Death Of Erieview Park
Posted by LOTGK on December 1, 2007
It was announced September 9th, 2006, that Erieview Park, a Geneva-On-The-Lake landscape icon since 1945 has closed. Don “Woody” Woodward, owner of the park, has decided to redevelop the parcel of land condemning the amusement park and the classic rides to a quick death by public auction later in October.
I remember as a child in the 1960’s my parents taking all seven of us kids to Geneva-On-the-Lake. There was a beautiful beach, white sand, a pier, blue water, and plenty of fun in the sun. When swim time was over, we would walk up to Erieview Park and ride the rides.
The Rocket Planes made me sick. You would get strapped in and locked in the cage and it would rotate and then spin mercilessly until you puked.
The Brat, a very mild coaster, a kiddie coaster actually but I did ride this many many times. And my son did as well. In fact, we often said the name was a nickname for our son Patrick.
Almost every amusement park has a train. This one was an oldie. I remember riding with my two brothers, especially Jackie, who would bug the conductor relentlessly to blow the whistle.
The Water Slide, a relatively new ride to the park, where you would drag an inner tube up the steps and position yourself and then launch yourself from the top down the water tubes. You would really get flying through the turns and minor dips.
The Mini Ferris Wheel. This was the very first amusement ride I ever rode. This started my 40 plus year fascination of thrill rides that continue today. My older sister Carol took me on this ride when I was just three years old. And yes, I remember it vividly.
The rides were all nestled together with a fence sectioning off each individual ride. The flowers and flora were kept up even to this day.
A favorite ride was “The Butterflies” and “The Flying Jets.” This ride let you steer into the wind and control how high or wild you would go around. At some points, it would actually feel like going down a roller coaster hill.
The Ferris Wheel was my least favorite ride. In fact, I will never ride another one.
A main staple of most old time amusement parks was the Tilt-A-Whirl, a ride that would spin you around rapidly while following a circular path going over mild hills. You could control the force of the spin by leaning into the side of the cage of the ride making it spin faster.
The Bumper Cars and Helicopters. The Helicopters just spun you and lifted you as you went in a circular pattern. The Bumper Cars were just that, although there weren’t enough cars or area to get any momentum going. The Dark Ride is a Classic ride. Almost cheesy old style fright scenes with plenty of black lights and sounds. I am told it is the last known operating “Allen Herschell” ride in existence.
Next year when we venture out to Geneva-On-The-Lake, I know the experience will be different. I felt like I owned the park, the beach, the strip, as most people believed as well. Since Time Square, the old restaurant that we visit each year, (Home of the supersize French fries) is part of the parcel of land, I am wondering if this will also be demolished in favor of new development?
I will be curious for sure to see what will replace these Geneva icons, but unless the replacement development is an updated version of Time Square restaurant, they will not be receiving my patronage.
Sadly, today, the Grassy Knoll Institute is reporting the death of an amusement park.
LURKING, R.I.P. ON THE GRASSY KNOLL