Buckeye Lake Of yesteryear | The Photos | The History | The Rides | The Ballroom | The Stories | MY SITES LINKS | Ohio parks info
The Stories 1920's History on this page
Links below for Later years pages
Buckeye Lake Park in The Early Years
What was going on at the Park back in the early 1900's. Was it an amusement park then? Did people come to the Park each summer?
There were many amusement rides in the Park at that time, including the Merry-go-round, which was in a building especially built for it later to become the famous Pink Elephant Nite Club, a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, the Bug ride and the Airplane ride which later became the Sky Rocket. There were shooting galleries, a ring toss, pennies to pitch and other games. There was a Tunnel of Love ride that was in the Little Lake, a fun house and a house of mirrors. Each concession had at least one five-cent slot machine that paid off with nickel 'slugs' with holes in them. These slugs could be spent at other concessions or stores in the area.
Boat rides were always popular. Top attractions were rowboats which you loaded up with a lunch or fishing poles, speed boat rides that were available, or you could get aboard the large excursion boats named the City of Lancaster, City of Newark and the City of Columbus. The smaller Del Fisher boats were the Pastime, the Ada and the Ethel. They stopped at all the principle docks around the Lake as they met the train arrivals.
The Tornado Hits
In 1922 a big tornado hit the Park knocking down the bathhouse at the beach which was located where the Crystal Pool was later built in the Little Lake. A string of boathouses with fifty motorboats inside opposite the beach were knocked down along with the ride "The Canals of Venice" and the big roller coaster. In 1924, the Dips, a big wooden coaster, was built to replace the lost one.
Pier Ballroom Collapses Into the Lake
That same summer found another tragedy at the Lake. The Muskingum Valley Colored Elks #82 always had their day at the Park on "Colored Day", the first Thursday in August. They were holding a big dance and celebration at the Lake Breeze Hotel. The Pier dance hall that was built out over the water collapsed when the piling under the dance hall gave way and seven people lost their lives by drowning.
The Last Tragedy
The last tragedy of this decade was the Great Depression of 1929 which caused the Park to lessen their activities. No one had any money. At this time, many people who had owned cottages for the summer moved into them as their primary home. They had either lost their homes in the city, or they couldn't afford to rent their summer place anymore. This was the beginning of the Lake becoming a year around residence for people instead of just a summer resort. At this time too, the Interurban Electric Railway went out of business which meant the end to easy, low priced access to the Amusement Park and to the Lake. The Park was on the decline.. .for the time being.