Did YOU ever have a Rumpus? Please check out my expanded history of Idlewild's lost dark ride, the Rumpus, courtesy of Laff in the Dark. Thank you to Bill Luca and George LaCross of Laff in the Dark for the opportunity to share the story of the Pretzel Amusement Ride Company attraction that was destroyed… Continue reading Once Upon A Rumpus: Idlewild’s Lost Dark Ride
I'm pleased to announce my next book project! I am seeking stories, documents and photographs for a forthcoming book from The History Press that will share the histories of the lost and forgotten amusement parks that once brought communities together across Western Pennsylvania. Tentatively titled Lost Amusement Parks of Western Pennsylvania and slated for publication… Continue reading Seeking Stories & Photos for New Book on Western Pennsylvania’s Lost Amusement Parks!
I'm pleased to announce that Idlewild Park is the subject of the 2019 Historic Photography Show at the Ligonier Valley Library's Pennsylvania Room! I'll be guest curator of this wonderful annual exhibit that will also feature documents, memorabilia and other items featuring Pennsylvania's oldest operating amusement park. Please contact me if you'd like loan anything… Continue reading Ligonier Valley Library’s Pennsylvania Room 2019 Historic Photography Show to feature Idlewild Park
While I enjoyed every aspect of Idlewild that I included in my book, one of the most compelling, challenging and fascinating subjects I researched was the history of merry-go-rounds and carousels at the park. This is the first of a series of blog posts that I hope will create a comprehensive history of this beloved… Continue reading Idlewild’s Earliest Merry-Go-Rounds
In 1965 the Idlewild Management Company decided to resurrect the zoo concept that had faded away during the World War II years. Featuring a collection of North American wild animals and a domestic petting zoo, Frontier Safariland debuted to the public on May 23, 1965 at the start of Idlewild Park's new season. It was built… Continue reading On This Day in Idlewild History: Frontier Safariland Opens
Today, Saturday, May 19, 2018, marks the official opening day for Idlewild and SoakZone's 141st season! Although the park has already hosted some events this year and the once-separate Story Book Forest used to open the first weekend in May, traditionally Memorial Day weekend marked the formal opening of the park each year, back to… Continue reading Idlewild’s Opening Day
Happy Birthday, Idlewild and SoakZone! Today marks the 140th anniversary of Pennsylvania's oldest amusement park. On May 1, 1878, William Darlington penned another letter to Judge Thomas Mellon settling terms for the Ligonier Valley Rail Road to lease part of a scenic Ligonier Township estate for "picnic purposes or pleasure grounds." Dear Sir: In compliance with… Continue reading Idlewild: The Right and Privilege for 140 years