Youngstown historians remember Idora Park

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

There were smiles and nods of remembrance and appreciation all around the room as Youngstown State University English professor Rick Shale talked about the rides and the biggest of the big bands and entertainers that made Idora Park the place to go here for 85 years. The park closed in 1984.

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I never had the opportunity to visit Idora by my Grandfather practically lived there in the summers and my mother and her siblings would visit often. I was mesmerized by his stories of the parks and I'm sure it influenced my eventual fondness for the industry.

Even had the fire not occurred I'm not sure Idora would have survived much longer. It's future was very much dependent on an economy that really started to tank before the rest of the State of Ohio.

My dad spent a lot of time at the park as a kid growing up in Youngstown. He took us their one time (probably a couple years before the fire). He has a lot of great stories about the park and it was cool seeing the park in person.

Jeff's avatar

I drove around it once in the late 90's before the coasters came entirely down. It's always funny how a place like that seems more interesting while in a decaying state than it would have been if it were operating.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Lowkae's avatar

My dad's grandfather used to live in one of the houses behind the park. I believe the train ride ran behind his back yard. Baby Wildcat was also my dad's first roller coaster, and he remembers the bigger rides too.

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