Thursday, July 19, 2012

Roadside America- Conneaut Lake Park

Continuing our crazy trip across America to the smaller amusement parks often forgotten for the Industry giants. So forget let's forget about them, we're looking at all those little parks with all the forgotten gems of amusement history!

Today we're looking at Conneaut Lake Park located in Conneaut Lake, PA. Which is about 40 miles south of Erie, PA and 2 hours north of Pittsburgh, PA.

Conneaut Lake opened like many other parks, it was a pinic area for folks and had summer cottages located around the lake for those who could afford. It opened originally under the name of Exposition Park in 1892, it's first "ride" was a carousel added several  years later with other ride being added over the years. It wasn't until the 1920's the name "Conneaut Lake" came into use as the park tried to reflect it's new "amusement park" status.
The park boasts a famous "Woodie" (Wooden Roller Coaster) called 'Blue Streak' which was built in  1937 and holds the title of the 6th oldest wooden roller coaster in the US. 

Sadly, Conneaut Lake isn't doing very well. Due to the hard times during the 1990's the park fell onto hard times and closed for a year. It was later purchased then closed again when it's owner was sent to jail for tax evasion.  A giant mess ensued and the park has yet to fully recover from the chaos the former owner created for this tiny gem. It is currently in the hard of a trustee group who shows little interest in this historic park other then as a held property.  Right now the park only operates Thursday-Sunday, with a penchant for being randomly closed at odd times.

Hopefully this little jewel of a park won't fall completely, we've lot enough history parks as it is! So if your close by, call and stop by, the Blue Streak always deserves a ride!

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