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Death Of Erieview Park

Posted by LOTGK on December 1, 2007

[rockyou id=93413827&w=450&h=336]

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.

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5 Responses to “Death Of Erieview Park”

  1. LOTGK said

    Lady Visine –
    Back in the town where my mom lived and died, there is a park, just a couple of blocks away. For as long as I can recall, there was a train, a carousel and the rocket planes. We called the rocket planes “The Bullet” and rode them often. Never puked on the Bullet, but did develop a love for amusement park rides. I don’t know if The Bullet is still in operation, as it was sooo old when I was a kid riding it. Guess I’ll find out in a couple of weeks, when I go down to visit my son, who lives there now. RIP to your park… how sad that such a wonderful place, filled to overflowing with memories, is going to bite the dust. It was probably decided, due to the high cost of insurance, I’d just betcha.

    LOTGK –
    Yes, very sad. It is the second park to bite the dust in our area. Idora Park in youngstown, Ohio died in 1984 after a shady fire destroyed several main attractions.
    I was hoping to take my future grand children to Geneva to ride the rides.
    Woodward states that the family is looking into “Something that is resort and tourism oriented.”

    GENEVA –
    Drove by just the other day, stopped and walked in. All the rides are completely dismantled, just cement slabs left. Erieview park is dead. Geneva on the lake is dying a slow death.

    LOTGK –
    Yes, how sad that Erieview park is now dead. Geneva on the lake was a great place to visit. I was up there the day they were dismantling the rides and taking them away.
    I took plenty of pictures and I will have to get them posted here.
    At least the haunted dark ride is going to Conneaut lake park and will be up and running for the 2007 season. I am told it is the last known operating “Allen Herschell” ride in existence.

    Teresa –
    We were able to visit the amusement park for the last time last year. It is sad to see that it is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With it gone what has this done to the beautiful town along the lake? It all seemed to be themed together and was fun!!! Who bought the land and what happens to ti now? What happens to the town NOW?? Where are the rides now??????

    LOTGK –
    Don “Woody” Woodward still owns the land Erieview Park was set on. He said he is going to develop the land into something else.
    As for the rides, they were all sold at auction and scattered to the winds. I know the Dark Ride will be set up at Conneaut lake park this sumer, I was talking to the people while they were dismantling the ride. The other rides more than likely went to fairs and carnivals.

    steve –
    check http://www.comotown.com, two rides make new home at this St. Paul, MN amusement Park

    Kaitlyn –
    I get all teary eyed everytime I think about this park not being there this year when I go up. Even though I’m 18 I still would by a arm bracelet and ride rides. And to think I almost didn’t this past July. I go up to Geneva every year and I always rode these rides. I seriously think I might have a break down when I go up this July and see that these rides aren’t there.
    Did they take the waterslides down too? My friend and I went after 7pm last year and rode for 2 hours for only 4.25. Where else in the world could you do that?
    What about Woody’s World?

    LOTGK –
    Kaitlyn, I was told the water slide will remain as well as Woodys world. For now anyway.
    Here is the update story with the rides being dismantled back in October.
    Erieview Park Dies

    Autumn –
    That’s too bad that it’s gone, but the times I visited (all since 2000) the amusement park seemed like it was just filled with a few kiddie rides like you’d find at a county fair, nothing spectacular like you’d find at Cedar Point or Geauga Lake. (Of course it was probably a lot cheaper though.)
    Also the times I and my family went, it was during the day time and for the most part the town seemed dead, except for the place with the go-karts, mini golf, & bumper boats, and of course Eddie’s Grill. We end up often going to the beach at the state park for a few hours, then to town to walk around. I liked it the one summer someone had rented surrey bicycles though.

    goo –
    why did it have to go

    Geneva –
    what happened to the cars you sat in and turned the handles to go? they rode on a rail in a large circle?

    LOTGK –
    That ride was dismantled as well. I have a picture of where it once was, now just faded grass and a dirt path where the tracks were. It was right by the Ferris wheel.

    Jim Johnson –
    I am so sad to see Erieview Park gone. I always used to go to Geneva On The Lake as a kid, and we stayed for a week each summer. I believe it was called Piers Park back then. Anyway, the one year I was there, the Fright Zone had just been built and open for the first time. They hadnt named it yet, and were having a contest to come up with a name for the ride. My mom took me through it, and it was very scarey for me, at age 7. While we were riding through it, the ride caught fire, and part of the roof was destroyed. The firemen had to go in and lead some of the riders out in the dark. I still remember the pungent smell of the smoke, and the lone white fire truck that came to put out the fire. My mother and I finally rode through it again about 12 years ago, and it was rather un-nerving to think how close we had come to getting burned up. It only seems like yesterday.

    LOTGK –
    Jim, when the rides were sold at auction last October, I talked to the men breaking down the Fright Zone. They told me that it was going to Conneaut lake park.
    Alas, Conneaut did not open this season. Hopefully, they can scrape together the insurance money and open next year.
    Thanks for commenting.

    Jeffery –
    Wow I use to work here and lived in Indian Creek. I wanted to so bad bring the kids back to ride these rides and now I find out they are gone. Very Sad.

    Christen aka Katey –
    I never got a chance to experience Erieview Park, however my fiance proposed to me on the frozen beach right down the road and we had plans to go the following year and never got the chance. It’s sad to hear the news of the closure because I always remember that park when I think of the night he proposed because afterward we took a walk down the strip and he told me of all his memories there. I guess I kinda imagined that we would one day take our kids there and it would be like our own little paradise… but i will always have the memory of walking down the strip hand in hand with the love of my life and imagining our kids riding all the rides… So sad! 😦

    LOTGK –
    Christen, hopefully, the new development, The Landing, will be what they say it will be, a open air theater, a boardwalk, restaurants, shops, and a ferris wheel and and assorted other rides.

  2. slub said

    Oh my Pat. I grew up going up to Geneva. I don’t ever remember being a big fan of those rides. At least not to ride them. I’ve gotten sick on every one trough out the years. I did love them for their astethic value and charm. They were pieces of art to me. I sat and drew many over the years while listening to all the sounds of the rides in operation. Eating cotton candy, of course. I went back in time (practically) sitting there.

    Geneva-on-the-Lake is part of my existence ever since I can remember. Like many of us Youngstown-ers, it was where my family went for many weeks in the summer. Not just my family, but my mother’s family also…it goes way back. It was where I went with my friends (when I got a driver’s license) to cause trouble. I love to hear stories about how it used to be from my grandmother. And from everyone else.

    I haven’t been up there since the rides have been gone because I’m in Florida now but I’m sure it will be an unwelcome surprise. It would be nice if they could put a little class up there. Not suburban sprawl, but maybe some nice curb appeal. I’m just really hoping that the fascination guy still says “GEEE’churBALLS R E A D Y AND ROLLEM!” when I go. I love that.

    LET’S SEE PICS of the rides being taken down…

  3. barni said

    I have the kiidie boat ride with all 6 boats, The front boat was powered and pulled the others in a circle in a shallow pool. If anyone has pics of how this ride looked when at Erieview let me know or if interested in buying one or all boats call me. 440-967-1237

  4. cotton said

    I interesting your site.It useful for methank you.

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