Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Conneaut Lake Park - 120 Years

Conneaut Lake park is 120 years old this year. The Park has quite a following of loyal fans. Back in the day, when the Lake was a thriving summer destination, I imagine it was beautiful. Unfortunately, she hasn't aged well.

Winters are tough in Northwest Pennsylvania. The summer vacation season at the Lake is short. And, even with that short tourist season, Conneaut Lake Park is only open three days of the week. In short, there's just not the money to maintain it as it needs to be. Some years, the Park just hasn't opened up at all.

The empty space below is where the Dreamland Ballroom once stood. Perry Como used to sing there! During the day he was a barber at the Hotel Conneaut, and at night, he sang at the Dreamland Ballroom. A few years ago, it burned down in the middle of the night. 

Not surprisingly, scenes of The Road were filmed here. In case you're not familiar with the book or the movie, The Road is a post-apocalptic story. As much as I'd love to see Conneaut Lake Park on the big screen, the book haunted me so much that I can't see the movie. I heard that an indie film maker shot a horror film at the Park this past winter.

There are a few unusual things about the Park, at least by what I'm used to in California. You don't have to pay to go into the Park. You only pay if you're going on the rides. It's also open to walk or drive through any time of day. I took these pictures when we walked around the deserted park one evening. The strangest thing about the park is that people live in it! There are cottages inside the park! During our walk, the park was completely abandoned, except for a few people sitting out on their porches.

The two pictures below were taken on the Park's Midway. Once, I'm sure, lively with games and food vendors, most of these stalls are now empty. And, like the rest of Conneaut Lake Park, it's much in need of repair.

I'm not sure what it is with the burned out buildings in the Park, but this one sits right in the middle of Kiddie Land. If I remember correctly, it used to be a bathroom.

I wish I could post pictures of Conneaut Lake Park looking beautiful on her 120th Birthday. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the state of the park. A lot of people work really hard to make repairs and to keep the Park open. It's a large and costly job, though. I'm still hopeful that somehow Conneaut Lake Park will be restored to the beauty she once was.



Ahayes1225 said...

Nice post,visiting from BTS.

Radka said...

Fabulous blog, have a nice day Radka :).