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  1. #1

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
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    Gracedale Park Luzerne County

    Gracedale Park is perhaps the oddest of the entries here. Gracedale Park did very well exist, with documents and pictures to prove it.
    Located in Mountain Top near where Rt. 309 and 437 intersect, it was opened before the 1940's as park without amusement rides. In 1940, it was purchased by the Edward and Lottie Sledziewski from the Slaters who had owned it at that point.

    The park already had a large dance hall, which was popular throughout the years. Besides dances, parties, clam bakes, dinners and wedding receptions were held at the park and dance hall.

    Throughout the 50's and 60's, carnival rides were brought in during the summer months to increase attendance and boost revenues.

    The park's main building was eventually converted to a tavern, and the park ceased to exist. The tavern was torn down in the 1980's, and homes have since been erected on the land.

    The question isn't whether the park existed, or even if it had amusement rides. It's a matter of whether or not it can be classified as an amusement park. A carnival is just that: rides are brought in for a specified time, and are taken down at a specified time. They are not permanent fixtures of the park, and are not guaranteed to return year after year.

    If it was the case that the rides were a permanent fixture either by ownership or agreement (contract), then that would lead me to classify Gracedale as an amusement park. If they were only brought in for special occasions or short periods of time, and were not a definite part of the park year after year, then I don't see it as an amusement park, I see it simply as a park that had carnival rides on occasion.

    Further research will hopefully uncover exactly what Gracedale Park was.

    Information obtained from Pieces of the Past: The History of the Mountain Top Area Vol. 1 written and edited by Gaetano, Keiser, Androckitis Jr, et al.

  2. #2
    us
    Greg

    Jul 2014
    Wilkes-Barre
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    Good evening Jeff. From some of the articles I have read on this, it seems to have been used as a picnic venue first and then rides were brought in. I could be wrong. This area is about twenty minutes from my house and I plan on checking the area out and hopefully I can speak to some of the residents to see if anyone recalls any stories or perhaps know of its whereabouts. I'll follow up if I find out anymore info.

 

 

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