 9:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the article:

Shrieks wafted across the water as the wooden roller coaster rumbled down the track.

It was the last ride on opening weekend at Springfield Lake Park in May 1930. It also was the beginning of the end for the summer resort.

Read more from The Akron Beacon Journal.

Monday, May 9, 2022 11:13 AM

As a coaster nerd that grew up in Summit County, I only vaguely knew of the park and I never knew this story. Thanks for sharing!

Monday, May 9, 2022 12:46 PM

It's amazing to me how many little amusement parks there used to be. My parents grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, which had about 40,000 people in the '40s and '50s, and my mom used to talk about going to North Lake Park to ride the "rolly coaster." I had a hard time believing her when I was a kid, but it turns out to be true.

This is a nicely done video about it, if you have the time:

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 12:15 AM
99er's avatar

Ohio used to be filled with amusement parks. Just about any large swimming lake had a park next to it with a coaster and a few rides.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022 12:33 PM
Vater's avatar

My mom used to go to the once hugely popular Glen Echo park in Maryland, just outside DC, all the time as a kid. It's a relic of the area, and although I've never been, I have driven past it a few times and it still has the art deco entrance facing the street, and you can see the building that still houses the now 101 year old Dentzel carousel from 1921.

Then there's my late grandma (my mom's mom), who told me a few years before she passed that she once rode "the roller coaster" at Crystal Beach on a trip to Ontario. I showed her a picture of Traver's infamous Cyclone and she confirmed that was the one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 1:27 PM

My mom grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and has fond memories of West View. I still vividly remember a conversation we had when I was a young pre-teen coaster nerd driving down Rt. 43 on the way to Geauga Lake 1.0 one day in the mid 90s. She was telling me about how she had gone to West View like I went to Geauga Lake and she hoped I would never have to see it close like she did for her park.

On the upside, I live a half hour away from Velocicoaster

Saturday, May 14, 2022 3:00 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

I learned only last month that there are ruins of an old wooden coaster only 7 miles from the house we lived in for 15 years. Puritas Springs Park Cyclone

A 4 year old Youtube video shows that there's not much left worth seeing, but had I known this I would have gone to that area, as I used to visit that Metropark at least weekly and had no idea.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Saturday, May 14, 2022 11:58 PM
Saturday, May 14, 2022 3:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

I've long known about that one, but never got around to looking for the remains. That was 20 years ago, I doubt there's anything left now.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Saturday, May 14, 2022 4:33 PM

When I was a kid in the 60’s we lived in Fairview Park, and the metro park at Lorain and Wooster was a convenient cut-through for us to the Hopkins airport. We went by the old coaster all the time and it was decrepit but quite visible. I’ll have to check dates but I don’t think it had been abandoned even ten years. The drop looked similar to KW’s Thunderbolt, it went into the ravine and was surrounded by trees and foliage. My dad loved to see it and to me it seemed terrifying.
I’ve been by since but the road up to Puritas (Mastick Rd?) has been rebuilt with a retaining wall and other things that surely got in the way of any ruins. I don’t think you could even find a footer in the ground anymore.

Saturday, May 14, 2022 11:54 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm a little fuzzy on the geography, but I recall maybe in the 80's that Puritas washed out and went years before it was fixed in that area. This was when they still had fords in the parkway over the tributaries to the river, and sometimes they were closed due to high water.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Sunday, May 15, 2022 12:00 AM
Tommytheduck's avatar

I edited my above post, the video is actually over 4 years old. There was almost nothing left in that video and certainly what was left of the wood has rotted completely away by now. I'm sure I'll visit the Rocky River Metropark again, because I loved going there when we lived close. I'll probably visit the site when I do, but am not hoping for much.

Here's the video. Skip to a little after 3 min for the actual exploration of the site.


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