EldridgePark.US is a good news site. If you want to get the bad news, go to CNN.
The music today is by Bill Cook at the Carousel Organ.
MEMORIES OF ELDRIDGE PARK
Hyperlinks are underlined. Please click on them
Barbara J. (Northrup) Schwarting, Smyrna NY - email@example.com
My cousin was here visiting and I got out my parents old photo
albums. After they left I continued going through them and enjoyed
the pictures of my cousins (from my Father's side of the family)
with the roller coaster in the background.
We enjoyed the park and had lots of picnics there. Couldn't wait
until I was old enough to ride the bumper
cars. Always loved the stories about the "underground
river" from Seneca Lake. Lots of great memories.
David Howse, Moore OK - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Lackey, Statesville NC - email@example.com
We were visiting Elmira last week (August 2013) as my wife grew up in Erin. We get to the park about once a year. I had been trying to catch the ring since we began going there, and finally did! THAT MADE MY DAY, BUT I AM SURE WE WILL GO BACK AND TRY AGAIN. CAROL ALWAYS TELLS US OF MEMORIES SHE HAS THERE FROM HER CHILDHOOD. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO PRESERVE THE PARK FOR OTHER CHILDREN...
Rick H, Elmira Heights - firstname.lastname@example.org
I loved the bumper cars, roller coaster and the shooting gallery,
fresh French fries and candy apples. Mom would drop me off in
the summer, and I would spend the day there in the late Fifties.
Laura Smith - email@example.com
Wanted to let you know that the Vets from the Museum who walked last Saturday (August 17, 2013) were so pleased to see the photos and videos that were posted on the carousel site. Some of us even caught the coverage on the news, and in the newspaper.
I personally had my laptop at museum two days in a row, and showed the guys who walked, the wonderful video you posted. I can tell you from watching their faces, and hearing their comments this morning, that it really was a boost for them. Thank you again for all your hard work, it is greatly appreciated.
I am a lifetime associate member of VVA post 803, and a student @ EBI. I have shared the site with quite a few friends here in town, with teachers and students at school, friends and family from Florida.
And it was nice to be able to have kids, grandkids see what I
have been up to, by sharing your site.
Ann Rakich - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember when my dad would take the entire family to Eldridge Park and he would say, "Okay, who wants to ride the roller coaster". Floods of memories have come back to me since I have visited this site and brought a smile to face. How lucky I was to be a kid growing up in Elmira NY and having Eldridge Park so close by.
Thank you so much for creating this web site so as all who have cherished memories of Eldridge Park can view the website and share in their fond memories.
Vickie Conklin - VConklin@WSKG.org
My grandmother grew up in Elmira, so every summer the whole family,
including grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.,
visited Eldridge Park several times throughout the summer. What
fun, the whip, roller
coaster, funnel cakes, picnics, etc. Such great memories!!!
I am traveling from Binghamton to attend a Chamber event at Eldridge
Park this evening and cannot wait for the memories to come swarming
back. I am so grateful for the people that have revitalized this
park. Please keep up the good work! Your diligence and hard work
is much appreciated!
Roberta McCartney - email@example.com
My favorite memory of Eldridge Park was when my mom would take
me to ride the Carousel horse and she would sing at the top of
her lungs along with the music as she would stand by me trying
to catch the brass ring.
Jack Lowell - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Corning and a treat was always to go to Eldridge Park. One of my first dates, in my teens, was to take my girl friend to Eldridge. She had never been. There was always something magical about the park. The carousal was so wonderful and catching the gold ring was an adventure. I have not been back in years but still hold the memories in my heart.
Frank, Ft. Lauderdale FL - Fwebster20@gmail.com
Irene Fadis, Queens - email@example.com
My husband and I visited Eldridge Park this summer. I was happy
to see that another ride was added to the park since our last
visit to Elmria. I was also happy to see that there were a lot
of people on the walkway. These signs encouraged me that perhaps
things are looking up for the Elmira area. Of course the putt-putt
area is very impressive, as is the flower garden by the flag pole.
Eldridge Park holds so many fond memories for me from my childhood.
Since we were in Elmira this summer for sad reasons as well as
for a vacation, it was comforting to visit a place that was so
dear to me, a place that holds memories of my late parents. Thanks
and Good luck for continued growth and development of the park
and the Elmira area.
Dale Bryant, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
Flying Scooter ride is up and running at the park. Many thanks
to the 30 plus volunteers that made this possible. Dale Bryant
Lonnie Lopreste - email@example.com
I really loved the scooters and I was at the park the other day and saw the scooter you bought and its nice to see it back in the park. I wish it was over the water like it was before because that was part of the thrill. Something else I really miss was the powdered waffles. I was talking to my wife the other day and when we were growing up we had several parks in the area, Frailey's, Skyline and Eldridge.
Of them all I really liked the whole package that Eldridge Park
had. I'm glad to see it on a comeback and I hope the park does
well. I was there on 7-21-2012 and I had a hard time trying to
find a place to park.....Good job.. I want to see the park get
bigger and it's a place I can take my grandkids.
Rich Kay, Deltona FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our family used to walk to the park from the Heights. We would
walk along the dirt road on the west side of Thatcher Glass ..along
the creek. We spent many many nights at the park watching the
acts and then movies, always getting a candy apple before walking
back home. Eldridge Park was THE place to spend relaxing times.
Lou Spaziani, Elmira - email@example.com
I am more amazed each time I visit Eldridge at the incredible
things that have been done there by some very fine people. I just
wanted to say how much I appreciate everything you all have done
to not only bring back Eldridge Park, but even make it better.
I try to get there a few times during each summer especially when
my grandchilfren come to visit from Florida because they are now
forming their own memories of Eldridge Park. Keep up the great
work and may God bless all of you!
Dave Austin - firstname.lastname@example.org
It was fun when I was a kid. I liked the race cars and the fire trucks and the bumper cars. I hope someday they will bring the park back to the way it was when Iwas a kid. Editor's Note: Well, fasten your seat belts and hang on to your hat, Austin, because it looks like that where we're headed - here's proof - the Flying Scooters.
Brenda O'Brien, Addison - email@example.com
Each year from 1956 until 1965, my parents would take my sister
and me to Eldridge Park, if we passed (luckily we got to go every
year). The target date was the Saturday after school got out for
the summer. We were allowed to take one friend each (which usually
ended up being a slumber party that night to check out our "loot"
from the Midway). I remember riding the Whip, the Cups and especially
the Spooks House, which was my favorite. We rode the Dragon Boat
with Dad while Mom got the picnic ready. After lunch came the
Midway and all the competitions with each other plus exciting
things we won. The last thing we all did including Mom, who wasn't
much of a ride enthusiast, was pile onto the Carousel and try
for the gold ring. Dad always got it! No one wanted to leave because
we knew we were heading to our summer cottage the next day so
we wouldn't be back until the next year. I moved to Florida in
1980 but have now, after 32 years away, moved back to the area
of my youth. While reminiscing with a friend yesterday, Eldridge
Park came into the conversation and we wondered what, if anything,
was still there. Imagine our delight when I found your web page.
We agreed that we will be there on Memorial Day this year!
Mike Benjamin, Glens Falls - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have some of my best childhood memories from Eldridge Park. During the summers of the 1970's we had our Comfort Family Reunion there at the Park. I remember the Carousel and the first time that I got the ring!! Yes, yes! The food was awesome and the family was huge. My dad told me a story though about how the lake came to be. "One day there was a farm out there in the middle with cows, horses, etc. and the next day it was gone and the lake was there! The lake is bottomless to this day". And yes, I believed my dad and would be nervous whenever I swung out over the edge of the lake riding the swings. Crazy isn't it?
However, I am so thrilled to see that the park is still around...it's been over thirty plus years since I was last there at the park and am trying to connect with the family reunion again if it still takes place. I will be taking a trip anyhow this summer to visit the park again...awesome memories!!!
Aaliyah Russell, NYC - email@example.com
This is one amaaazing website displayed here. People have taken time to express their feelings and memories about Eldridge Park, and I am honored to share my memories as well. I am an '80s baby (born 1981), so to drift back in time, from memory to the mid-late '80s comes very easy to me. Clearly, I was privileged to have enjoyed some of the "left over" perks of the park. Every ride had it's way of affecting you and your childhood, simply because you think back to the exact day, time, & year you rode that specific ride.
I fondly remember the 1987 and 1988 seasons at Eldridge Park. Sadly, after 1987, attendance started to dwindle, and the park slowly declined. 1987 was a phenomenal year at Eldridge Park, and as a child at the time, I can vividly recall rides running, flying, zooming everywhere in every direction, every ride except the Speedway Coaster. The park always had a decent turn-out, and business was booming big time. My sister and I rode The Whip quite often. We would look at each other and laugh uncontrollably during the pull-action that occured at both ends of the ride...our faces and reactions were simply priceless. The Spook House was terrifying to me, with the help of my Father intimidating me ahead of time that it had rats and spiders lol. And with an occasional STALL from the cart itself, well, you can see why I chose to avoid it. Also, in '87, I enjoyed The Airplanes that were placed beside the lake, and flew out just far enough to make your heart race relentlessly. The Scrambler was also placed beside the lake, allowing your seat to spin above top the lake. I really enjoyed this ride, and would usually sit in the outer section of the cart, while my sister sat inner (believe me, you had to sit outer to feel that rush and illusion of gliding across the lake).
The Speedway Coaster was lying dormant during this period in time. I remember Mother telling us to just "stay away from that thing." Her reaction to our curiousity for the coaster was one of a very concerned parent, a parent who once enjoyed this coaster herself in the '60s, and unfortunately, had to witness it's demise throughout it's years.
1988 was officially the end of Eldridge Park as a whole. The KiddieLand had 2 rides running, so my sisters & I made the best out of our time under the circumstances, and took KiddieLand for all it was worth. Mother and the other parents kept a swift eye on us children as we played on the playground, located just below the cookout area. There was a moment during one of our last family reunion cookouts, all of the children (me, my sisters, cousins, distant cousins) gathered together with guardians close behind, and took off downward through the park, passing The Speedway Coaster, in hopes of spending the day, riding the last trial of The Whip. All I can remember is hearing my Mother yelling out "do not go anywhere near that rollercoaster." I may have been a few decades short of fully appreciating The Speedway Coaster, but at least I had that last chance to stand in front of it, gasp, take it all in, and simply move on...i will never forget that moment!
Eldridge Park has turned into something of an alumni allotment
for all of us who were lucky enough to have enjoyed those golden
years of utter amusement park excitement. Whether we're talking
about the decade of the 1940's, the 1950's, the 1960' s, the 1970's,
or the 1980's, I think it's safe to say, Eldridge Park has affected
everyone listed here on this site in one way or another. So many
of us are now left with imagess that will live forever in our
hearts. Some were lucky enough to take pictures, or create VHS
recordings of the wonderful memories that were shared. In my opinion,
we are the fortunate ones. We are truly in a class of our own.
The years that we all remember best are the years that will stay
with us forever. I guess I'm an honorary member of the "Eldridge
Park Class Of '87-'88" and that is something I will cherish
Beth Harris Rounds. Montour Falls - firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing up in Odessa, NY, Eldridge Park was one of the best places to visit as a child in the 70's. Our family albums are just full of pictures of us as children on the rides at the park. There are so many good memories of Eldridge.
Bob Evans, Alexandria VA - email@example.com
My grandparents and parents grew up in Elmira. I went to grade
school at Saint Patrick's, and lived at 610 Columbia Street (a
short walk to school). My mother loved the roller coaster and
took me on it at the tender age of five. That first dip still
is burned in my memory. I frequented the Park between 1950 and
1953, and remember it was a magically wonderful spot, and still
is in my heart and memory. My father, a career Army officer, dragged
us away from Elmira and essentially all over the world. My last
trip there was in 1991 to visit gravesites of my grandparents.
Everything in Elmira had changed substantially, and I was told
Eldridge Park had been closed. I now understand the Park is reopened
and a whole new generation of children and their parents can build
and rekindle wonderful Eldridge Park memories - memories, I might
add, that do not dwindle over time. Is that lake really bottomless?
Russell C.Campbell, Arnot PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I aways liked the speedway, bumper cars and whip- also the penny arcade back in the hey days in the 50s and 60s it sure was a fun place to be sure I hope they build back all of it.
Elisee LaBrecque, Cambridge MA - email@example.com
I was last at Elridge Park in the early 1970s. My mom took us
there several times. Very good memories.
Michelle Bourdette, Millerton PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
All of my Eldridge memories are NEW! The 2012 season will be
my fifth season as a volunteer, how time flies! Volunteering at
Eldridge has been the most rewarding thing I have done. I've met
so many new and wonderful people! And there is just something
about dragon paddle boats on the lake at sunset.......
Cheryl Kane, Elmira - email@example.com
I can't wait for the season to start at Eldridge park. I am a volunteer at Eldridge, and I enjoy working with my co-volunteers. We have a lot of things planned for this season. I can't wait to see everyone there.
Dan Kane, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am very proud to be one of the many volunteers at Eldridge. Today 3-18-2012 I was there for the first time this year to begin getting ready for the summer season. The unusual warm weather brought out many people to enjoy Eldridge. This Park is an absolutely precious gem to our community and deserves all of our support. I promise to always try my best to show the park in a positive light, as it truly is a wonderful place for families to come together and share each other. Eldridge was founded on the premise that the community needs a place to gather to enjoy real family values, and escape the bad news around them. Please come visit us soon, and especially on Memorial Day weekend, for the start of another great season! Hope to see you there.
Dale Bryant, Elmira - email@example.com
Jim Woughter. Palm Valley TX - firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe it was 1955 that there was a talent show at The Stage.
Carl Proper, Tom Weaver, Eddie Kenyon, Dean Ramsey and I entered
as a trampoline team doing all kinds of single and dual tricks
on the trampoline. We wore black pants and black and turquoise
golf shirts. Carl Proper would execute his famous "death
drop" that would end our act. The trampoline belonged to
Thomas A. Edison High School. Can you imagine today getting a
school official to approve such.
Jack Savey, Sun City AZ - email@example.com
I remember growing up in Elmira. In 1953, we lived on Haines Terrace and my parents would take me to Eldridge park. I remember riding the Merry-Go-Round and listening to some of the Lenny Dee organ music they played. I knew the man who worked there and played the music on the merry-go-round.
We rode the bumper cars, went through the Spooks House, which was real neat and went to live concerts on The Stage. In grade school my teacher would take us to Eldridge for class picnics. It was so much fun back then. I moved away from Elmira in 1979 and now live in Arizona and wish I could get back to Elmira and relive some of my old memories of Eldridge Park.
Lannie Hilboldt - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Elmira Heights and lived there
from 1959 thru 1980....my brother Jamie (Jimmie back then) played
in the battle of the bands on the stage at Eldridge Park in 1968.
The band was "Decembers Children" - I played on that
same stage in a battle of the bands around 1976. My dad, Bob Hilboldt
coached softball teams and we spent every summer at the softball
fields at Eldridge Park. Us kids would run over to the park while
his teams played games. I remember entering the park thru the
tunnel and beeping your horn to let people know there was a car
coming thru. That was a fun place.
10-16-2011 - Robert D Smith, Sr, Milwaukee WI - email@example.com
I started going to Eldridge Park in the 50's and on into the
60's. I rode my first merry go round, and my first whip, and my
first Roller Coaster. In the early 60's our Smith Family Reunions
were moved from my Aunt's house outside of Tioga, PA to the park.
This lasted from 1963 or so to around 1967, the last year there
was the year I went into the Marines and that was in 1968 so that
was the last year. I was just in my bedroom watching TV and for
some reason Eldridge Park just popped into my head. I had to look
it up on Google and I was surprised to see this awesome site.
Thanks for opening this, it was awesome to reminisce about the
park and growing up! Many, many memories!
08-24-2011 Debbie White
Every time I look at these pictures from the park as it was, I grow sad. Those were the good old days. My grandmother used to live in Elmira, and we still visit and see where she lived and now go to the park only to find almost everything gone.
As a small child we would come to the park and ride the very favorite rides and even our grandparents would go on some of the rides with my sister and me. Our favorites were the Dodgems, the Whip and the Carousel, trying to catch that ring. My grandfather braved it and took me on the roller coaster when I got to be a bit older and he was white when he came off the coaster, I was happy as could be.
My dad, sister and I would ride the flying airplanes and dad would be the one who could get the airplane to go out the furthest - flying way out over the lake and it was so scary at night. As I got older, I would visit my grandparents by myself and we would come over to the park then my favorite thing to do was to join in on Name That Tune - I was shy and I knew several songs but would never raise my hand.
I have such wonderful memories of your park and was so surprised
when I came back a couple of years ago to see that it is all gone.
I can still remember how excited I would get when I would pick
a winning duck from that game where they would float on the water
and keep going by - wish I could go back to those days. I have
been to Disney World many times and do really enjoy it but it
just can't compare to the memories that I have from your park.
Miss it so much. Thanks for the good times.
07-12-2011 Bob Wichtowski - Porscha356@aol.com
I was a paperboy for the Star-Gazette from 1957-1962 and Eldridge
was on my route. My parents also owned the old "Melody Gardens"
bar and restaurant, just past the west entrance, under the railroad
tracks on Westside Ave. That area was my "hood" at the
07-12-2011 Elisee LaBrecque, Cambridge MA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to Eldridge Park several times when I was growing up in
06-29-2011 Frances (Scheid) Osteen, Elmira - Lenore910@aol.com
06-05-2011 Thomas Stelmar, Rockwall TX - email@example.com
05-26-2011 Richard Brooks, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
05-22-2011 Jack Keenan, Deluth MN - email@example.com
So many great memories of Eldridge. The rides and the atmosphere
are hard to forget. I worked one summer for Mrs Miracle "flipping"
burgers. I'm so glad to see its coming back to life. I hope I
get to bring my kids and grand kids to see what I've been talking
about all these years. The last time I visited the park it was
like a ghost town. I swear I saw the ghost of Jeff the cop! I
stood in the middle of the midway, 6'2", 200lbs with tears
in my eyes. Thanks for all the hard work!!
05-06-2011 Ron Benjamin, St. Petersburg, FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember Eldridge Park very well. I am originally from Waverly. My fondest memories are the SPOOK HOUSE, BUMPER CARS , and especially the FLYING SCOOTERS. How I loved the scooters, going out over the water and such. I only went on the roller coaster one time and it scared me to death and never rode another one, LOL!!!!! The candy apples were my favorite treat while there. I would get 2 or 3 of them and my Mom would yell at me every time! I am now 58 and am glad I looked up the park. I was surprised to see the pics. Too bad it met its demise......It was always a favorite of ours to take our kids to and close by.
Editor's Note: But it's coming back and the restoration has been going on since 2005 - stay tuned.
04-19-2011 Marian Gunshaw Danna, Horseheads
I loved Eldridge Park. My friends and I would go there every week and have fun walking the Midway and getting on all the rides. It was a big part of my teen age recreation and I still visit every chance I get.
04-16-2011 Nicole Eaton, Elmira - email@example.com
Some of my fondest memorys as a child are at Eldridge Park. My
favorits ride was the whip - there was no feeling like it. I would
get off and run right back into line. I also loved the carousel
I would try and try to get the ring but I never could...UNTIL
the Carosel was reopened...My First time around I reached as far
as I could...and got one on my first try! It was like being a
kid again. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication to bring
great memories and second chances back!
03-17-2011 Alma Chapman, Troy PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have great memories of Eldridge Park in the 70s. It was a fun family day for us My favorite was the miniature golf course. The merry-go-round was a favorite also. As I got older the roller coaster was fun and the spook house. So many good memories I have of Eldridge park.
12-31-2010 Pastor Karen Mitchell Jones, Morgan City LA - email@example.com
Formerly from Horseheads, where do I start...I was born 1956
and I cannot remember NOT coming here as a child! My dad
took me on the airplane ride and I loved it. I swear we were flying
over the lake and could keep right on going. The haunted house
used to scare my sister and me. One would sit by Mom and the other
by Dad. I loved the Scrabble. That was added later. The Roller
Coaster was scary. My mom had some great stories how the cars
would get stuck and they had to walk back to the little house
where the ride had started. The fireworks were so bright and so
big. I was back in 1989 and it was like a ghost town. I will probably
never see my childhood park again, but thank you for such wonderful
memories. God Bless You! Editor's Note:
The Park opens on Memorial Day Week-end and is open through Labor
Day each year. You should come back and see what has been done
with it. Eldridge is back.
12-27-2010 Earl Brown, Columbus GA - Gerryangelic@aol.com
When I was in grammar school and high school at SHS (1947) I
spent many happy days at Eldridge park. Rode the Merry Go Round
many times. I live in Columbus GA now, and we have nothing like
12-15-2010 Joyce Slavin Fivie, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
I brought two of my Grandsons to the park this summer, Told them about me working there in the popcorn stand with Andy Fletcher and his daughter Nancy. Also worked afternoons by myself. We all worked for the Valego's. Told them about the original "Jasper" run by Ralph Randall and the many nights after work when we rode the Merry-Go-Round and the boat. Always big crowds on the weekends and the movies were a big attraction. Ernie Sardo sold a lot of Frozen Custard, the Randall's sold cotton candy and candied apples, next was the popcorn stand, Valego's general stand with drinks, ice cream and etc. O'leary's had the waffles and french fries, and of course Mrs. Maracle had the restaurant with great food. Can't forget the IBM company picnics, Elmira Police Dept. "Kids Day" and all of the other great things and rides that were there. Met alot of people in fact met my husband there. So I have alot of great memories of Eldridge Park.
09-23-2010 Harold Boyd, Tye TX - email@example.com
I lived at the park over 10 years of my rais'n there - 1946 to 1956. It was a new day and leaves me full of great memories. The rides, shows on the stage, Jasper, the merry go round and the playground. I spent many days and hours there - just so much to do as a kid growing just three blocks from the park. I was there in July of 2001 and just was sick to see everything gone. I sat there at the Lake and just couldn't believe it. The park was a center for many people miles around that came there for company picnics as well as family reunions. For me, a place to wander and enjoy the concessions, arcades and rides for all ages.
I see that there are many people trying to bring it back and
are working hard to get the "Dream" done. I read the
letter from Dr. Lyon and all I can say is that there is always
one person that doesn't want to see the dream to come back. I
say....to all that are working hard to bring the park back...God
Bless and don't let him get the way of stopping your wonderful
work. Looking forward to seeing the park in July of 2011 while
attending our 50th class reunion - Class of 61 at HHS - and getting
pictures of a DREAM. My thanks to all the have forged ahead on
09-21-2010 Ruth Powers, Watkins Glen - firstname.lastname@example.org
My parents were born and grew up in Elmira. As a child, I was at Eldridge Park may times during the summer, even though my home was in Montour Falls. When the photo of the original boat appeared in the Star-Gazette, I was absolutely positive that I was the little girl and my Mother in the photo, as somewhere in our collection of family photos, I am sure that there is a similar photo....down to the ribbon in my hair. I have watched with great interest the progression of the renovations and have a special place in my heart for the Park. This morning I read about Bob Lyons efforts with a new website....but it didn't list the website? Please post this on your site. Editor's note: try www.SaveEldridge.com.
09-10-2010 Harold, Elmira - email@example.com
09-10-2010 June Forrest Richmond, New Boston NH - firstname.lastname@example.org
08/31/2010 Jack Mitchell, Arlington TX- email@example.com
08/30/2010 Jill Longenecker, Wasilla AK -
I grew up new Troy, PA. Every year we attended the Cummings family
reunion (maternal grandmother) at Eldridge. Now there were a lot
of great cooks in that family but us kids couldn't wait to go
on the rides. I especially loved the "parasail" ride,
the rollercoaster, and of course the brass ring will never be
forgotten. I gather from this site, that the rides are mostly
gone now. What a shame.
08/09/2010 Becky Bassett, Andover - firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from Webmaster: For costs of rides, please
08-07-2010 Joe Eells, Memphis TN - SLLEEDJ@AOL.COM
08/07/2010 Ann Odle Card, Nashville TN - email@example.com
07/21/2010 Debbie Settle Smithgall, Endicott - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have very fond memories of those days, riding the rides, eating the ice cream, and especially riding the Merry Go Round and looking at and, yes, flirting with, the cute cousins that ran the ride most of the time. They both had blond hair and blue eyes and we all looked forward to seeing them when the dancing was done. I was always happy when I got the "brass ring." Especially if it was Dave that gave it to me.
I returned many years later when my daughter, who is now 21,
played soccer there many times as a teenager. She played on both
the Newark Valley travel team, where we lived when she was in
high school, and the Johnson City Stingrays travel team that she
was also a member of. It looked nothing like the Park in it's
glory days, but It certainly brought back many happy memories
to visit there again.
07/18/2010 Ed Woodhouse Jr, Wake Forest NC - email@example.com
07/18/2010 Mary, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
07/02/2010 Eldeen Jones, Eatontown NJ - email@example.com
06-25-2010 Anne Beach, Pirate Harbor FL - Anne@BeachElectronics.com
06-05-2010 Sara, Elmira Heights
06-05-2010 Steve Southworth and the Rockabilly Rays, Corland
06/04/2010 Connie Weller, Erin - firstname.lastname@example.org
06-01-2010 Ann Manley Sisson - email@example.com
I just happened onto this site as result of stopping by Eldridge Park last Friday while visiting Woodlawn Cemetery. I went to Eldridge Park several times each summer growing up. I grew up in nearby Nelson, PA and every summer we would go to the Park for our Sunday School Picnic. We would have lunch in the pavilion and then spend hours riding the rides and ending with a ride on the big boat with the sea serpent head.
I will always remember the roller coaster where my Dad and I
took many rides together while my Mother sat on the bench and
waited. It was certainly a thrill. The cotton candy, the ski ball,
the shooting gallery, the picture machine, Oh, the hours spent
in the Penny Arcade. There were many rides on the Merry-Go-Round
trying to catch the brass ring for a free ride, loving every minute
of the excitement and not wanting to go home at the end of the
day. I hope things can be restored and I can one day take my grandchildren
there. Thanks for the wonderful memories Eldridge Park and hopefully
more to come.
05/31/2010 Mike Matuszak Sr, Jacksonville Beach Fl - firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad (Walt) used to work at national Homes in HHd's. Every year they had a picnic at the park with food & ride tickets. He continued that tradtional with my kids till he retired. Glad to see somebody cares enough to bring it back.
05/27/2010 Joanne Foster - email@example.com
The thrill of the annual Hardinge Bros. picnic. My brother and
I would be so excited we couldn't sleep the night before. My parents
insisted we had to eat first before we could ride. What anticipation!
We were each given a whole roll of tickets and would head for
midway trying to decide what to ride first. I loved the carousel
and the roller coaster was exciting, the
whip, the planes, etc. It was a kids dream day!
05/18/2010 Debby Rathbun Owen - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember as a child going to the park for the Root-Sautter Family Reunion. I couldn't wait to finish eating so I could get on the rides. My favorite was the carousel. I would ride it time & time again. I loved trying to get the brass ring. I couldn't do much more than touch it with the tip of my finger but that was enough. I wished I could get the ring.
I also remember the lake. They said it was bottomless so that made the airplanes scary since they went out over the water. My brother & I had a blast on the bumper cars - bumping into each other & every one else.
I also remember the flood that destroyed my beloved park. I have
since moved to the south & when I came back home for a visit
I was thrilled that the carousel
is coming back to life. It gave me that child like happiness
again. I can't wait until I get a chance to come back home to
see that carousel to get that feeling again. Bless you all for
making memories come to life for all of those that are fortunate
enough to have experienced Eldridge park.
05/17/2010 Michael T Wheeler, Corning - email@example.com
05/12/2010 Betty Locke Baldock, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh I have so many memories, but not alot of space in my email
for them.. The most important memories are of the Spook's
House.. Wish they would rebuild that or one almost like it.
Putt Putt was fun.. And the roller
coaster, ferris wheel, airplanes, the
cars (bring those back too), tea
cups, and the best one, The
Carousel - WAY TO GO BOB LYON!!! Glad you are bringing it
back! Keep goin. Soon it will be as it once was.
05/05/2010 Lucinda Cindy Gibbs Robinson, HHds - email@example.com
Flying out over the lake on the ride...scared to death on the rickety roller coaster.. the taste of french fries with vinegar.. the Herringbone Twills on the stage perfoming .. the bumper cars..the scary house..the picnics with the Gibbs family..the beautifukl painted carousel!
05/02/2010 Chuck Novakowski, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I always enjoyed the roller coaster and the planes (trying to hit the trees). Too many years ago to remenber. Games, people and the free shows on stage. In it's day it was the best place around for miles. Hope we all can bring it back someday.
05/02/2010 Glenn Mallow III (Casey), Elmira Heights - email@example.com
I worked for Bob Long in the mid 1970's and worked on all his rides. I managed the coaster for a couple of years. I enjoyed walking around the entire track each morning to inspect it. A few facts: The "Speedway" was built built in 1937 by Oscar Bittler. Oscar once built coasters for the Philidephia Toboggan Company. When I was working there, a man told me that he went to work at Thatcher's in the morning and saw the framing being assembled on the ground. By the time he got out of work, the framing was up.
It took around 55 seconds for the train to go around it (less on hot days with no wind). It was 54 feet from the ground to the top of the track rail on the first hill. 30 ft on the back hill. If the cars were running too fast I would ride out to the back hill, hop off onto the cat walk and set the brake that was located there. If it began running too slow, the cars would sometimes get stuck going up the back hill. We would have to rachet it up to the top of the back hill and it would be on it's way.
All the columns for the entire track were on wood pads that sat on top of the ground.(Cut 2x8s) I have the top piece of one of the large red wooden brake handles that I grabbed the day they knocked the coaster down.
04/29/10 Pam (Jones) Thomas, Alexandria VA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My summer vacation wasn't complete without a visit to Eldridge Park. I attended camp on Harris Hill in August for 15 years and the night before going always included a trip to the park. I have on my keyring today a brass ring and it is cherished. No park will ever compare to my wonderful memories. I am hopeful to check the new park this 2010 Memorial Day weekend. THe waffles were the ABSOLUTE BEST thing in the world. I am filled with so, so many good memories of the park. Any chance it will ever be rebuilt to its former glory?? Thanks for this wonderful page. It has added a big smile to my face today. Thank you!!!
04/28/10 Pam Thomas
No amusement park on earth makes me smile as much as my memories of Eldridge Park. I am fortunate enough to have on my key ring one of the merry-go-round rings and I cherish it.
My family was originally from Pine Valley but we moved to Alexandria, VA in 1959 when I was 5. Thank goodness my family was a close knit bunch and I spent my summer vacations in the Elmira area. Every summer included a trip to the park before camp started for me at Harris Hill run by Miss Nellie Bidleman. Another bunch of wonderful memories. Thank you so much for this web-site. I have it book marked now so I will be checking back frequently.
04/21/10 Sandy, Fairbanks AK email@example.com
I remember growing up at Eldridge Park - going on picnics, watching fireworks, playing, riding on the rides and U actually got a brass ring from the Merry Go Round, which i still have. This was the early 1960s. The last time i\I was there was around 1970... wish i could go back.. great times.
04/04/10 George C. Monroe, Bentley LA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My memories of Eldridge Park began with 4 July - the year I'm not sure. Every year we went to Eldridge to watch the fireworks. Lots of times we went home - my sister and I - without getting to ride anything - always left with what were wishes of what we'd like to have ridden on. Once or twice a year my father would take my older sister and me to the park and we got to ride some of the KiddieLand rides. At around 7 to 8 years old I started riding the big rides.
I recall being in school and looking forward to going to the sixth grade as at most Elmira schools that was when you got to go out and be crossing guards and help children younger than you get safely across the street. The city of Elmira, Eldridge Park and the Elmira Police Department would sponsor one day of free rides for all the children that were crossing guards each year.
Sometime in 82 or 83 I lived in Elmira for a short time. My oldest daughter was seven years old and we lived on East Hill. I had promised to take her down to Eldridge Park one Sunday. When that Sunday came around I had so much fun watching her as we rode the speedway roller coaster, the airplanes and the bumper cars. Whatever she really liked we rode two or three times. I wanted to go play the arcade games and she didn't really want to, but when we got there and she saw how much fun they were, it was hard for me to get her out.
You can guess the next thing - food!! That much fun can make any child very hungry. It was the first time she ever had French fries served with vinegar.
As a child getting to go to Eldridge Park was so much fun, but as an adult I had a lot more fun watching my daughter enjoy herself than anybody can imagine. The rest of my girls were born too late to go to Eldridge, and, you know, that is a real shame.
03/18/10 Ruthan Little - email@example.com
I definitely have the greatest memories of Eldridge Park and
the brass rings on the Merry Go Round stand out the most! It was
unique! I have never seen another one in the world. Our family
reunions were held there for several years. What a great place
with joy, mystery, great aromas, and much laughter! Thank you
to all those who made it possible for us to experience such a
12/16/09 Bob Kennedy - firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a note to share some of the memories I have of Eldridge Park. My grandfather was a sign painter (Hopkins Sign Co.) and did a lot of sign work for the park. Bob Long and Herb Randall had him do a lot of the artwork in the "spookhouse" including the train picture on the last door that suddenly lit up as you were leaving the ride.
I also remember the "Shooting Gallery" where I helped out once in a while - ping pong balls were shot from atop water jets, ducks fell from sharpshooters as they were drawn across the ledge on chains, small holes in targets rang bells as they were hit etc. The guns were 22 cal and the ammo was 22 short cartridges.
Back then crime was almost non-existent and kids of all ages could enjoy the park and various areas in Elmira without a worry. Seems like certain parts of Elmira have become a shooting gallery. Sad --- but I have my memories.
12/08-09 Maggie Rose Marek - email@example.com
I remember the airplanes that flew out over the lake. At least that's the way I remember them. I don't see them mentioned anywhere. Were they just my imagining? Eldridge Park holds a precious place in my memories.
Editor's note: Well, Maggie, you'll just have to search a little further - the airplanes are mentioned dozens of times here in the Guest Book.
08/08/09 Frances (Scheid) Osteen - Lenore910@aol.com
I have wonderful memories of Eldridge Park as a teen ager and as a mother. The last time we went, just before it closed, I rode the Whip, my favorite ride next to the old RollerCoaster which was closed by then. I wish they could bring those two rides back. I would ride them again with pleasure. Now that it's open once more, I go with my daughter and her family and enjoy just looking at the lake and the paddleboats.
We had lovely picnics up there and our kids rode the kiddie rides. They liked the little train and as they grew up they still liked the rides. I miss the old park with the beautiful trees and the old stage, the free movies, the monkeys and seeing friends and neighbors there,too. One of the things I remember well was the Fortune Teller in the Arcade. You put the money in and got a card with your fortune. Those were the good old days!
07/23/09 Sandy Roupp - firstname.lastname@example.org
My family and I were regular visitors to Eldridge Park from the early Fifties until I went away to college in 1965. Some of my fondest memories growing up in Elmira were picnics, going on rides, and eating in the Park. I think my favorite rides were the roller coaster, the merry-go-round, and the whip. The man at the hot dog stand knew me as the little girl who wanted only a cold hot dog uncooked/no bun.
Most of my family has either moved away or have passed away except
for a couple of cousins who reside in Horseheads. Nonetheless,
I will never forget a wonderful place called Eldridge Park and
am thrilled that so many have worked so hard to restore the Park.
I will definitely contribute financially to this project. Thanks
for the memories!
07-11-09 - Princess "Pat" Neu MacDuffee, Myrtle Beach, SC - email@example.com
As a young child and a teen, I have fond memories of Eldridge
Park. My aunt and uncle lived only a few blocks from there and
as teens, my cousin and I walked to the park for a "fun day."
07-02-09 - Garth Rumsmoke, Horseheads - GRumsmoke@aol.com
Born in the Heights in 1938, Eldridge Park was part of my life. We used to "walk the rails" to visit. Climbing on the RR track at 11th Street in the Heights and walking the whole way, never stepping off the rail, was just part of the fun of visiting the park. I think the monkey cage was about the first thing I remember about Eldridge. There are so many memories for so many people, besides the movies, and the road shows, and stage shows, and of the rides, and, of course, Jeff, the Cop (click on Jeff for a story).
But for most kids I would think it was the day when the Elmira
Police gave away the bicycles. I have no idea how many years and
how many bikes were given away, but for a lot of lucky Elmira
area kids, it is a memory.
06-17-09 - Stephen Nagle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Few people realize that the Speedway roller coaster originally
was at Rorick's Glen. It was moved to Eldridge when Rorick's closed
up. Heck, it was old BEFORE it was moved. Part of the thrill was
that it didn't fall apart before the ride was over
06-17-09 - Patrick A. Patterson, San Antonio TX - email@example.com
I remember Eldridge Park well. We moved back to Elmira from Sugarland
06-16-09 - S. McNaney - Lady5526@aol.com
I remember my grandmother running the concession stand right
next to the putt putt course.
06-15-09 - Collette (Zielinski) Caprara - Collette.Caprara@heritage.org
My first job was at Eldridge Park. I made the Belgian Waffles over a huge vat of oil with big molds (three waffles each). The batter was whipped in a huge mixer and called for 36 eggs!!!! I always came home smelling like a waffle.
I also worked at the train game in the arcade and to this day remember the instructions I gave: You push the button to start the train. You push the button to stop the train. And where the pointer on the caboose lands, thats the prize you get!
I also remember preparing for the Big Rush on the 4th of July. And watching the fireworks over the lake.
Collette (Zielinski) Caprara
05-27-09 - J. Donovan - JDon862877@aol.com
I remember it very well. We grew up on Lake St., 8th Ward. From
the day the park opened til day it closed, we went there every
night June, July, August. We knew every worker. Watched the movies
every night free. James Dean, Elvis... Great times. Never missed
the fire works. Would sit on the dike. The same guys grew up there
from the 8th grade til we got out of high school. The Donovans,
Glynns, Dolands, Cooks, Morrells, Jjohnsons - Icould go on and
on. If you were from 8th Ward, the park was the place to be.
05-26-09 - Stan Douglas, former Morning Man at WELM firstname.lastname@example.org
I have fond memories of Eldridge Park. As a member of the staff
of Radio Station WELM, I got to know Eldrdge Park through "Mr.
Eldridge Park" Jay Parker who was husband of Ethel Parker,
Women's Director at the station.
I was never a paid employee of the Park but my three daughters always had plenty of ride tickets and I broke a few records riding the Roller Coaster. Being a radio personality had its advantages which in turn was parlayed into publicity for the Park.
Our family enjoyed the Park as a well run family operated venue
where one could have clean enjoyment for a reasonable price, and
the Park was leased by the City to the operators, which was a
unique arrangement. We have an amusement park where we now reside,
but it could never match Eldridge.
05-25-09 - Bill Strong - email@example.com
I am a retired Circus Aerialist & worked Eldridge Park in
the 1950's with "The LaBlonde Trio" Comedy Aerial act,
& again later with my wife doing our double aerial act, "The
Pharaohs". In my whole career there are few memories of which
I am more fond than the time I spent there.
05-24-09 - Earl D. Brown - Gerryangelic@aol.com
I lived in Elmira in the 30s and 40s ,and graduated from SHS
05-02-09 - Patrick Cheevers - firstname.lastname@example.org
We moved to Binghamton in 1966 from West Clinton Street. I was six years old and I remember Elmira as a placed locked in time. It could have been 1860 - a beautiful place to live. We lived in a beautiful victorian home with an alley in the back. I would walk to St. Patricks School on the slate sidewalks. I remember the steam rising from them after a rain shower. The trips to Eldridge Park and the bottomless lake were so much fun my sister would take me on the carousel while my brother tried to grab brass rings. The trip to the park from downtown Elmira, listening to the band while we got popcorn from the old popcorn wagon. Wow! I wish we could go back. It was the most magical time in my life.
Elmira, Elmira! I love that town.
03-24-09 Chylene Adamy
It's great to see this reinventing going on in Elmira. We need more places to take our children, that are safe and memorable. I am from a different generation, however. My grandparents were Bob and Pat Hardiman. They began the Dixie Barbeque, where friends and family meet and hungry people eat and the Yellow Candle Shop at Bulkhead. We have been trying to get the Dixie back in the family for some time now, so to see events and historical places recreated is excellent.
03-16-09 - Larry - FSU444@aol.com
I lived in Elmira Heights from 1953-1960. During that time, my family spent many a summer evening at Eldridge Park, and my elementary school classes always had an annual outing at the park. I remember that we were able to purchase 33 tickets for 99 cents. The good rides like the roller coaster, whip, and spook house required a 3 ticket entry fee. My family also enjoyed picnics on the grounds adjacent to the park, and the evening entertainment, especially the hypnotist and high wire acts. Among my favorite memories is snagging the brass ring on the Merry-Go-Round for a free ride and winning a Donald Duck Bike by having my ticket drawn during one of the special events. Although I live in Florida now, I will return to Elmira to revisit the park sometime this summer - 2009. I'm looking forward to seeing the park again and showing my wife where I spent some of the best days of my life.
02-23-09 - Sandie - email@example.com
Remember the spook house and bumper cars...they were wonderful
in the Sixties. I remember one time when my brother and I visited
the park with our parents, the roller coaster was stuck at the
top with people in it, and two men had climbed up and were trying
to push it over the top. Scary even for a teenager at that time!
I have a lot of fond memories.
09-19-08 - Howard Golden - firstname.lastname@example.org - I remember the park when I was kid - the rides, the food - they were some of the best times of my life as I was growing up.
One of the best rides that I can remember is the flying bobs. When you went over the water and when you held the fin to go up and down, it would always give you tingle in your belly. It was one of the best rides there, except for the train which I loved just as much. Thank you for bringing back good times for me.
06-24-08 - Regina - Dewertcr@aol.com - I remember going to" Eldridge Park", with my family, in the late 70's. Good times, have been had there & are still instilled, in my memory. Too bad, the whole park isn't still operational today. Our future youth's are not appreciative of the simpler thing's in life these day's, on most part of the way things from the parent's are passed down to them, by spoiling and giving them all this technolgy, where most youth ,spend their quality time indoor's & not growing mentally & showing respect, to their elder's!. Today's youth, should've been able to experience this awesome experience, as I once did!. Bring back some of the games, this would be a more attractive lure, to bring families & individual's alike, for more entertainment, at the park!. Those were the days.
Editor's Note: Just stay tuned! It's coming back - give them some time! Go to the Park and see for yourself how much is happening. Keep those memories, but don't live in the past. Contribute some of your hard earned dollars! Contribute some of your time! Why shouldn't YOU have some of the fun of bring the Park back?
06-05-08 - Rick Smith, Sr. - email@example.com
Oh, yes. I do remember Eldridge Park. I spent a lot of time there when I was a kid growing up in Elmira, NY. I remember the rides, the roller coaster, the bumper cars, the whip, the airplaine ride that went out over the lake and of coarse, the spook house. I also remember the french-fries with vinegar and salt, yummy!
I also remember Jay Parker, the master of ceremonies. He was really quite the guy when it came to his job at Eldridge Park.
I remember the on stage acts with animals includung the monkies. I also remember the talent show that Eldridge Park used to put on, my cousin Ralph was competing in one of them one year and I think that actually he won. Also the fireworks every year that Eldrige Park had were awesome. We used to sit up on the dike and watch them and there were always hunderdes of people there for them. I also remember the picnics that some of the local factories used to have there for thier employees. For example the A& P plant when there were where the new stores are in Big Flats are now. They used to have their company picnic at Eldridge Park.The employees and thier families got a pass to ride all the rides although you may have had to stand in line for a while as there were hundreds of people there, but eventually you did get your ride.
Eldridge Park was quite the palce, and it was so sad to see it all go away. I can remember just sitting on the benches and watching the marry-go round and riding it, trying to grab the rings. Some people were so good, they could grab three rings in one pass.There was also an arcade where you could shoot riffles at targets.
I can only hope that someday the younger generation could only
learn to appreciate the finer things in life like the real clean
fun that we used to have at Eldridge Park
05-24-08 - Jennifer Brown - GrandmaBenifer48@aol.com
I remember picnics. One in particular a surprise Birthday for my Grandma. During the outing my cousin took us "kids" (she was college age) to ride the rides. We got stuck on the roller coaster as it approached the "big bend" it started to roll backwards and stopped. Workmen climbed up & fixed it we were offered all the free rides we wanted that night but I opted for the Merry-Go-Round.Some weekends when it was rainy my best friend and I got to go & ride it for what seemed like hours trying for the brass ring to get free rides Liked the bumper cars, spook house, the whip but, of course, I always wanted to ride the Merry-Go-Round. When I got older I loved to play putt-putt. Never cared to ride the boat on the lake. Grew up hearing stories that it was bottom-less or connected to Seneca Lake. It certainly was a great park. Remember the waffles? Haven't seen any like that since.
04-20-08 - Otto Coldiron, 1956 SRU High School - OttoC@earthlink.net
When I was going to school in East Smithfield, PA in the 1950s, we would always go to Eldridge Park in Elmira on the last day of school. A school bus would take us from school and we would return to East Smithfield late at night tired but laughing at all the fun we had. I would save my money for months before the end of school in anticipation of the trip, to make sure I had enough for all the rides and things to eat. My favorite ride was the Bumper Cars but I also liked the Ferris Wheel and Roller Coaster.
Things to eat .... there was nothing like the soft ice cream cones. I would have at least three or four during the day and would budget my money to make sure I didn't run out before I'd had my fill. Going to Eldridge Park was an important event during these formative years of our lives. Most of us lived on farms so we didn't get to the big city much, so it was a real treat.
Going to Eldridge Park would be a simple trip by today's standards, but in the 1950s it meant a lot to us, and the good times we had have left fond memories that have lasted all these years.
04-07-08 - Debbie Cairns
One of my big memories of Eldridge Park was in the mid-to late 1960's. It was when the airplane ride (which went slightly over the edge of the lake). I remember a boy in one of the planes "flying" into the lake. Apparently the cable had broke. He was o.k. He had a look on his face like "were am I".
02-16-08 - Dan Jackson, Candor - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have VERY fond memories of the park. Dinner on the ground, the
01-29-08 - Wendy Herring
My two sons and I used to walk down through Eldridge almost every week. We lived in Elmira from 1994-1999. I always wished the park had been restored to original glory. The people who knew about the old days would tell us all about their memories. My favorite part of the park is having a place to go that my boys enjoyed. I am glad to see the park in well on its way back to its glory. Even though my boys Tim and Anthony are now 19 and 14, we may have to take a trip from NC to NY just to view all the hard work and dedication towards the restoration.
12-22-07 - Mike Yeckinevich - email@example.com
Hi. I'm 18 years old and grew up in Waverly, New York. I just wanted
to say I love the site and what you guys are doing. I also wanted
to know if anyone has any pictures of Fraley's Amusement Park in Waverly.
My grandfather owns the land where the park was located. The park
is almost completely gone although the original skate park/dance hall
is still there. I grew up around hanging out at the old park as my
grandfather had many businesses' going on. I would find it very interesting
to see what the park used to look like. So if anyone has anything
please let me know. Thanks!!
12-18-07 - Joe DiCinti - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have great memories of Eldridge Park! The Spook House, The Bumper
Cars (One way around and no hard bumping!), The Flying Scooter, Skee-Ball,
Penny Arcade. The Roller Coaster. The movies on Saturday night. Steve
Cristie and "Name that Tune". the French Fries are still
the best I've ever tasted. And with vinegar they were even better!
10-23-07 - Susan M. Cowger, La Mirada CA - email@example.com
I was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time so I don't remember that much. But I do remember riding the ponies, that was so much fun!! Those were the best of times.
10-10-07 - Faith Vander Snow, Hewitt NJ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mine was of Asbury Park!! I'm 54 and an only child, and so was my younger cousin..her folks would always go down to Ocean Grove for a week and they always took me along to keep Karen company. We'd have the beach during the day, but at night, the boardwalk at Asbury! Who needed Disney?? We sure didn't! There were two WONDERFUL carousels, one by the boardwalk casino and the other across the street in the Palace. It broke my heart to see the town fall into disrepair, but there are a LOT of great memories.
09-13-2007 - Pam Coyle, Trumansburg NY - email@example.com
My Grandfather and Step Grandmother lived on Walnut St. Her daughter and husband used to be involved in some part of the management of the park back in the late 50's or early 60's. We enjoyed many outings there where I fell in love with the Roller Coaster and remember making myself keep my eyes open all the way through the spook house! What great fun we had!
08-26-07 - Ang - Angsaidso@aol.com
I found your web site and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed looking
at it. While I was born in Elmira in 1966, most of the rides in Eldridge
still were working in my earliest memories of the park. I do know
that Jasper had been retired by then, but I still hold in my possession
one of the brass rings from the merry go round!
08-16-07 - Terrie Sherwood Menzies, Niagara Falls ON - firstname.lastname@example.org
I haven't visited this website in quite sometime and recently my son told me that the carousel had been resurrected, and,so here it is, wow, how heart warming. The memories will forever be in my heart and what a joy to know there will be new memories to be had for today's children/grandchildren. The old pictures sure did bring tears to my eyes as the old memories came flooding back. Looking at the picture of the grounds and archway, I could almost see my family walking thru the park. I also have those same fond memories of Joycrest skating rink and going on Thursday nights with the family. I loved the carousel and my dad was always my hero, to come away with a brass ring. I also remember the family picnics, the talent shows that often featured some of my talented cousins. In later years my parents took my children to the park before it closed in 89 and although they were young , those precious memories are a part of them, too. And I think a lil' bit of Eldridge Park went into all of us and serves to warm our hearts even today. Kudhos to all those who worked so hard to bring it back. Carry on & God's speed.
07-19-07 - Evalyn M. Townsend, Wellsboro PA - email@example.com
My father worked at Corning Glass Works in Wellsboro in the 50's
and 60's. We went to Eldridge Park every summer for the Family Picnic
that Corning Glass provided. It was the highlight of our summer. The
rides were always so much fun. We had such a good time as a family
and, of course, all of my father's co-workers and families were there.
We had such a great time!!!
07-17-07 - Jim Griffing - firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad was employed at Strohman's bakery in Sayre, Pa during a time in the early through mid 60's when they had a company picnic there every summer. All the family members were invited and the men would do all the cooking. There would also be games for all ages to participate. After eating and games we would all spend the afternoon riding rides in the park. I remember the big coaster, grabbing rings as the carousel when around and tossing them in the bin, trying to get the one ring for a free ride, the big and little whip rides (which I've never seen anywhere else), the bumper cars were a favorite and the island in the middle made it so much more fun than the open free-style dodgem cars of today.
I also remember the miniature golf course, seeing some live acts
from time to time, the shooting galley and the Haunted "spook"
house. After going through it once to see the action a girlfriend
and I took many rides through that place enjoying the darkness and
privacy.The dragon boat ride around the lake was even fun back then.
I moved away from the area in the late 60's and on my only return
trip to the area in the late 70's I was sorry to see the park closed.
It was nice to see this web site up and running.
07-04--07 - Kelly Samchisen, Elmira - email@example.com
I'm 19 now & I remember when I was really young going to Eldridge
Park. It was so much fun. My favorite ride was the carousel. I was
looking at pictures on your site & it looks like Eldridge used
to be a really fun place. I think its great that the carousel is restored
& I'm hoping we can rebuild the amusement park? I think we really
need something like that in this town. We need a nice place that family,
friends & children can come to and enjoy themselves for a fun
thrilling day or a nice relaxing day. Thanks to those who helped rebuild
the carousel, I hope it brings lots of new memories to many people
06-29-07 - Rev. Ruth Moderhak, Las Vegas NV - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was always the favorite place to go in the summer during
the 1950's. My father was personnel manager of National Homes Corp,
and he'd rent the park for an employee picnic every summer. Free food,
rides, and my father and the top executives, cooking and serving roast
beef and other wonderful food to every employee and his or her family.
And did they take a lot of ribbing (no pun intended) from the workers
on those sun-soaked days! It was joyous...
06-28-07 - Jessica Grady, Austin TX - email@example.com
Eldridge Park! Where can one start? My father was in the military
and we were stationed many places and didn't get to spend too much
time in Elmira. When we did however get to go "home" to
Elmira, we definitely had to go to Eldridge Park. I can remember just
walking with my little doll stroller around the pond. My grandparents
as well as my parents would take my brother and me there as much as
possible. When my brother became older, he would do the fishing tournaments
and many of the other fun activities. Anyone that is from Elmira knows
that Eldridge Park holds many, many memories. My grandfather and father
have now passed away, and whenever I get a chance to go "home,"
I go for a walk around the Park to bring back all those great childhood
06-14-07 Lorna - New Milford CT - firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad used to play fast pitch softball and when his team would enter
tournaments in the Elmira area, we loaded up the "green machine"
(the term of endearment for our station wagon) and went together as
a family. When we weren't watching dad pitch, you could find us at
the park playing the games and riding the rides ... my favorites were
riding the carousel with my dad and the boat ride with my eldest sister.
My favorite memory is watching my mom and dad smooch on the Dragon
06-09-07 - Janet Peckens - email@example.com
I am (soon to be) 48, and for me and my brother,the park was a regular summer treat for us. My parents wouldn't say where were going, but my brother and I knew as soon as Dad went under that underpass that a ride on the "Merry-go-round" was in store for us. He always beeped the horn when we went thru it and we would cheer.
My mother was crazy about the merry-go-round; she would have stayed on it all nite. I remember being helped up on an "up and down" horse and wrapping my hands around that pole with the swirls on it. My Mom riding side-saddle,(that was how the ladies rode) and my Dad usually sitting on one of the benches waving at us.
He liked the whip, and we rode that with him. He would put his head back on the seat and go "WHOOOOO!!!" when you whipped around the corner. What a blast!
Kiddieland- the boats, the firetrucks and the "beep-beep" cars - that's what we called them. I was sure I was really driving! Going up that hill and then under the bridge! What a wonderful time.
But the merry-go-round was my favorite(that's what we called it, never carousel). I remember finally being big enough to reach for a ring. I never got one, though.
I have so many more memories of the park. It was part of the wonderful childhood I was so lucky to have.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring it back to
us.My twin grandsons are 2 years oldand I am looking forward to many
years of riding the "up and downs" with them.
05-30-07 - Sally Peterson Clayton, Ithaca - firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad, Charles Peterson was a friend and fellow Mason of Bob Long. When we were growing up in the '40's we would go to the park as a family and Bob would real off about 6 tickets for my sister and me to ride the Merry-go-Round. We would ride until we were dizzy and then walk around the park a while before going home. My mother, Naomi Peterson was a member of Alert Chapter, OES who had their annual picnic at the park. After dinner my girlfriend, Donna Kingsley (Fivie) and I would beg to stay until after dark to ride the Roller Coaster. What fun! I have many fond memories of the park and could go on for quite a while talking about them. Seeing the Merry-go-Round restoration was pure delight for me. The Eldridge Park carrousel is, to me and many others, the very best anywhere - even Disney World!
Thanks for such an interesting web site.
05-27-07 - Sheila F. Mills, Elmira Heights - email@example.com
Food was fantastic and my father would also take us to the talent
shows on Sundays while my mom worked at SJH. Company picnics were
also a great day. I remember getting yelled at all the time because
of being covered in dirt and grass stains from playing organized games
or rolling down the hills in the green grass; and yes, I miss the
trees and the picnic table atmosphere.
05-17-07 - Patricia Flaherty Dick, Big Flats - firstname.lastname@example.org
My siblings and I spent many wonderful times at Eldridge Park. The
Carousel was my favorite. I took my 2 girls there when they were small.
Now this Summer I will take my Grandchildren to visit the place where
their Grandmother spent so many wonderful days during her childhood.
I will always have fond memories of Eldridge Park & look forward
to our many visits this year and in the future. Thank you for bringing
back this magical place.
05-14-07 - Diane E. Michaelis, Ft. Eustis, VA
I spent many good times at Eldridge Park during the late '50s up
03-19-07 Dewey Bellows,Towanda PA - email@example.com
I went to eldridge park when I was 2 years old i have always loved Eldridge Park. Imiss the way it used to be. Iwish that the park could be rebuilt and reopened and be like it used to be. I remember riding the carousel over and over. My mom could not get me off it. I will be up and ride the carousel this summer 2007. Iam very happy to know tha you reopened the carousel.
03-19-07 - Bill Schusler, EFA 64 - WSchusler@aol.com
I remember going there and they gave away groceries. It was great
riding the roller coaster.
03-01-07 Sue Cook, Chemung, NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was a little girl my family went there lots. I lived on and loved all of the rides! But my best memory, but not the prettiest, was when as a teenager I had by front tooth broken on the roller coaster. Me and friends sitting in the last car going over that first BIG hill with our hands in the air, screaming, laughing and then -- the car lurched forward, and so did my mouth right into the hand bar that ran across the car that I should have been holding on to. Didn't realize what happened until I got off the ride. It was one small bad moment, but didn't hamper my return.
Miss it. It was a beautiful place back then and still is now. Walked on the paths around the lake and been on the new revamped carousel ride. Keep up the good work!
02-21-07 - Susan Gauss Ryan, Jacksonville FL - email@example.com
Eldridge park was the greatest! I remember one summer going there for my birthday, and the Banana Splits were there in person walking around the park, riding the rides, just acting silly. My father loved to take me on the whip, and it only cost 10 cents to ride the Merry-go-round. The spook house was great! So were those tasty waffles we used to eat. When we were done, we would walk to the arcade, with powdered sugar all over us.
01-11-07 Michelle Bourdette, Millerton PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have no memories of the park back then, but I've got some great memories of it NOW!! I am thrilled to see Sylvia getting her face lift. I was just curious about what was wrong with her old tail? I see the picture is of her replacement tail. (for explanation of Sylvia's tail and more about her restoration, please check out this page).
01-31-07 Thomas J. Sullivan, Keuka Lake (Dundee) - email@example.com
I was born in Ithaca on August 20, 1926 and have two older brothers, 1 deceased and the other is 88 and was born in Elmira. My grandfather, John L. Sullivan, lived on the 1300 block of Lake Street. I loved to go to Eldridge when in Elmira during the 1930s. I used to collect brass rings from the original carousel. What a thrill! My great uncle, Joe Sullivan, owned Sullivan's Hotel by the railroad tracks. Could add more.
Had a good friend, Rod Prechtl, who owned Prechtl Dairy. He also lived on Lake and had a pony which we used to ride in the field at Lake and the street that went to Eldridge - can't htink of the name of it - began with a "d" - Now 4:10 a.m. and must get to bed. Lost my wife of 57 years so I stay up late, have 3 kids, 6 grandkids and 1 great. Nice talking to you - stay in touch as I know a lot of people in and around Elmira, as does my older brother, Walt. I like your unique home page.
01-18-07 Paul Drake, Tampa FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the carousel was great, probably my favorite memory was the little train with its real steam locomotive. I believe it was called "Little Toot." We would see it circling the park as we drove in and I would stand in line as many times as I could to ride it. I can still smell the steam mixed with oil & grease and hear the shrill whistle. Oh, and another favorite - the airplane ride that spun in circles - if you steered your plane's "wings" just right you could go out over the edge of the lake! Finally, don't forget the Spook House. "Where's Herman?" read the sign inside. Herman was one of the resident ghouls... I think.
01-01-07 - Patricia Flaherty-Dick, Big Flats - email@example.com
Yes, I do have fond memories of Eldridge Park. My brothers and my sister enjoyed the park so much. The Carousel was my absolute favorite. Trying to get that brass ring was a challenge, but I did manage to get it a few times. We plan to bring our Grandchildren to the park so they can experience the joy and happiness I did many years ago. How wonderful to have our Eldridge Park back!! Thank you...
01-16-07 Phil DeRico - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your site on Eldridge Park. I remember as a kid in the early to mid 60's going there while on vacation to see my father's family. It was me, my sister, and my cousins (Sharon, Joanne and Paulie). We were all young between 6 and 9, I guess. My cousins lived there in Elmira, but my sister and I visited from Florida every couple years or so. Wow! What memories we have of the fun we had there at Eldridge Park. It was a kind of magical place for us. I remember like it was yesterday grabbing for the brass ring on the Eldridge Park Carousel. The bumper cars were always a favorite of mine as well. And then we had all the games. Good times! Thanks again for keeping the memories alive not just for me, but many, many others.
12-28-06 - Tom DiCinti, Voorhees NJ - email@example.com
My father, Joe DiCinti, worked at the park at the shooting Galary
summers for years. He would let us shoot the 22 rifles from time to
time. Always enjoyed the park. I also have memories of fishing for
carp in the lake. They always seemed huge...but since I was so little,
a foot seemed like 3 feet.
12-05-06 - Elisee LaBrecque, Cambridge MA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember my mother taking us to The Parkview Inn Restaurant for the best fish fry. I know that the restaurant was in a house that was demolished for the Clemens Center Parkway. What ever happened to the owner and the recipe? Is there a family member still in the area that has any information?
11-09-06 - Bonnie (Mahoney) Steele, Phoenix AZ -
My grandfather (Fred Wright) worked at the park in the little house where you bought the tickets. I would go to the park and my grandfather would give me lots of free tickets to ride all my favorites, the merry-go-round, spook house and the planes (or gliders) that would fly out way over the lake if you turned them just right to catch the wind. I remember going to the park for grade school outings, family picnics and always catching the fireworks. I was never quite big enough to grab those rings on the merry-go-round. Would love to have another shot at it!
10-21-06 - Ruth Moderhak, Las Vegas NV - email@example.com
My father, B. Gordon Moderhak, was the personnel director for National Homes Corp. in the 1950's. One glorious summer day, he arranged to have Eldridge Park closed to all except company employees and their families. Free rides all day! Free food! I can still see my father carving a side of roast beef for people. The men who worked in the factory really got a kick out of seeing my dad in an apron! There was so much joy and laughter.
Daddy died a few weeks ago, and one of his last memories was of that magical day. He looked young again as we recalled it together.
There were other wonderful summer days spent at the Park, of course,
and the marvelous merry-go-round was an all-time favorite of my brother
and me. Mother, on the other hand, liked the Spook House!
10-15-06 Janet Lynne Griffin Weiskopf, Shinnston WV - firstname.lastname@example.org
I spent a good amount of time there while growing up. Enjoyed the park, the lake for fishing, paddle boats, the picnic area, ect...... I enjoyed it all ! I am hoping to come back to the area this next year for a visit. I will be the big 50 this next Sept. I cannot think of anywhere else I would want to be.
10-07-06 Cindy McCall - clm2@CBORD.com
My family is originally from Candor, NY. I now live in Dryden with
my husband and daughter. As a child (I believe around the age of five
to eight) my entire family used to get together at Eldridge Park for
picnics and reunions. I remember a train of some sort that we used
to ride around on that went on the outside area of the park. I also
recall the old picnic grounds where we'd all gather to eat when we'd
spend the entire day there. A lot of fun times had at Eldridge Park!
09-04-06 Frances Scheid Osteen SHS '51 - Lenore910@aol.com
I loved Eldridge Park. My parents used to take me there in the late 30's and then I went to PA to live till the war was over. Came back in 1947 and spent a lot of time at the park. My favorites were the whip and roller coaster and of course the dragon boat. I took my children there, having two older ones and then 16 years later another one plus my granddaughter. Remember the picture booth?
And all the kiddie rides? That was a wonderful place to go on a weekend. My nephew lives in Las Vegas and when he saw the trees cut down and the picnic grounds gone he was aghast! He still can't believe what was done in the name of progress and neither can I. Hopefully it may come back even more now that the Carousal is such a success. I am going to be 73 soon. I hope I can see some more progress.
08-31-06 Kim Clifford Wood, Hornell - email@example.com
I made it down there to see the Vietnam Moving Wall, and I was so happy to see and ride the Carousel after all these years. I felt like a ten yr old. How wonderful, and I hope to get there again before you close. Thanks to all the volunteers who brought this together. It is a wonderful park and a great thing you have done. God Bless and I was brought to tears seeing the Veterans riding the Carousel to the tune of "God Bless America" last Saturday night.
08-28-06 Barri Brown Hoffman, Silsbee TX - firstname.lastname@example.org
My first memory is one of my father's company picnic at Eldridge
Park. I think I was about 3 years old. I remember being scared to
death to fly the airplane ride over the
bottomless lake. I remember the rickety old wooden roller
coaster, but my favorite ride was The Whip!
Thanks for all of your hard work! It is great to relive those memories
when I get to come home.
08-24-06 Charles Lawlor, Chesapeake VA- email@example.com
I remember the picnics, the Merry Go Round and reaching for the brass ring, the roller coaster, midway, lake, boats on the lake. I am originally from Corning and have many fond memories of the park. Will be in Corning next Wednesday (August 30) to Tuesday after Labor Day and plan on taking a ride into Elmira and to stop by to see the park site. It was a wonderful time.
08-23-06 Edna Elbertson - EElbertson@stny.rr.com
I remember Eldridge Park back in the 1950's. We sat on a blanket on the ground and listened to the Blue Ridge Quartet. I still have a cassette I bought of them. We rode on the bumper cars, and of course the carousel, and I was just tall enough to reach the rings if I stretched far enough. I loved Eldridge Park...
08-22-06 David Burrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Memories of Eldridge? Most are really great. Remember going for the talent shows, the monkey cage. French fries with vinegar. Roller coaster, train and especially Jasper. I had many rides on Jasper, he was the best thing to hit the lake. Yes, I could carry on and on. Picnics on the "hill" were among the best parts of growing up. I can still "see" a lot of the regulars but just can't remember their names.
08-20-06 Caren Hill-Dunkleberger - email@example.com
What I remember most about Eldridge Park is the Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital family picnics.(That was back before it was Arnot Ogden Medical Center) My father was an employee, and we all went as a family. I waited with such anticipation every year.
But, out of all the memories, the one that stands out the most is the day my Daddy asked, "who wants to ride the roller coaster with me!?" Now I was at the ripe old age of about four or five, and I didn't quite know what the roller coaster was exactly, but if Daddy needed someone to ride with I was up to the job. My baby sister just shook her head and said "no,no,no." Who knew that at two years old she had more sense than I? It didn't matter to me what ride I was going on as long as I was with my Daddy. Boy was I in for a surprise.
Now, because I was so young, this is where the memory gets a little fuzzy. I do remember the start of the ride and wondering what kind of ride was Daddy so excited to share with me. I felt like I was on top of the world. And then, I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD! I had never been so scared in all of my short little life. And the coaster looked so long. I thought we were going to be riding up and down forever. I remember thinking "WHAT was he thinking bringing me on this thing?"
And when I turned my head, brown pigtails flapping in the wind, I saw my Daddy with one of the biggest grins I had ever seen. It looked like he was actually enjoying it! He looked at me and put his arm around me and all of a sudden I felt safe. With that arm around me I nothing bad could happen, after all, I was with my Daddy. And in that moment, something changed. I was having fun. We were flying. The ride that had previously seemed like it was a gazzillion miles long, and hurtling us at eleventy trillion miles an hour, was suddenly much too short. I could've ridden with Daddy all day long. That day I became a thrill ride enthusiast.
I was only ten when the park was shut down and closed up. Even at that young, my heart was saddened at that news. I felt like it was the end of so much more than just the closing down of a small town amusement park, the demolition of some aging rides. I can't imagine that there was anyone in this town(or area) that didn't feel some sort of personal loss. The roller coaster isn't the only thing gone, we lost Dad in 1997. It was too much to lose, too soon. But I will always have that day, that ride, that time on top of the world.
Thank you Daddy, thank you Eldridge Park.
08-13-06 J Lindsay - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our family frequently picnicked at the pavilions at Eldridge. While we tossed horseshoes and slid down the banks of grass, the kids were just biding their time til we all packed off for the amusement rides.
The SkeeBall was a favorite - I still have many of the prizes that were labeled "Made in Occupied Japan." the Belgian waffles were enough to make us happy for the next year - or how ever long it was until we returned for a birthday party, a national holiday, or a family reunion.
The fireworks were the best. People only had to look from their parked cars - and the oohs and aahs quickly became blasts of horns. The reflection of the fire in the sky made the lake glitter. We kids never ambled from one ride to another. It was always run run to get in line for tickets.
As we got older we wondered why it was such a difficulty to grab the rings on the carousel. Sometimes we were heros when we could grab three in one pass. But the gold ring - now that was something to tell about at school. Circus animals were as close as the space between the cages on wheels and our courage to get as close as we could. Our first views of tigers and other feline relatives were from the entrance to the outdoor amphitheater. My first magician, the first acrobats, glittery costumes that sparkled in the spotlights - all memories of the ideal childhoods that Eldridge was a part of.
The bumper cars, the roller coaster, the screams of delight, the darts and balloons - I don't think any of us will ever forget the fun and excitement that Eldridge provided. Now that it's closed, I realize how lucky we were to have such a family attraction that unfolded as soon as we got through the tunnel. The outside world ceased to exist, and the world of amusementbecame all consuming.
My heart beats faster just reminiscing. How lucky we were.
08-13-06 - Janelle Funair - email@example.com
I loved Eldridge Park!! The memories I have are too funny. The roller coaster with the leather seat belts was so crazy. I was so tiny, 6 years old, that there wasn't a hole in the belt for me to adjust, so I loved the drops because I felt as if I was going to fly out!
The Spooks House was my favorite!! I would ride it over and over again with my brother. How i wish it was still open to ride again. The carousel was so much fun. Mom would scream at me, because I would jump off the horse every time to try to ring the bell! Lots of fond memories for me.
We plan to visit my entire family this Fall - September 2006.
08-13-06 Christel Shadle, Pine Grove PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have no childhood memories of this place but I have heard so much about it, July of this year I made the trip to see it. My grandmother grew up in New York so when my mother was a young girl, her grandfather, George Strong, took her there many times. Through the years she has told me many things of Eldridge Park and many things of Elmira; finally this past July at the age of 31 I finally got to see the park and the city.
08-08-06 LuAnn Zettlemoyer West, Apache Junction AZ - email@example.com
Eldridge Park was the happiest place to go as a child. We would go for a picnic and stay all day riding the rides. I have very very fond memories of the time spent there. I am so happy to see the progress being made at the park. It truly warms my heart!!
08-06-06 James Webb, Rantoul IL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to the park as a child and continued to go there in my teen years. I joined the Air Force and brought my family to Elmira Heights often to visit family.
We always went to the park. My daughter enjoyed the carousel and we all enjoyed the minature golf. My daughter also got to enjoy the fries with vinegar like I did as a teen. I would like very much to see the park restored someday for my three grandchildren to enjoy.
08-06-06 Barb Matteson, Jacksonville FL - Bamsong@aol.com
When I was 5 years old (1968)my eyes barely made it over the bumper
car waiting line wall so I could see the people racing and bumping
about. This one lady got bumped from behind...hard... and her wig
fell off her head backwards. It took years before I got the nerve
to go on bumper cars for fear my hair would fall off.
08-05-06 Susan Muccigrosso Oberg, Atlanta GA - email@example.com
My uncle Pete ran the penny arcade, and we spent a lot of time in the park. So many of my best childhood memories are there, it would take all night to relate them, so here is a scattering:
I used to ride the whip and the scrambler until I couldn't walk straight, then hop on the merry go round until someone came and peeled me off and took me home. The cotton candy was the treat of the day for me, but I remember my Mom always wanted one of those cones of French Fries with vinegar (best ever!) when we came and sat on the banks for the 4th of July fireworks.
My mom was riding the roller coaster with me the day she went into labor for my younger sister. My dad explained how lightning works while we stood in the seats in front of the talent stage watching a storm come over the park.
I fished in the lake with a safety pin tied to a broomstick (hey, I was six.. I thought it would work)and didn't catch a thing.
And when I was senior in high school, a friend and I launched an unsuccessful attempt to save the park. No one seemed interested, which broke both of our hearts.
I'm so glad to see the park coming back to life, specially the merry go round, because I've seen a lot of them, and the one at Eldridge was the most beautiful one I've seen.
07-31-06 Carol (Loomis) Knauff, Jacksonville FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Brochure bought at the park July 2006
Oh. yes I have many fond memories of the park. My family would sometimes picnic there drawing with us other family from Binghamton and Courtland area.
It was a treat for us to go to the park as we were not a rich family. Sometimes we would only have money enough for a merry-go-round ride and an ice cream and then we would just sit and watch the people. I never could get any rings as I was too short but my dad did get a few.
It was a great place for family to spend time together. My memories are forever in the heart.
My mother and I visited the park July 2006 and we were both amazed at the accomplishments of the restoration society and all involved in the task. It is just beautiful and of course brought tears to the eyes. We sat on the bench and just watched and remembered. We of course bought a few souvenirs. I am hoping the park can be brought back little by little to even a small piece of what it was. Today's society so desperately needs things of this nature to be able to say they have lived life. We need these things to bring the family back together.
Many thanks to all involved in the restoration. Being in the park again brought back a really special part of my life.
07-27-06 Gabriel Beeman (and mommy), Elmira - email@example.com
I am so happy that the carousel has reopened! I ride it every weekend with my mommy, daddy, and brother. I will be 3 this fall and this has been my best summer yet! Eldridge Park is my favorite place!
07-21-06 Fred Thomas, Endicott - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was raised in Nichols and I remember the bottomless pond at Eldridge and the dragon boat - back in the mid Sixties.
07-17-06 Danny Pasielski, Lovettsville VA - Pasielski@yahoo.com
We used to walk to the Park from W. MCann's Blvd..Merry go Round was our favorite. Loved Bob Long, Sammy and Kathleen. (Kitch) is still one of my favorite people (where ever you are). My mom used to take my "lil ones" there later in life
07-13-06 - Jo Ann (Chilson) Paladino - PaladinoJo@aol.com
I am an Elmira Heights girl. Back in 1959 my dad did repairs and painting on the roller coaster. Also that year, my mom helped. I had never been on the coaster until 1961. That was my first ride and then every weekend, my best friend Joanne Ogershok went to Eldridge Park every weekend. We would walk to and from 14th Street in the Heights. Then when the park closed I had to purchase a large picture of the Merry-Go-Round and I have it hanging in my living room. I oved to North Carolina in 1990. I am so glad to hear that the park is opened again as I love my home town and Eldridge Park. They are the best memories anyone could have. Thank you for making the best of Elmira alive again.
07-09-06 Johanne (McClelland) Noyes, Ft. Lauderdale FL - email@example.com
My favorite memory of Eldridge Park is the Merry-go-round, and waiting
for the elusive brass ring for another free ride.
07-08-06 Bob Mehalick, Arlington TX
I remember going there quite often as a child. We had picnics and a family reunion there back in the Sixties. I lived within a mile of there at 1320 Baldwin St. I grew up with Bruce Randall and graduated from EFA when he did in 1967.
I worked at the park in 1966 and 1967 for Al Wisenfluh in the games where you had to knock down 3 cats. I met my wife there in July 1967 and we married in July 1971. We moved to Texas and are still married 35 years later. I also made friends with Dave Randall as he lived in Arlington and now lives in Tyler, Texas. Where are Tommy Wisenfluh and Tom Dicinti?
07-02-06 Bob Besanceney, Jr. - firstname.lastname@example.org
All of my memories relate to the time that I spent with my father at the park. He would certainly be very excited about this web-site. We always went to the roller ball game. Those certainly were the good old days.
07-02-06 Marilou Besanceney, Webster - BesanMar@frontiernet.net
I used to go to the park with both my mom and dad. My dad worked in the ski ball area when I was a little girl. I had my best experience watching fire works there one Fourth of July. My dad was good at getting the rings on the merry go round. He use to give them to me. I was afraid of the horses that went up and down so I would get on the ones that were still. I still remember the smell of pop corn, cotton candy and hotdogs. I enjoyed the band stand too. Those were the days. Thank you for those wholesome memories.
06-29-06 Cheryl Owlett Ross, Tarpon Springs FL - ElvisFan34689@aol.com
Going to Eldridge Park used to be the most fun thing when I was a kid. I liked the Whip I think the best but it was all fun. Going to school in Wellsboro PA, our bus driver took us all to the park for a end of the year treat and it was the most fun night. We could usually bring some friend too as long as we had the room on the bus. I lived in Elmira a few years after that and it was around that time that the park closed. I worked at Thatcher Glass which was right by there and it always made me sad to see the coaster unpainted and unkept and closed down. My kids never got to experience the park much. Although I do remember taking them there a couple of times and riding kiddy rides and the boat on the lake there. Thanks for the memories.
06-26-06 Suzanne Guinn, Westphalia KS - email@example.com
The name Eldridge Park evokes memories of home, family and roots. Although I have lived in the Midwest since age 8, Eldridge Park holds a special place in my heart. We would go there for rides, family reunions and picnics. Every year when we would return, we would always try to include a trip to the Park.
My roots in the area go back for many, many generations, (depending which line you chase). In the mid 70s my husband and I returned for a visit with our first two children. One of the must-sees was EP. We packed our lunch and went out for a picnic with my grandfather, for the new generation to experience. I made a return visit in the 1990s with two of my children, nearly grown by this time. I was heartbroken when I learned that the Carousel, roller coaster and so much else was gone. It looked like a ghost town. But we still drove around as I shared my memories with my own children that never had that privilege.
To this day, when there is a fair in town, or we visit an amusemark park I always want to ride the merry-go-round (or carousel), as I hark back to my days as a child growing up in Horseheads and visiting Eldridge Park and the carousel. I wish you much continued success, and I hope that the people of Chemung County realize what a jewel they have in their midst and make use of it to strengthen their family bond and memories their chidlren will never forget.
06-25-06 Jesse, Ewa Beach HI - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: Absolutely GREAT
Eldridge was my first visit to any amusement park. By time I visited during Corning Glass Works' employee picnic in 70's, the park was showing its age. Last Isaw before this page was a commercial spot that ran on local tv in late 70's. memories: the older bumper cars were the best, speedway roller coaster was fun (even tho someone told us a story about copperheads under it(?)), and the airplane ride(?)(carousel-type ride that had suspended box seats w/air vanes that riders could manipulate to change the orbit path) which was fun becaause - as kids - we actually "had control" of the ride. The spook house with "Herman" was okay. Remember the slimy thing that dragged through your face and the compressed air "goose" at the end? The carousel was world class and original - i've never again seen a brass ring machine with a lit display. Haven't been in that area in almost 30 years, but can certainly appreciate all the time and effort spent on restoring & preserving.
06-25-06 Delores (Caparula) Hogancamp , Chattanooga TN - Delores309@webtv.net
Yes, Eldridge Park is very dear to me and my brothers Art & Bob Caparula. Tom, You know who I am. I can't wait to get home in 2007 for my 50th high school reunion. and then I will definitely plan on making a visit to the wonderful park. Hope to see you then.
06-24-06 Jeannette Meehan Tomlinson, St. Charles KY - email@example.com
My family lived in Northern PA. Eldridge Park was that special place for special occasions. I loved what we called the Merry Go Round. It was very important to choose just the right horse and it had to be one that went up and down. I loved the sights sounds and smells.......*sigh* a trip down memory lane!!!
06-12-06 Amy Pine, Waverly - firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing up I remember going to the park with my family as well as with various groups that I belonged to in the early 80's. I could ride the Carousel all day long if they would have let me. I think it's actually that carousel that has me addicted to them, I will go anywhere to ride one. I even made my Mom take me to the Chemung County Fair one year to ride a double decker one. I was heart broken when it closed. I have since been to the Carousel since it opened this year and it's amazing. I got to take my son there and show him what it is like to ride it. On top of that of all things my fiancee caught me a brass ring this last Sunday. Thank you for reopening it, and I will keep that ring close to me forever.
06-11-06 Robert Price Jr, Horseheads - email@example.com
I was at the park today with a few friends to ride the carousel. I just want to thank everyone for what they did, it is amazing. As a member of the last generation to have Eldridge Park in my life, today was a step back in time. As I rode the carousel (we did 3 times)I felt the years melt away, it felt as if Eldridge had never left. I could see the Whip, I could see the Spook House, I could see it all. Reaching for the brass ring today felt so good, it had been since the mid 80's since i rode it last and can't believe how "right" it still feels. I had to fight back the tears, and at the same time I could feel my face widen with the biggest grin. It was purely a magical day. Thank You Dr. Lyon, for stepping foot in that park on Sept. 11th that year. Without you and all the volunteers it would of never been possible. Now I want to help....What can I do for you folks?? Do you need volunteers at the park??
06-06-06 Michelle, Millerton PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Eldridge Park has just always been around.
I've only been in the area since '98 but my grandparents are still here. My mom grew up here and I have always heard the "legend" of the brass rings from the carousel. Mom still has her 2 brass rings.
The park has always been around for me but just through stories. When the restoration first started my husband decided to lend his time and skills as a journeyman electrician. I was so proud of him! As time went on, I found out that my Grandparents met at the park. Grandma worked the bumpercars and Grandpa "just kinda liked her"! Grandma passed away in January of this year.I wish she could be here to see it run again. In Memory of Fannie (Sopp) Card
06-06-06 Carol [Clair] Fudge, Elmira - email@example.com
06-06-06 Terri Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
When we were kids, the highlight of every year was the company picnic at Elbridge Park. The Spook house, the Speedway Roller Coster, the bumper cars, and of course, the Merry Go Round were the favorites.
After we were all grown up, my brother went up one weekend and found out the park " wasn't there" anymore. I relived the memories of the fun we all had there many times in the pictures I had.
I just happened to pick up an advertisment paper last week and saw the ad for the the Merry Go Round Grand Reopening. The memories that were stirred from that ad on Eldridge Park were very emotional. I remember when my brother had told me that the Park wasn't there anymore and how downcast I was about that.
I have called my family members and told them about the story behind the Merry Go Round reopening. We are all looking forward to reuniting this summer at Eldridge Park.
Although the park is not the same, when I finally get to walk through what was the Midway towards the Merry Go Round, to me, it will all be like it was 28 years ago. My memories will take care of whatever is missing.
06-02-06 Melvin Lewis, Newport News VA - email@example.com
I was born in Elmira. I have so many memories of Eldridge Park,
I do remember back in the Fifties when my mom &
dad took me & my sisters there. We went on the children's rides in
But when Eldridge recent had a grand opening on May, 29, 2006, I was looking at Elmira's web site, and came across the photo gallery of Elmira. And was looking at the pictures taken at Eldridge Park. And I said wow, there is the Little Red Fire Truck. And it still did look the same. Just like the day when my sister and I rode on it.
Deep down in my heart I want to say thank you for restoring
06-01-06 - Karen Hardy, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember attending shows at the park. A man being shot out of a cannon sticks in my mind.The roller coaster, bumper cars and the french fries with vinegar.
05-30-06 Annette (Bryson) Olofson, Westfield PA - email@example.com
During the 50's, our family made a day of picnicing and rides at
05-30-06 Melissa Rinker, Elmira - Lilbaitlady77@aol.com
HeardOfUs: Bob Lyon
Congratulations on a successful journey!!!!! Your achievements are heartfelt and you should be proud of what you've given to this community, my hope is that the community gives back that gift with much support. Thank You for all you do!!!
05-30-06 Julie Ferris, Elmira Heights - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge was a great place to hang out when we were teenagers. I took my children there when they were very young. I had my sweet sixteen party there and my graduation party there. Eldridge park was a safe place for dates and for teenagers to hang out and also very inexpensive to ride the rides and play the games. I really miss it.
05-29-06 Ellen, Rochester - email@example.com
Rating: Absolutely GREAT
Hi. I have been following the opening of your wonderful carousel and I am so excited even though I could not be there Memorial Day weekend. I have such wonderful memories of Eldridge Park. We had all of our family reunions there. The wonderful picnic area, and then the rides! The "baby" whip was my favorite when I was real little, then to go on the big whip!
One year, and one of our last reunions, my cousin won a key from the treasure chest contest you had one year. He won prizes and tickets for rides. One of the prizes was a record called "Elmira, I Love That Town". Does anyone remember that song? Well, we all learned the music and to this day, can still sing it at our family reunions.
Is the carousel going to be opened all summer on weekends? thanks for the memories and a wonderful web page.
Editor's Note: Please check here for carousel summer hours.
05-28-06 Sandi Hilton, Painted Post - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: May 27th event
Yes, I had some wonderful memories. My first boyfriend, Billy, took me to the park on on one our first dates. He was braver than I was and enjoyed the roller coaster, where I was terrified. But I LOVED the carousel. I still remember Billy reaching for the Brass Ring.
The Saturday Event was FANTASTIC! And I will cherish it always.
05-28-06 Liz Hatton
To everyone involved in the restoration of the Eldridge Park Carousel:
I can be recently quoted stating that "the only time I cry is when I'm really mad or someone really hurts my feelings." That was until Friday May 26th, I'm not angry at all and no one hurt my feelings and I haven't stopped crying yet. It started the night before the Grand Opening of the Eldridge Park Carousel, they turned off all of the lights in the building, turned on the lights of the carousel and dedicated a ride to the three people who volunteered their time and efforts during the restoration project but passed away prior to the completion of the endeavor. The carousel was spinning the soft music that was chosen just for the occasion was playing and I pictured those three spirits on the beautiful horses - smiling - and realizing that life is more than work and money and cleaning the house. That is when the tears started.
At first, I thought Bob Lyon was nuts (if you know Bob, there are occasions that you wonder) when he announced that he was going to restore the old carousel that was dismantled and abandoned about 20 years ago. But knowing Bob - we also knew he would do it - and in a BIG way.
I have known Bob and Mary Lyon for many years and consider them dear friends. I had never been to Eldridge Park or even heard of it before 2002. I do not live in Elmira. Every time we saw Bob and Mary they were working on some part of the restoration; fundraising, building, planning, traveling. I said "if you need any help let me know - I'd love to help" and although having a large family and working full time, I really didn't know what I could do. I became involved here and there in very small ways, not for any sentimental reasons - only because Bob and Mary were such good friends. I knew that the hours, the work, the money, the effort put forth by all of the people involved in this restoration project was immense, I felt guilty just watching, and I feel guiltier now that I didn't do more.
Later on Friday night when I saw the carousel in it's full glory and realized the work that went into the project, the toil, the effort, the monetary donations, resulting in the accomplishment that was achieved...I cried again.
On Saturday at the Grand Opening it became worse. When I saw the older generation's eyes light up as they lined up to buy tickets. With tears in my eyes I watched a frail older woman struggle to lift her leg over a horse to ride the carousel (I resisted the urge to run over to help her). As I watched her twirl by me - she was beaming - and with each turn she became younger and younger by the time the ride came to an end she honestly looked like a ten year old girl - beaming with joy, (by the way she had no problem dismounting that carousel horse when the ride was over.)
Through those tearful eyes I saw Mr. Pefferly the carver of some of those marvelous carousel horses - riding on his creation, just imagine the sense of accomplishment that he must have.
When I looked over at Bob and Mary and saw two people that worked so many seconds, minutes, hours, days, nights, months and years to see their dream realized - the tears came again.
I watched people standing with smiles and tears as they reminisced about their childhood. I listened to the stories - one man telling another remember when we were 19 and we were so drunk we could just lean on the horses - then they laughed. Others were saying - "remember our children" - "remember our parents" - "remember sneaking over to ride the carousel". They had their favorite animal - they knew those horses, lions and tigers by name. It amazed me that Bob was onto something that I hadn't realized until that weekend. They not only restored a carousel, they restored memories in peoples lives that could have been lost, and they created memories for a new generation that would otherwise never have been. I watched my own children twirling by me and realized that the carousel has just created a moment in my life and in my children's life that would never have happened if not for all of the people involved in the project. Of course I took pictures - everyone did - but the feeling can not be duplicated by a camera, those emotions cannot be shown to other people. It's not just a Carousel - it is a life changing entity.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mary and Bob for allowing me to become involved in ever so small a way in this project. I have a renewed sense that time has been given to us so that we can accomplish things - to change the world in a better way.
I want to let everyone that worked on the project know that all of their efforts are appreciated, not only by the generation that almost chalked their memories up to just memories, and by all of the people that will enjoy their efforts in the future, but also by me who has found a new sense of meaning for life. That carousel has forever changed my life in a way that I'm not sure I can relay to anyone that has not yet found that feeling.
I want to thank all of the smiling faces that I met during the few times that I was involved in the project, people that I would not have known had it not been for this endeaver. I want to thank the spouses and children of everyone involved in this project. I want to thank everyone who donated items, time, and money in big ways and small. I want to thank everyone who has enjoyed the Carousel in the past and those who will in the future. I want to encourage everyone to help out on any project, big or small, or start some projects of your own, to help out the community. You have no idea the lives that you will be affecting. Even if you think no one will ever notice or care, believe me it makes a difference. Every time you do something good you change someone's existence in a better way, someone, somewhere - even if it's a person that you have never met or will never meet, you might never know who or how, but doing the right thing is never wrong. This is something that I did not realize until this weekend.
Thank you to all and CONGRATULATIONS for the grand accomplishment that you have achieved.
05-28-06 Tim Carpenter, Heights
Wow am I glad to see something being preserved at the park. I have so many memories i could never list them all here, but I'll give a few. I was probably the youngest person to semi-work there as I started running errands to the concession stands for the workers when I was 4 or 5. They were brutal to me - sending me through crowds that were elbow to elbow and ordering drinks with no ice just to see if I could get back without spilling any.
I grew up at the park. Was there everday till closing when good ole Tom MacCormick (an ex cop that took me under his wing) would take me home via detour to Carrol'ls Hamburger on Miracle Mile.
Tom & Jim must of missed him on their list. Afew more they missed was Scott & Greg Bitler who became my best friends.
Through the years i worked for every owner one way or another. Al Weisenflue was the first to hire me.
When i look back its a miracle that i didnt kill myself back then with some of the stunts Scott, Gregg & I did like running through the spookhouse grabbing people when there were 3 or 4 cars moving in there and it was so dark you literaly could not see your hand in front of your face.
Looking through the list and this guestbook Isee names i havent seen in years. Thanks for the memories. It brings a tear to my eyes.
Fuller Mobbs, Brisbane - the Land Down Under
My sister, Sylvia and I grew up during WWII times. Dad was janitor at the Telephone Co. in Wisnor Park and didn't make the BIG war time money. So a $.05 ride on the Merry-go-round on a Sunday afternoon was the high light of our lives. We did enjoy the Glider Grounds on Harris HIll, spent summer at the Youth Camp up there. Exploring the Revolutionary War Battle Grounds at Willawanna finding many arrow heads. HUGE thanks to all for restoration of memories. Long may Eldridge Park re-live!!!!
05-27-06 Coraetta M. Babroski,
I loved the roller coaster, whip and the bumper cars. Wish Eldridge Park was still like it used to be. Hope to visit it again real soon. I'm 61 now, but still remember the good times that I had there. Best of luck in your future endeavors.
05-26-06 Donna Ameigh, Dundee
My parents Ernest and Evelyn Haflett met at the park in 1946 when my father was home on leave from the Army. They are both gone now. They lived on Main Street in Elmira for 49 years. I can remember going to the park with them as a child. I will be there tomorrow for the opening and I know my parents will be there with me.
05-25-06 Bette L. Largent, Sokane WA
HeardOfUs: "The word is out!"
Congratulations on your grand opening! Wish I could be there for a spin on a "new" old carousel. Great job and many happy years for the carousel and its presence in the community. Editor's Note: Ms. Largent is President of the National Carousel Association.
05-24-06 Margaret Melville Smith, Elmira Heights
I too, as with all the other writers in this guest book, have wonderful
Every time family friends would come to town or we got together with
Just a few years ago my father shared a memory he had of the park. He was always too scared to ride the roller coaster but one day a buddy of his managed to get him on it. He said it cost a dime to ride. After the first ride he was so scared he couldn't let go of the bar so his friend ended up paying for four more rides each before he could get off! We have enjoyed that story many times!
Now I have three little Granddaughters, 7, 5, and 2. On nice days
my daughter Jennifer and I take the kids over to the park and walk
around. We reminisce about how the park used to be and picture where
all the attractions were located. Then we take a walk around the lake.
I am impressed at how
I will be out of town for the first time on a Memorial Day weekend this year. My family thought I was a little crazy for having second thoughts about going away. But I looked so forward to the opening day of the new carousel, as I have been reading about all that the Preservation committee has been doing and I too wanted to be a part of the celebration!
Today, May 19, 2006 as my daughter and the two youngest granddaughters were driving up Grand Central Ave. out of habit, I turned to look over at the carousel building. I noticed that one of the doors to the carousel was open! I turned the car around and told my daughter we had to check it out! As we pulled into the parking lot we could see that the carousel was running! We asked a couple of men if it would be possible to park and go over and take a peek at the horses. They said "of course!"
One of the guys we talked to in the parking lot asked me if I wanted him to ask if we could take a ride on it, of course I said "YES". They were checking the mechanism of the carousel to make sure it was ready for next weekend. The men working on it said yes come on in and take a ride!Well I can't tell you how it felt to take my granddaughters on that beautiful carousel! So many memories came flooding back and to see the smiles on their faces and my daughters too almost made me cry! When we were leaving the building I told the 5 year old that we had just experienced a piece of history being reborn and she looked up at me and said, "I want to come here every day!"
Thank you Dr. Lyon and the rest of the preservation committee for your dedication and hard work to make this dream a reality. I think the carousel is even more beautiful than I had picture it would be. I know my granddaughters will come to love it as much we all have! I hope that more of the park can be brought back to life, as we need a place like this for our grandchildren to enjoy! This was a special day for me, one I will never forget! God Bless you all!
05-24-06 Sharon Hamblin Harris, Ithaca
I grew up in Elmira Heights and "the park" was the place to go for fun! Riding the whip was a blast, as was the thrill of the wooden roller coaster. But, the carousel was absolutely the best for me! I can recall one warm Sunday afternoon I grabbed the brass ring so many times that my parents couldn't get me off! What wonderful memories from the rides, the games and the smell of cotton candy and cooking food!
05-24-06 LM Oughterson, Elmira
HeardOfUs: television and online
I remember going to see movies at the stage, playing putt-putt golf, riding the train around the park, and most of all...riding the carousel for 25 cents. I must have spent hours riding the carousel every time we came to Eldridge Park. I was so sad when I heard that the carousel was closing down. I was even more upset when I heard they were auctioning off the best horses. It was like they were taking away my childhood memories, and selling them to the highest bidder.
05-24-06 Virginia McElroy, Southport
Wonderful website. Glad to see the carousel back. Spent many fond times there and watching the free movies at night and the special musical concerts. Plus, naturally, the rides.
05-23-06 Bob Caparula, Davenport
You are about to accomplish something on the 27th that I would never have believed could happen. Whenever I visited Elmira, I would make it a point to go to the park and peek between the cracks to get a glimpse of what was left of the Carousel. It would still conjure up many childhood memories.
All of you who made this happen are to be congratulated. Eldridge Park is the place to be on May 27th. I plan to be home for my EFA 55th. reunion next summer. I look forward to catching the brass ring again after 40 plus years.
05-22-06 Kathleen, Franklinville - email@example.com
My memories are of going to a big family reunion with my best friend's family. They had hundreds of relatives, great food and spending the day at your park. Lots of wonderful memories especially of the whip and the spook house. Is the park open anymore?
05-19-06 Linda Patoni Diorio,
I was born in Corning and lived in Painted Post until we moved to Florida when I was 14. Most summer Sundays were spent at Eldridge Park. We would picnic, ride the rides, and have a wonderful time. When I was small, my dad used to lift me up so I could catch a ring on the carousel. My "right of passage" came at my 8th grade class picnic when finally, after being afraid to get on it for so many years, I rode the roller coaster, terrified at first, but it was so much fun I rode it about 10 times that day. By the end of the day, it held no more fear for me, and at the top of the first big drop, I got my first kiss. My favorite rides were the Whip and the Dragon Boat on the "bottomless" lake! Sweet, sweet memories.
05-19-06 Dave Tallman - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have restored a bumper car from Eldridge Park. it is on display in my shoe store in Painted Post NY. It is in the kids' shoe area and a number of parents have had to take their screaming kids out of it to go home. They did not want to leave it.
05-15-06 Debra Flickinger - email@example.com
I grew up in Bath NY area and we would have our family reunions on
my Mother's side every year at the park. I remember having the picnic
up on the hill and playing ball then all of us would go down into
the park. I remember the roller coaster, the boat, the whip and the
merry go round and, of course, the bumper cars!
05-13-06 Penny Wingert Boris - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember just about living at the park. We always had something to do, some place to go. My favorite rides were the roller-coaster and the whip. My father is helping with the restoration on the Merry-Go-Round (he is one of the three Tom's), and it looks wonderful. When dad called and told me that you lost one of the Tom's I wanted to cry, but the two remaining Tom's are still working away. Can't wait to come home for a visit and see the park once again.
05-12-06 Retha Barrett - email@example.com
I still look for the brass ring to be pulled upon at every merry go round I ride on today with my kids. I have not found one yet, of course. When I was little and living in Elmira, I remember being able to get the ring, but the last time I went I think I was in 5th grade. They did not have the brass ring there anymore because they said it was dangerous. But I loved going to Eldridge park myself. I attended Hoffman school (now gone) and Ernie Davis.
04-20-06 Mary Baumgartner - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in Elmira in 1954, my sister, Dianne, in 1956. Our family
moved away from Elmira in 1966. Our memories of Eldridge park are
the highlights of our childhood.
We lived on 3rd st near Davis, then later on 5th near Davis. Went
to Booth, then Washington elementary schools.
I remember the first time I went into the Spook House (remember "where's Herman"). It took a few years to gather the courage to do that, only to find it was fun, and not scary at all. It also took several years to find the nerve to ride the roller coaster, only to find that was a lot of fun as well.
But, my favorite was the Merry Go Round. I would ride that thing
over and over until I mastered the art of grasping the rings. One
year, I got the brass ring, and with it came a free ride. What a treat
that was! Then, one summer while my sister, mother and I were visiting
my aunt who lived on 1st Street, my uncle drove up in his brand new
baby blue convertible, gave us each a 5 dollar bill (wow, as a child,
I never before held that much money in my hand), and said, "Come
on, hop in, I'm taking you both to Eldridge Park". I thought
I was in Heaven! Approaching the park, seeing the lake in front of
you, and entering under the archway to me was like entering the Pearly
04-20-06 Jennifer (Gee) McCarthy - email@example.com
We lived in Fassett PA, and it was a real treat to come into Elmira and go to Eldridge Park when I was a child. I remember all the rides in Kiddieland like I just rode them yesterday. The Boat Ride was my favorite, and the Train that went around the park was always my second favorite ride.
We always got french fries with vinegar and a fried sugar waffle. I used to do real well on the Skeeroll, and always won lots of little toys that drove my mom and grandparents nuts, because they would find them all over the house! As I grew up, and was able to ride the bigger rides. I found news\ thrills on the Airplane ride because you never knew when your plane would fly away into the bottomless lake. All my friends and I would talk about it, because we were so knowledgable about everything back then!
Then there was the dreaded roller coaster, my mom forbid me to ride. I would stand in line forever waiting for my turn, and relished every minute on it! Of course, we all knew someone who had ridden it when a board fell off, which added to the excitement of the experience. I could never reach the rings on the Carousel, but I tried every turn.
All of our family reunions were at Eldridge as well, under one of the big pavilions on the hill. As kids we would roll down the hill over and over while we waited for the grill to heat up.
I became so facinated with the park, I spent an entire Summer, when I was 13 years old, looking up information about the park in the Circular Section at the Library. I would look at the old photos from the turn of the century, with the ornate gardens, walking paths and sculpture, and imagine what it must have been like to live in Elmira then. I also looked up the dates when all the rides were added to the park, and would marvel at how well they had withstood the test of time. My grandmother would tell me about going to dances ad roller skating in the old railraod station, and I was fascinated that you could ride the Eire-Lackawana and get right off at Eldridge Park! Wow, Elmira was something back then!
Unfortunately, I also saw the park deteriorate. I remember the dance hall being torn down, and the rides falling into disrepair. I cried when they leveled the picnic area and sold off the carousel horses. It has been heart-wrenching to see the changes. Of course I try to make the best of it. I still honk the horn when I drive into the underpass to park, and I now use the walkway around the lake. We still picnic there in occasion, but it just isn't the same. I am very privileged to have been able to grow up with an amusement park in my town, and I thank you so much for this web-site. It brings back a lot of old forgotten memories.
04-19-06 Cheryl M. Boyd (Randall), Charleston WV - firstname.lastname@example.org
It is exciting to see the progress that has been made to bring back the merry-go-round at Eldridge Park. I have special memories of seeing my grandmother, Geraldine Randall, and my grandfather, Herb Randall, as they worked at the merry-go-round. It was fun going on a boat ride around the lake with my uncle Ralph Randall and getting candy apples and ice cream from my Aunt Ruth Randall.
I was always a little nervous going into the spook house but learned to put my feet up right before going back outside so the blast of air wouldn't get to me. Those are special days in my memory that I will always cherish. I hope to be back in Elmira on opening day of the merry-go-round to show my daughters what it was like when I was growing up. Eldridge Park, and especially the merry-go-round, mean a lot to me, and I am happy to see this part of history restored for generations to come.
04-12-06 Ken Borden, Hesperia CA - Twin1026@verizon.net
As I lived a block away on Thurston Street, Eldridge was our playground all year long. Even winter time was fun, playing on the pond and sliding down the hills around the area.
All my "gang" also loved to put pennies on the tracks at the underpass and wait fot eh trains to much them into copper toekns. I was so afraid we would derail the train!
My mother and father often talked of the Dance Hall near the underpass are which was their "Love Nets" in the early Twenties.
I have lived and worked all over this world and still miss the fun we had all those years at the park.
03-26-06 Bonnie Lucarelli Smith, Horseheads - email@example.com
When I was a kid my, uncle George Polovick worked at the park. I remember the many days and nights we were at the park and rode the rides. It was a magical time for me as a small girl. Never having brothers or sisters, I spent a lot of time with my cousins, Kathy and Danny Polovick, Uncle George's kids. We rode all the rides and played all the games a lot and it was so much fun. The french fries with vinegar were the best and the waffles, too. I was always afraid of the roller coaster and still am. Never liked heights even though I did ride it a few times. When I grew up I worked at the park for Al Wisenfluh in the gift shop and also worked the skee roll and hoops, duck pond, etc. it was a wonderful experience to see all the kids enjoy the park then as I did as a child. The wonderful memories I have of Eldridge park will forever be in my heart. What a wonderful part of my childhood.
03-25-06 Robert Boyce, La Plata MD - firstname.lastname@example.org
We are beginning to carve our first animals for our new carousel in the La Plata, MD area. It will be in Laurel Springs Park located outside La Plata. We did have a carousel here in Marshall Hall Amusement Park that was closed in the late 70's. We are going to replicate some of those original animals that were on that carousel.
We are also trying to locate any of the animals that were on that carousel. They were carved by Charles Carmel. We have located two so far. Any help or info you can provide on how you do this would be greatly appreciated. We are in touch with NCA, Carousel Magic & Carousel Works, also CN&T Mag. We have had excellent help from the Salem, Oregon Carousel folks.
Love your web site. Ours is: somdcarousel.com - will try and visit when in New York. Bob Boyce, Pres. Somdcarousel
03-22-06 Tommy Pryslak, Cincinnati OH - TPRYSLAK@cinci.rr.com
"The Park" was a magical place in the Fifties that was a rare treat for some poor folks on the east side of Elmira Heights. But as a boy, my mom would love to go shopping (just lookin')to downtown Elmira and since we had no car, we'd take the bus. On our way down Grand Central Avenue, she'd watch me as I waited for Eldridge to come up on the right. Once in a while, if there was a spare buck and I'd do well in school, she'd pull the bus string and we'd walk to the park. We'd share coned french fries and a cola, watch the movie and walk the park. It was an amazing place and very special to me.
As I got into high school, I had a really good friend. Her name was Mary Lou, and one summer, we'd walk to the park together as she lived near by. She was my really true first love and when the summer was over, we were, too! But, Eldridge gave us a home, somewhere you could go and smile, see the goodness in life. When I graduated high school, it was the place that my friends and I went to celebrate. Its not just a memory, its truly part of being. How I wish I could take one more bus ride with my mom or take a walk with Mary Lou! I'm an old fool now, but I can still close my eyes and dream of what was so right and good.
03-11-06 Jennifer McCarthy, Elmira - email@example.com
I remember going to Eldridge Park as a small child and riding all the rides in Kiddieland. The boat ride was my favorite because it was the only ride I had ever been on that was in a tank of water! The train that all the way around the park was great, too! It was a real treat when my mom would take me. As I got older, I enjoyed going with family and friends to ride the bigger rides. The tea cups were fun, and the planes that went out over the lake made me feel like a daredevil!
My all tme favorite ride was the Whip. I would ride that over and over again! I was always too short, stubby and uncoordinated to reach the rings on the carousel, but my friends would always try to grab one for me. Those horses were beautiful!
Eldridge was also the site for family reunions, we would get one of the big pavilions up on the hill, and have picnics. When my husband and I were dating we would go to Eldridge every Friday in the summer and eat Jean's Beans' fish and share stories about Eldridge when the rides were open, and all the fun we had as children. We try to enjoy the park now, but it's really not the same. Now we walk around the park and talk about where each ride used to be, and the fun we had. I was truly blessed to have been raised in Elmira, and to experience Eldridge Park. They are memories I hope to pass on.
03-10-06 Judy Cloman, Webster MA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from Horseheads, I remember going there on the weekends. My mom, years ago, along with her sisters and used to sing and do Acrobat Acts on the stage years ago, Maybe around 1931? I was hoping to find some information on them.Maybe you could research this also. I remember her stories of the man who put his head in the lion's mouth during Sat performances then also.
Would like to know more about the history. Like who the park was
03-08-06 Sandy Scrivener, Sayre PA - email@example.com
My Mom use to take me and my brothers & sister there on Friday Nights, waiting for my Dad to get out of work, at a trucking company close by. We loved Fridays! I still go to Elmira now and then, and it just seem like it's empty now without the park being there. I loved the carousel the best, and I'm so glad it coming back! I would love to show my grandkids what a wonderful park we use to go to! I can remember it like it was yesterday, because it does have all great and happy memories!
03-01-06 Diane Lintz Pryslak, Spring Hill FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
My grandfather was the night watchman at the park, so on Friday night he had my grandmother and my sister, Linda, and me walk to work with him. We got to see the rides when they were still and walked the park when no one was there. We sat in the office and ate our lunch and we could see the park from all views. Jasper was the only moving thing in the park--
As a family, we spent many happy times in the park when it was open. I remember Merrill's ponies out beside the roller coaster--that was a real treat to ride a pony.
I especially liked the waffles and the french fries with vinegar at the food court.
But then there was the arcade--SkeeRoll!!! My own children were able to enjoy the park before its demise and they often recall SkeeRoll!!
Those were the days. I am looking forward to the rebirth of the Carousel
and hope there is intent to do more to make this a lasting endeavor.
02-27-06 Mrs. Joella Milner (Moffe), Binghamton - email@example.com
I used to come here with my brothers all the time. It was a ritual when there was no school. I was crushed when it closed. Now when I visit home it feels like something's missing. I share this experience with my husband.
02-19-06 Charlie Mochrie, Las Vegas NV - firstname.lastname@example.org
Touring your site and photos brought back a thousand memories. I LOVED the french fries and would eat them while sitting on the hill overlooking the miniture golf course. Ski-ball was my favorite and as an adult remember some wonderful outings held by A&P in the trees on the hills overlooking the park. When I last visited Eldridge Park in 2004 I leaned against the front of my car with tears running down my face after seeing what the city had done. Elmira's heart was torn out in the flood of 1972 and with it any potential of remaining the great city that it once was.
01-12-06 Nancy Beam (Woodhouse) - email@example.com
When I was a child of say nine or ten, my Mom and I would sit on the bench and watch the talent shows outside there along the viadock entrance. We would drive up and my Mom would have to slow when down before going under the viadock as it was never certain that this one car passage way would meet head on with another vechicle entering or leaving Eldridge park. We would sit close on the cooler nights and observe the talent shows. Snacks in hand. It was a special time I spent with my Mother. Wow where did all that time and closeness go....It has been forty years!
Mom passed away in 2004 and I know that the stage is not really gone, the actors grew up and grew older and some passed on. I am grateful for being a kid that loved that park, Mom and I even rode the Merry-go-Round in 84' , when my daughter was a baby. Mom and she had their special time there also. Though I don't think my daughter would remember this, again, I do, and cherish this kind of Mother daughter, granddaughter memory.
02-10-06 Bob Lintz, Rochester - firstname.lastname@example.org
My favorite ride was always the spookhouse even though I couldn't keep my eyes open through it until I was probably 12. Where's Herman? We used to go to the park almost weekly when I was a kid. I also loved the arcade, the real before video games arcade, the bumper cars and the whip. Then get some fries and douse them with vinegar. OOh happy days! .
02-10-06 Robert L Barber, Addison
I Liked the picnics as well as all the rides, It was great place to have our family reunions and spend the day.
01-27-06 Irene Patros Fadis - email@example.com
My dad was the late Bill A. Patros from the M&M Bar and Grill. When we were little kids we would often go to Eldridge Park as a family. We would have a picnic at the picnic area and then spend an entire day going on the rides, having treats, and staying for the shows. My mom's favorite treat was the roasted peanuts, that my dad got for her every time we went. My sister and I liked the ice cream the best.
My middle sister and I loved to go on the Merry-Go-Round ( So happy to hear about its restoration. ) every time we visited the park. We also enjoyed the whip. I also remember one scary visit to the Spook House that left me crying and everyone laughing at my cowardice. Eldridge Park was a beautiful part of my childhood. A few years ago when my husband, grown children, and I visited Elmira I cried because the park was not there anymore. The park was a place that held many memories of my father for me. It was a disappointment not to find it the way I remembered.
When I was a little girl my dad would put me on the carousel and he would watch me go around, and he would wave at me every time I came around to where he was standing. I remember never being satisfied just going around once, so he would always let me go on two or three times. It was "sooooooooooo" much fun. Even to this day I love carousels. Every time I go on one I can imagine my father just standing there and smiling. Somehow it brings him a little bit closer to my heart. Anyway, I enjoyed the website on Eldridge Park, in particular the news about the merry-go-round.
The boat ride was definitely another memorable experience of Eldridge Park.I remember buying candy apples, eating some of the apples, and then throwing the rest into the water. Each time I would comment that the lake had no bottom, and always asking if the apple was going to sink all the way down and reach hell. (Of course I would get in trouble for that comment.) Ah the innocence of childhood! Anyway, someone might want to consider restoring the boat ride to the Eldridge Lake, just a thought.
Best wishes to everyone for a successful completion of the merry-go-round project.
01-25-06 Jennette McMinds Brown - Filly661@aol.com
My memories are all good. I more or less grew up in Elmira nad we always went to the park for a lot of outings from school to birthday parties and when I moved, I still went back. My favorite ride will always be the Carousel. I love horses so I rode it as much as I could. The roller coaster was my least favorite. I remember going on it for the first time and came off as white as a ghost. The plane rides were not a favorite either. I remember the stories that went around that a plane came off and they never found it because the lake was bottomless. I did go on the planes when I was a lot older. Eldridge Park will always be with me in my memories and I can't wait to ride the carousel again.
01-08-05 Marjorie Messick - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was raised in Elmira and lived 2 blocks from the park. We used to get there through the underpass near College Ave. I went there as a kid in the 1940s and also worked at the root beer and popcorn stand for the Valegos (Johnny and Aggie in the Fifties) and rode the Merry-Go-Round every week. Those were childhood memores that I'll never forget.
I just heard about rebuilding the carousel from my sister who still lives in the Elmira area. We used to watch all the acts and movies and played on the playground and played the Penny Arcade and rode The Whip and the Roller Coaster.
In those days my name was Novak and I lived on Doane Street. Those were happy days.
JOHN BENEDICT, SHS61 - email@example.com
Sometimes we even got to ride Jasper and admire his long neck and
dragon head and wonder who would get to ride up front. Then there
was the Bumper Cars and Tea Cups and other rides. How many times after
eating all we did then riding those rides, turning and twisting around,
did we "get sick"? I'll never tell.
01-05-05Tom Burhyte, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, ever since November 5th. I have been hammered with E-Mails asking what its like to give Brian Williams, Tommy Hilfiger and Jeanne Pirro a ride on the Merry-Go-Round. The answer is "Fantastic as can be!" It was like watching the Twilight Zone on TV. where the old people went back and played kick the can as kids again. Jeanne Prior riding a jumper just looking toward the roof with her eyes closed and a big smile on her face just going back in time to the good old days when Eldridge Park was in its prime. Brian Williams father had tears in his eyes for he was probably thinking about when he brought son Brian here when he was a kid putting him on a horse. Brian Williams was probably thinking, Boy, I would just like to catch just one Brass Ring, but it wasnt to be - at least not on this day. Tommy Hilfigers eyes were big as marbles and a smile that went from ear to ear.
It just sent goose bumps up and down my spine clean to the top of
my head. I never had an experience like that in my whole life! There
was not one person on the merry-go-round that wasnt smiling
or laughing and probably thinking how much greater can this day be
! When the ride was over they gave us a big hand for the ride back
in their own trip to the Twilight Zone as kids once again, for sure!
As they left the building the old era left with them. A dream came
true as it did for me also giving that first ride on that day November
12-21-05 Beth Shavalier - email@example.com
I grew up in the Heights. My brother, sister and I went to the park
a lot. The Carousel was a favorite hang out for my sister and me.
I have terrific memories and I even used to jump on and off it while
it was moving because I was somewhat of a show-off. I still have 2
original brass rings and bought one of the new ones.
12-20-05 Wayne DeForest, Perry GA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have fond memories of Eldridge Park. I worked the rides and games on the Midway back in 1988. I think that was the year. I had a great time meeting all of the kids and families that came out for a little fun. I have a picture of me reaching for the brass ring when I was a kid. I always hoped that people would take an intrest in a historic Merry Go Round and revive a little of the past.
12-20-05 Anne Roeske Rehagen, Eugene MO - email@example.com
OMG! I LOVED the pictures! I have often wondered what happened to Eldridge Park...
I have so many great memories there. With the teacups... tho' I don't think I ever rode them - a bit too wild for a kid my age. I was always scared of the Spook House, but had to make my yearly ride thru (and then thinking "Why do I always do that, I'm not gonna do it next year!".) And the clack, clack clack of the wooden rollercoaster, but that too, was an annual event.
For several years in a row, I remember having my birthday there. Mom and Dad could give us each a couple of bucks and send us on our way, and not see us for at least a couple of hours! I think they enjoyed it as much as us kids did!
But I'd have to say my favorite memories of EP are 1. Skee Ball - always trying for one of the prizes, and having contests with each other (comparing each roll, to see how we did against each other) and 2. The carousel - For a while, I didn't realize "what" the big kids were doing with the Brass Ring Holder, but soon I was able to reach it and give it a try. I can't remember ever getting a ring, but do remember hanging onto the poles and stretching as far forward, and then backward as you could trying, and flicking at it...
What wonderful memories!! I hate to see that it has closed down, but what can I expect...it's only been about 30 +/- years since experiencing Eldridge Park. By the way, I always called it Eldridge Park, but Mom and Dad tried to convince me that it was Eldred Park.
Thanks for the warm fuzzy....!
12-12-05 Sharon Heath - firstname.lastname@example.org
My brother, Gary Comfort, worked at the park in the Sixties. Boy,
do I have memories. Thanks for the site.
12-12-05 Donald Yentzer-Baker Coppersmith - Philadelphia PA - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: I just found U on google
My Mom, Lois, took my sisters and me there when I was 4, 5 and 6. I remember the carousel, roller coaster, haunted house ride and the dragon boat ride and so much more. We lived in Horseheads and had friends in Elmira. This was about 55 years ago.
I want to order the DVD for my Mom. Please send me info. She lives in up state Pa near you, and you are good news!
12-05-05 Mary-Lou Frisk - Ithaca - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our mother & dad were both from Elmira. Dad worked in the composing
room at the Star Gazette for nearly 30 years. He passed in December
1993 and our beautiful mother passed just this last March.
Please accept our family donation in honor of our beloved mother & dad - Marjorie Ann & George F. Donahue.
Their loving children:
Patricia M. Ehret, Col. Joseph T. Frisk,
12-03-05 - Patricia Nikulich, EFA 81 - PNIKU6@AOL.COM
I was born and raised in Elmira, so Eldridge Park was a part of all my family. I moved back here after being away for 18 years. Not a lot has changed. I'm glad the carousel is being restored and hope the whole park will be also.
I went on all the rides except the roller coaster and the planes. I'm scared of heights. Thanks for the great site.
12-01-05 Donna Hughes, Stamford CT - email@example.com
11-10-05 Sonja Williams, Dumfries VA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park will always hold a place in my heart. The park is where my family would gather every summer for Family reunions. I really miss those times. We had a great time riding, eating and then riding some more. I will cherish those memories forever. Thanks Eldridge Park!
11-10-05 Hannah Monks, Corning - email@example.com
I sent this site to my mom and thought I'd share her response:
11-08-05 Lucia Laven, Friendship - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: reading the Star Gazette
I have such fond memories of ELDRIDGE PARK. We used to travel to Elmira to have our Sunday School picnics at Eldridge Park. It was a long ride ( it seemed as a child) but the anticipation of getting to the park and riding on the roller coaster, merry-go-round, bumper cars and going in the "OH SO SCARY SPOOKSHOUSE!" I loved the little yellow ducks, seeing what great prize you would win by picking just the right duck. I would be so excited and happy that I wouldn't even want to eat our picnic lunch! One very precious memory is of how my Mother and I always took a ride together on the carousel. My Mother would always try for a brass ring, but was always too short to catch one! I'm so glad to hear about the refurbishing, and please email me with the opening date, so I can attend.
11-08-05 Jim Hackett, Horseheads - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: contributer 2003
As the carousel nears completion, I can't wait to see all of the beautiful new animals and chariots. I would like to say thank you to all of the community leaders and business's that got behind this project and made it happen. It shows that there is a real sense of community in Elmira yet. Perhaps with this kind of spirit we can help to rekindle the fires which are now but embers in the city's past.
11-07-05 Mina Barron, Corning - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: My husband is working on the carousel for the Hilliard Corporation
I was privileged to take the maiden ride on Saturday, November 5th, 2005. It was outstanding. I cannot wait to take another spin! What a great moment to share with my 3-year-old daughter, Isabel.
11-06-05 Tom Burhyte, Horseheads - TBurhyte@stny.rr.com
HeardOfUs: Volunteer at Eldridge Parks Merry-Go-Round
I remember the year 1966 very well for I lost my best friend Herb Randall that fall. It was Fair Week that summer and things were slow when three little girls came into the merry-Go-Round Building and sat on a bench on the the SpooksHouse side. They had dirty faces were bare footed, and their dresses were torn in places. About the time I saw them Bob Long came out the office door and saw them, too. He had a conversation with them I couldn't hear. He called me out and told me to give them a ride and that they didn't have any money and had followed the sound of the music, winding up at the park. That was the kind of person Bob long was.
Come to find out they had walked all the way from Division Street, which was about four blocks. I let them ride five times and off they went down the Midway. I didn't think I would see them again that day or ever again. About two hours later, here they come again and are headed straight for the Merry-Go-Round building. They took a bench and just watched the people ride. They were over there talking with one another, then one of the girls stood up and held her left hand up and was waving for me to come and look what she had.
Off I hopped and she gave me a Tootsie Roll, which was two for a penny back then and said thanks for the free rides. Boy, did my eyes water. Never in my lifetime I would have ever thought that someone, let alone a little girl, dirty faced and bare footed and probably about three, or younger would do anything like this. Now I was thirty years old back then. I never saw them again, but if they read this it would be nice if they are still in the area, and would let me know? Now these little girls would probably be in the forty's or older. Every time I go to the Merry-Go-Round building, I can still see that little girl waving that Tootsie Roll at me.
11-06-05 Clinton Howland Holmes - Howyatop@aol.com
Trying to grab that brass ring would ride and ride and ride and try try try .Another park visited was Roseland in Canandaigua.
11-06-05 Shiela Stahle, Elmira - email@example.com
When us kids were younger we had our family picnic there. My mom and dad worked at the Ann Page plant and every summer we couldn't wait to go to our annual picnic. I remember my parents had to make sure all of us kids had our dinner and then we couldnt wait to get down on the mid-way to get our ride tickets. My favorite was always the Roller Coaster. But I loved the merry go round too. I did catch the brass ring just once. That was so much fun I was very excited. And I also loved to play all the games. Skee roll was my favorite. Back in those days it was 10 cents. I'm so glad the carousel is coming back. I'm going to be waiting to the day they reopen. It will be fun.
11-02-05 Bill Pierce, Anchorage AK - mrbillinAK@webtv.net
HeardOfUs: from friend in Elmira
11-01-05 Al Baccile, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the memories. I remember the merry-go-round and bumper cars as well as the SpooksHouse. I could never get enough time with doing everything that was so much fun and cost so little. I really do think it's great to go back and remember when!
10-22-05 Jennifer Bess Keller, Horseheads - email@example.com
I am so happy that I could help in this whole restoration, please, go to the the Auction Website and BID BID BID on item number 52. I donated it to Bob and this society, as it is one of the best causes that have actually touched my heart in a long time, that isn't some sort of tragedy. I have been getting letters from all over from people that know me and read my attached letter at the auction site. So many want me to meet them at their sponsored table at the ball in November, but it is sold out.....think you can sneak me in Bob? Anyway, please, everyone work on this, it is very important, and a big kudos to Dr. Bob Lyon, a good man with a big heart. I am proud that I know him and that he has allowed me to donate a little part of our local history. I know I am off to bid on an item in a few hehehheeh. I can't wait to ride that carousel again. Let's all make this happen OK? Hugs to all that are involved.
10-21-05 Ruth Kester Gleason, Sanborn near Buffalo - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have fond memories of Eldridge Park, Sullivan's Monument and Harris Hill. Also I remember the Strand, Regent, Keeney, and Capitol theaters. I went to school at Coldbrook Park and the old Southside High School. Our class helped choose the colors green and white for Southside. We used to ice skate on Miller's Pond which was behind where I lived in Sheridan Court off Maple Ave. I also remember the Elmira Market Place in Langdon Plaza. It was owned by John Gieschen and run by him and his son Alvin. That is where I met my husband, Dick. We have been married 53 years and left Elmira in 1955 but have many fond memories of our old home town.
10-12-05 Edward Ripley, Deltona FL - email@example.com
I grew up in Elmira. As a kid it was so cool to go up to Eldridge Park and ride the Roller Coaster, I must have rode it a thousand times. Then there was the Airplanes that was so great to fly over the lake at Eldridge Park and then as a kid the spook house was so scary, lets not forget the Whip. Oh then they had the Bands on stage.
The whole park was great for us, it was a place to meet up with friends
an girls too but it was a place where you could pick up the ducks
and win a prize, or the skee roll man. We use to save up the tickets
and see who could get the biggest prize. I am so thankful that I got
to grow up in the time that Eldridge Park was there. I'm now soon
to be 51, it's too bad the kids of Elmira today are not going to have
these kind of memories. Oh, don't get me wrong the Park looks really
nice but the thrill of all the things are gone. Thanks for letting
me remember to all of you. Youth at a glance of the past
The most special place in Elmira where I was born in 1929. Big achievment was to grab 4 rings on one attempt, not easy. Fondest memory: July 4th 1985, one of my first dates with Mary Donald. Joined most Elmirans downtown to watch fantastic Fireworks show. Took her to see the Merry Go Round, which was running and it seemed like a miracle, NO ONE else was there! We had the entire carousel to ourselves, still locked in our hearts as very special place. Broke our hearts then when it was dismantled, Now we are exhilirated with joy and want to help preserve.
10-12-05 Mary Monroe, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
My mother, who grew up in Elmira Heights, had happy memories of Eldridge Park and I and my brother and two sisters spent lots of time there, in the days of the live bear. We loved going there and when the time came my four children loved it, too.I was taken there fairly often with friends when I was a little kid, and I was quite good at catching brass rings on the merrygoround. I wonder whether at almost 80 I can still do that! I'd like to.
10-12-05 Sean Foster, Horseheads - email@example.com
I remember many picnics there as a child. I also have many memories of my grandmother taking me and my sister there. Sure miss the park.
10-12-05 Jerr y and Myra Stemerman, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: personally told by many people and paper
We spent every Sunday at Eldridge Park on picnics with our entire families, and then, we were allowed to spend the rest of the day on all the rides, watch the entertainment, and just have a great time being with all of our friends. Whip and carousel were terrific plus the boat ride.
10-12-05 C. S. Brown, Tennessee - email@example.com
Wonderful to hear that the carousel will be up and running again, it will make memories for new generations of children and bring back special memories for us "older kids".
10-05-05 Karen Comstock, Wellsburg - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember going for our class trips from Beecher Elementary, picnics and rides. One year in third grade I was on the teeter-totters with my father and fell off and broke my arm, but I still had fun and a lot of great memories, Thank you.
10-01-05 Tim Hayes, Elmira Heights - ADSDelivers@aol.com
I never saw the Eldridge Park Carousel, but I'm looking forward to
seeing the restored version! I'm originally from Rochester, NY, but
I do have fond memories of the carousel at the amusement park I went
to as a kid, Olympic Park, which is now just a distant memory after
closing down years ago.
09-27-05 Steve Greatsinger, Langley SC - geman1120@MSN.COM
We would take the bus to the park and walk down to the park. I remember the free movies, the monkey cage, all the places to get food. My favorite - steamed clams, riding the merry-go-round and the bumper cars. Spent a small fortune at the shooting gallery. Rode the boat almost everytime I went. Most of the time I spent all my money and had to walk home. Thanks for the memory.
09-20-05 Penny (Wingert) Boris, Carlsbad NM - email@example.com
Growing up in Elmira and having Eldridge Park to go to was the bomb.
I am glad to hear that things are looking up for the park. My father
Tom Wingert is working on the Merry-go-round with the other Tom's
and gang. So glad to know that there are still people out there that
care. God bless.
09-14-05 Mary Beth May, Alexandria VA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My mother, Elizabeth Personius, grew up in Elmira, then moved to Washington, DC where she married my father, John May. We visited my grandmother, Anna Gaughan Thompson, on the Southside every summer. I have very happy memories of Eldridge Park as a small child. I loved the "Spooks House" - (not too) scary creatures would jump out at you. Thank you for helping to preserve these wonderful childhood memories.
09-14-05 Mike George, Charlotte NC - email@example.com
Used to love Eldridge Park when I was a kid - never got the brass ring but had so much fun there. My favorite ride was the whip - also loved the roller coaster, and the French fries with vinegar on them.
09-12-05 Darice Rickes, Bayonet Point FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
My mom, Ceteria Amoratis grew up in Elmira. She got married and moved to NJ. When we would go back to visit relatives in Elmira, my parents would take my sister and me to Eldridge along with my cousins and their parents. I was very young, but I have vague memories of the lake and the swan boats. I also remember a kiddie ride with horses. We have pictures of me riding this ride. I loved going there as a child. It's sad, like in the song "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
09-11-05 Lucille Sekella Frasier, Seneca Falls - email@example.com
My fondest memories of Eldridge Park was parking in front of the Merry-Go-Round Building to watch the people go by - my introduction to being a "people watcher." That was my family's entertainment. My dad didn't like us to get out of the car and ride the merry-go-round because Ruth Long would always give us free tickets which my dad thought was charity - which he was too proud to take.
My family lived 3 houses down the street from the Long's. Bob Long was not only the owner of the merry-go- round but very interested in electronics. He had one of the first televisions in Elmira in his basement - a round tube with no cabinet. Especially on Sunday night I'd ask my mom if we could go watch television at the Long's. Because she didn't want to bother them, more than once she said "No". So I would walk up the street, lie on my stomach in the driveway (not a wise decision) and watch TV through the cellar window. Couldn't hear the sound but just watching was fascinating.
09-11-05 Kathy Chapman, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
09-11-05 Bob Cau, Erin - email@example.com
Oh you bet. My foster parents used to drop us off in the morning and pick us up before supper time. No threat of being molested or abducted. Seven years old, little money and lots of dreams. Wonderful rides and lots of excitement. My sister Beverly won a new Shelby bicycle there. Great to spend the day or even just a few hours. They had a great playground too.
Thanks for the memories.
09-10-05 Kim Clifford Wood, Hornell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our childhood days and Eldridge Park go hand in hand! Our yearly Ames/Overton Reunions were held there every August. And all of us cousins...tons of us, would save all our money all year to go to Eldridge Park. I loved Peppy the Clown in the Arcade game (10 cents to play it). I loved the Whip the best and the spook house. And I caught a ring on the carousel once...I loved Eldridge Park. Sure do miss those good ole days....
I remember going there with my brothers and sister, my brothers taking me on the roller coaster and, well, loosing my cookies. But, I always had the cotton candy.
09-01-05 Thomas W. Burhyte, Horseheads - Tburhyte@stny.rr.com
I check the Guest Book at least once a week and I see people that I used to know or their children have entered something that brings back memories of Eldridge Park as it was back in Twenties thru the late Eighties. So Jim Rice, who worked with me for Bob Long and the Randall family at Eldridge, and I , decided to make a list of everyone we knew way back then. These are people that we had direct contact with daily or worked for. I know there are a lot of people you will recognize and some maybe you won't. We hope that you will enjoy going thru this list of names, for these were the truly the good old days at Eldridge Park in Elmira, N.Y. To see the list, click here.
08-30-05 Gary L. Holland, Dade City FL - email@example.com
I was surpised by my mother when I had my 16th birthday. She had all my friends meet over there and we had a picnic on the grounds. I remember there was a mucky ditch next to the roller coaster and one of the girls in our group fell in it. What a mess. We did have alot of good times at Eldridge Park. I liked the bumper cars and the merry-go-round. Boy, the pictures really take me back to those good years. Thanks
08-29-05 Elizabeth Dayne, Alameda CA- firstname.lastname@example.org
08-28-05 Gloria LaLonde, The Heights - email@example.com
Eldridge Park is a place I recall my parents taking us to many times while growing up. We loved going there. I especially loved the carousel. I can remember the shows they had there. I can recall monkeys putting on a show. I think I loved that one the most. I always dreamed of Eldridge coming back. Thank You so much for all of your hard work. I can't wait to see the new the carousel.
08-26-05 Penny Golden, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
My grandparents who are Rocelia & Harold Empet met at the Merry-Go-Round. My grandfather gave my grandmother a ring from the Merry-Go-Round. And when My grandmother passed away my husband had a ring from there and made a little saying and put the ring with it and now it is with her. So that way my grandfather can be there too. And us as a family, I remember going there for a firemen's outing, then going and riding the train and the whip and the merry-go-round. We had a lot of fun. And as a family we put a star up in my grandparents' name.
08-25-05 Bonnie & Craig Seymour, Elmira Heights - email@example.com
Hi! in 1937-38, my father, Harold Empet, worked at the park on the Roller Coaster and the Carousel. in 1938 he proposed to my mother, Rocelia Durham. on the Merry-Go-Round with the brass ring. He fed the rings in the slots, and made sure she got the brass ring. That was the beginning ofover 60 years of marriage. They brought my sister, Sue Corey) and myself, Bonnie Seymour, to the park often, as we did our children. My husband and I continued going till the day they closed. Ihave a pole from the carousel and gave it to my dad and mom on one of their anniversaries. Now they are gone, Ikept the pole. Thank you for bringing it back. A lot of memories.
08-14-05 Milton Adams, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular Saturday night. Several carloads raced to Elmira to skate at the Grotto. From there to Eldridge until in closed. Great memories.
08-08-05 Sherry Simbaliski, Des Moines IA - email@example.com
My dad was from the Heights and we went up there regularly to visit our family! The nights at Eldridge Park were some of my best childhood memories! I still have a brass ring that I was lucky enough to "catch" that i carry daily on my key ring! I'll be back next summer and I cant WAIT to come back up to Eldridge Park!
08-05-05 Sam Piegdon, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I just want to say that you guys are doing a great job.
08-04-05 Cheri Burbage Roberts, Big Pond PA - email@example.com
I can remember my mom taking all 6 of us kids to Eldridge Park. I loved the Whip, the Merry-go-Round and especially the Spooks House!! I remember my brothers talking me into going on the roller coaster ONCE and I was scared to death, I have never ridden one since!! In later years I went to Eldridge for company picnics. It was always a good time there. Its memories will forever warm my heart!
08-03-05 Laurie, Knoxville PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was not too far from home - around an hour drive. I remember family picnics, the photo booth, the free shows you would be able to watch on stage, the carousel and the wooden rollercoaster, that you better hang onto because you would come out of your seat when you went down the hill. Wish we had a park around here again..........
08-03-05 Sylvia Skolny, Port Orange FL - email@example.com
I spent many hours at Eldridge Park while I was growing up. I remember the talent shows they had. My brother, Ed, was a young teenager and he and his "band" won one week. the following week they lost to a man who sang "the Lords Prayer". It was an emotional time.
08-03-05 Gerald W. Hardiman, Ocala FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Used to work at the soda and ice cream concession stand in the sumer of 1940. Lived next door to the Bittlers who operated the roller coaster at the park. It was a good place to go in the summer and the movies, tho old, were free.
08-01- 05 Brenda Ames Michaels, Simpsonville SC - Bedah@charter.net
First of all, thank you SO much for this website! Going to Eldridge Park was a big deal when I was a kid! I used to love the scrambler, the whip, cups and saucers and of course, the merry-go-round! The Speedway is the only roller coaster I have ever been on! My sister reminded me of this fact when she sent me the link to this site! As I look at the pictures and see how small it really was, compared to the coasters of today,I can't believe that I was afraid to go on it! I will always remember the fun I had here. I am also very happy that I was able to share it with my daughter before it was torn down. She doesn't remember much about how it was.
Last summer, my husband and I took a walk through the park with her. We told her about the rides that used to be there. It was fun, but sad at the same time. Anyway, thanks again and good luck with the preservation.
07-31-05 Sharon - email@example.com
Great job on this web page and in the park rebuilding. I know they
are putting up a new sign entering the park near Robinson Lumber.
I'd love to see a pic of the old one that I remember growing up. Does
anyone have one? I'm sure a lot of us who remember the way it was
would enjoy seeing it.
07-31-05 Cindy Melbie, Austin TX - firstname.lastname@example.org
Too numerous to cite here. But, mostly the Airplane ride as it flew you over the lake, the Haunted House, Bumper Cars, food, prizes, summer-time musicals and dramas on the stage and, of course, the Carousel and catching the brass ring! How sad, when I was in Elmira September '04, to see it all dead and gone! What a shame! I'll carry those memories with me forever! Thanks for your website. It's great.
07-31-05 Kim Haugh (Lee/Butts), Tampa FL - email@example.com
HEARDOFUS: a great friend
I really miss the old park. I still take my kids when I go every year for vacation. My daughter went fishing in the bottomless pond this year for the first time. That was scary. My best memory was of having my high school graduation party there in 1984. We had a great time. My Mom was also the Queen at the beauty pagent many years ago. She still looks great. (Maxine Thurston/Palmer)
07-30-05 Judy Stevens, Lakeland FL- JudyAs48@aol.com
I remenber when I was a child my parents would pack a lunch and we would spend Saturday afternoons there. Trying to get the brass ring was a biggy then. Eldridge park was always a grand memory because it was the place for spending quality family time.
07-30-05 Joan Granger,Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a native of Elmira or this area. But I grew up in Willow Grove PA. At that time there was a great park, called Willow Grove Park. I have many fond memories of that park, which was much larger than Eldridge. Part of that park was torn down in the Sixties to build, at that time, the largest bowling alley in the world. Later that also was torn down to build a shopping mall area and the rest of the park was torn down then. I think any of us that grew up with parks like that will always remember the fun we had there. I am looking forward to seeing the Merry-Go-Round when it starts to run again.
07-30-05 David R Melbie, Austin TX - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: Another displaced Elmiran
I haven't taken the time yet to read the guestbook, but I think my favorite memory of Eldridge Park is the myth of the bottomless lake. I sure hope that allusion still exists!
And, is there some beast - never caught - living in the lake still? I certainly hope he has not been captured yet. . .
Cheers to those Elmirans working to preserve the memories. Thank
you for the wonderful site.
07-29-05 Mr. & Mrs. James Rockett, Waverly - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: tv show
We watched the show the other night and it brought back so many wonderful memories, that we wanted to donate a little towards your goal.
07-29-05 Lou Ann Miller, Sayre PA - email@example.com
Yes, I have very fond memories of Eldridge Park growing up in the Fifties. Every summer we had our Blauvelt family reunion there. The picnic area was always beautiful. I remember the knolls of beautiful green grass and the coolness under the pavillions. We didn't get to come to the park often, being from the Aayre area. It was along way back then. I always loved the talent shows. As a child I loved horses and not owning one, the carosuel was very special to me. I never caught a brass ring. I don't remember Jasper, but I remember always having fun at Eldridge Park. I also remember Fraley's Park in Waverly and Skyline Park.
07-29-05 J.J. Graham, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: TV, Radio
I loved going to the park riding all the rides, especially the Airplanes (flying over the lake) and the Carousel and, on the 4th of July, watching the fireworks.
07-29-05 Donald Thomas, Stuart FL - email@example.com
Hello from sunny Florida. My word, what a fantastic web site! My fondest memory of Eldridge Park was the day I was able to reach out on that magnificent merry go round and snatch the brass ring. For years I could not reach it, but when i finally did, I was the happiest kid in the world. I really liked the airplanes that flew out over the water and skimmed the tree tops. Many, many fond memories that for some crazy reason I've never forgotten.
Thanks for this web site, it brings back the 60's and early 70's for me. i now reside in Stuart FL and must tell you we have nothing as precious as Eldridge Park. Nor in my 20 years here have we ever.
07-29-05 Maria Shimer - Rea@stny.rr.com
I remember taking my little brother to Eldridge Park when he was 5. My sister and I wanted him to go on the roller coaster, but he wouldn't go. Finally after a lot of coaxing, we got him on, near the front sitting between the two of us. We insisted that he keep his eyes on the flag at the top of the first big hill. He was quite nervous, but loved it and wanted to go on again and again after that first ride!
Eldridge Park was the best get together place I remember! My friends and I would go there to ride the Merry-Go-Round and Roller Coaster over and over again!! I still have a couple brass rings from the Merry-Go-Round!!! We even road the horses before going to our Senior Prom!!!!! I miss those days!!!!
Looking forward to seeing the park alive again!!
07-28-05 Blair Bollow, Lancaster PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember Police Safety Patrol day at the park when the rides were
free and 30 or so bicycles were given away from the stage where the
movies were shown. This was the biggest crowd I had seen to that date
anyplace. While my father was in service during WW II, my mother would
pack us kids into the car and we would park in front of the whip,
or nearby, and watch the people walk by. I remember Jeff, the policeman
who always seemed to be on duty.
Congrats to the people involved in the Carousel. May others follow.....
07-28-05 Rose Criss - email@example.com - I just watched the documentary on the carousel. I was reading about all the people they were thanking. My dad, Mike Hartford was one - he worked for Dimon and Bacorn and went to get some pieces for the carousel. He passed awaay on January 19 of this year. Thanks for making him a part of it.
07-28-05 Walter W Steiner, Jr, Pine City - firstname.lastname@example.org
Many fond memories, till it was invaded by the unwashed youth of the 60s.
07-28-05 Dave & Nancy Johnson, Corning - email@example.com
We are both life long residents of Corning. As little kids in the 50's we can remember our parents taking us to the park to ride the rides. Our fondest memories are of the Carousel, and trying to get that elusive brass ring to get a free ride. We can also recall the "spooks" house, bumper cars, Dragon boat, rollercoster, band stand, etc. What great fun.
07-28-05 Charles E. "Chip" Coleman, Horseheads-
I remember back in the late fifties or early sixties, my dad and mom would take us to the park. We each got a dollar and man, you could ride all of the rides in the park and have money left over for cotton candy or skee ball. Of the merry-go-round my outstanding memories are of the kid who would sit in the rigging of the ring dispenser and pour in boxes of silver colored rings so everyone could get a ring. Hundreds of those rings were strewn all around the floor of the ride. It wasn't until I was older and it became LIGHT THE LIGHTS that I ever managed to get my first BRASS ring. What great times those were. I believe that my daughter may have been one of the last to ride the merry-go-round in 1987 or 1988. I'm so glad that she got to experience it before it was sold. Keep up the great work! I look forward to the day when it will be open once again!
07-26-05 Lydia (Tengstrand) Brennan, Mansfield PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I used to love going to the park in the 60's - riding the rides and hearing the stories about my grandfather's band (Curley Johnson) playing in the dance hall. I worked at the park during that short time it was open during the 80's and loved it then too!
07-26-05 Jo Ann Whiteman Mayes, Smyrna GA - email@example.com
1959 Thomas K Beecher Science Club party(Mr Willis) we were given paper bracelets for free rides. To this day it has been the most rides I have ever been on. I also remember seeing the movies there and the talent shows.
07-25-05 Gail Pratt Clymo, Painted Post NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture this, You are 9 months pregnant and you are watching your
mom, son, and a friend on the carousel when all of a sudden you feel
this pain. You think, oh no, it isn't now. You make the motion to
your mom that you are going for a walk. Your idea isn't for a walk,
it's for the policeman you saw upon entering the park. You don't say
anything to anyone, you stop for dinner on the way home. After you
get home, you call your mom to your room and say your labor started
at the park. So my memory was going into labor at the Eldridge Park
07-25-05 Gary L. Sekella, Lake Forest CA - GLSekella03@aol.com
07-24-05 Dusty Williams - email@example.com
Dear Memories: I cannot believe someone sent me this! Memories aren't
the half of it!!! My Father worked at The I.R. in Athens, Pa. &
each summer, would give tickets to all their workers & their familes
& we'd have a wonderful picnic on that particular summer day...way
But, my favorite ride was that great Merry-Go-Round with the horses,
lions, tigers & you name it!!! A horse-lover, even still, I can
remember climbing up on one of those mythical steeds with whinny permanently
etched in its wide opened mouth & just ride the day away! And,
you couldn't beat the music! I'd pretend I was everything from a cowgirl
to the queen of a foreign land somewhere, far away!
07-24-05 Penny Piston, San Francisco CA - Penny@PennyPiston.Com
Wow! I moved away 23 years ago (at 17) to see the world. That I have done, but some of my most wonderful memories are right there at that park. I remember being so afraid of those planes that flew over the lake. I was never brave enough to go on them for fear of falling into the lake. My Mother always told us that the lake had no bottom! I was terrified!
My favorite thing about the Park? Well that would have to be the fries with vinegar. By the way, people in California think that is disgusting.
07-24-05 Gayle (Whiteman) Cook, Dahlonega GA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for a great site that has brought back so many wonderful
memories. I was raised on Sullivan St. in Elmira (EFA class of 1955).
As a child I loved the monkeys in the big circular cage in the middle
of the park. I would stay there and watch them for hours. I loved
riding the boat but hesitated to put my hand in the water for fear
something would get hold of it. As I got older my cousin Gail (McDonald)Watts
and I spent many evenings riding the bumper cars and trying for the
brass ring on the Merry Go Round. I can still imagine the sounds of
the roller coaster going up the first incline. I hated to hear that
the park had closed and am so happy to hear of any efforts to restore
07-24-05 Phyllis Dunbar Mitchell, Savannah GA - email@example.com
It was a big treat for me to go to Eldridge Park when I was a child. My favorite ride was the carousel and the whip. I cannot count the times collecting the rings hoping to get the brass one. I still had one of these up until the time we moved from Horseheads to Savannah in 1979. Thank you for this website and all of the wonderful moments of nostalgia. It is wonderful to think that future generations may be able to experience choosing the right horse and share what we had. Thank You!!
07-24-05 LeVon Roblyer Ketter, Mosherville PA -
My first memory of Eldridge Park was celebrating my 5th Birthday there with family friends, Bob and Norma Phillips. Later our "End-of-the-year" Mosherville Elementary School bus trips were so exciting. Going to the big city to spend the evening at the Park was something we all looked forward to for the whole year. One time Ray Kerr and I missed the bus that would take us back home. We were scared to death to be left in the "City". We walked to the house of relatives of his on Lake Street and called our parents to come get us. We were sure we'd be grounded for months!
Thank you for all the hard work to get this carousel and hopefully the park too reopened someday.
07-24-05 Judy Owlett Cruttenden, Middlebury Center - firstname.lastname@example.org
I celebrated my birthday there nearly every year with family and friends when I was young
07-24-05 Kathy Harris, Waverly - KHarris530@yahoo.com
Many memories of Eldridge Park...SCARED TO DEATH OF THAT "SPOOK HOUSE"! The rest of the park was a JOY.
When we would visit my GREAT GRANDMOTHER MORTON on Sunday's, we would sometimes go to the park. And oh, yes, the stories of the bottomless lake, and what lurked in its belly.
As far as the favoite ride..I'll take the Merry-Go-Round. Never had much luck in getting that BRASS RING. Someone in front of me always got it. I think it was my oldest brother. The bumper cars were off limits, cause I was too young. And I was too big for the kiddiland rides.
Loved the games...the ducks with the numbers on them was a favorite. They floated by on water.
Enjoyed taking my little sister there....she just loved the KiddieLand rides. Glad she remembers and told me about this great site.
Oh, Happy Days!
07-24-05 Charles "Dick" and Nancy Evans, Elmira
Nancy and I had many dates in high school which included Eldridge Park. Graduated from EFA in 1955 and remember the carousel, the brass ring, the ske-ball and bumper cars. Back then it was a good place for a date that didn't cost a lot of money. My father knew Bob Long which made riding the carousel fun.
As youngster, my family would go to Eldridge Park on the weekends to see the stage shows and before I was tall enough to grab for the brass ring. I continued the practice with my two sons Jim and David.
07-24-05 Bob Comfort, Elmira - rdino292@AOL.COM
i worked for Mr. Long for 25 years.
07-24-05 Kathy McCall Morse, Attica - email@example.com
What memories. I loved the whip and the merry go round. I have a photograph of the carousel that I purchased a few years ago at a craft show at Letchworth Park. Also remember the stage shows. Especially remember a show with a hypnotist.
07-24-05 Jeannie Parrillo, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was the only park to go to when I was young. The entrance to the park, going through the tunnel, would always delight me because of the excitement that awaited me on the other side of the tunnel. A spectacular park - the intoxicating smell of french fries and cotton candy. The thrill of riding the Roller Coaster and hearing the screaming of people as the reached the top of, what I thought, was the largest structure in the world. Then rushing to get in line to go into the scarey Spooks House.
The wonderful music that could be heard through out the park from the amazing Carousel. The beautiful horses, lights and, of course, the challenge of getting the brass ring without falling out on the sidewalk. Eldridge Park was the best summer adventure any child could ever ask for. Those summer days were the best! I'll never forget the best summers of my childhood.
07-24-05 Michele (Walsh) McDonald, Richmond VA - email@example.com
Reading the guestbook, each and every one of you brought back some memories that i had forgotten! Growing up in the 60's and living in Bentley Creek, Pa., we didn't have a lot of money and to my parents, it was almost a "day trip" to Elmira. But, when we did go to Eldridge Park, it was a wonderful day. Going on the sailplanes over that "bottomless" lake where the monster lived, was pretty scary. But, you had to go on it, and be brave. I sweated everytime over that water! I think this is where I had my first vinegar french fries, which were wonderful. I do remember when we used to save soda bottle lids and when we had so many, we got in free or at a reduced price.
Thankyou for a wonderful website!!!
07-24-05 Mary Elizabeth Cleary Norgren, Leesburg FL - Cenzual2@aol.com
I helped my father "Red" Cleary run the outing for Moore Business Forms every summer for many years. My boyfriend at that time (my husband of 50 years now) Rod Norgren and I would be enlisted to help a few hours, but that was well worth it because our food was free as were unlimited tickets to the carousel and the bumper cars.
07-24-05 Martha Viele, Clearwater FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I went there a lot with a friend when I was a teen ager and loved the merry-go-round best of all. Then when my daughters were 13 and 11, we spent a lot of time there - they liked the movies and the rides and the french fries with malt vinegar. Then one year when my grand-daughter was here on a visit, I took her to the park. That was in the 80's and there wasn't much going on. We plan on coming to Elmira next summer and hope the park is open again.
07-22-05 Terrie Golden - email@example.com
My grandmother used to run The Whip - Evelyn Bauman. What a great time we had at the park. I remember the animal acts and the rides, but most of all just the home town fun feeling that we all experienced. What a great place to visit.
07-21-05 Della Ann Harris Giovanni, Jacksonville FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
There's no place like home!!! Eldridge Park was like our home away from home. We had family reunions at the Pavillions, my mother entered my sister and I in the talent shows, the roller coaster rides will always be unforgettable.
I remember my first time ever on a ferris wheel was at Eldridge on a school field trip with Kevin Long. My father, Delbert, was a truck driver, so whenever he was home, our family time was as Eldridge Park. We would spend time going down the midway playing the games, getting cotton candy. We used to sit on the trunk of the car to see the fireworks displays. I even have a picture as a toddler being at Eldridge Park.
To me, it was the funnest part, getting the brass ring on the carousel. I remember getting one and giving it to my young cousin whom I was babysitting at the time, so she could have a memory of our time together. I am looking forward to the grand re-opening, my family will be gathering again as a family reunion for old times sake!!! Bringing our next generations with us so they too can make memories at Eldridge park. It was the hangout for kids as we got older, and a safe place to go.
Thank you to everyone on the resoration committee for bringing the park back to us. When I shared with my teenagers the story of the brass ring, they've never rode a carousel with a brass ring, they looked at me like I was strange. I can't wait for them to experience the carousel at Eldridge Park! I pray that you can bring families back together to spend family time, as you did in year's past.
07-20-05 Chuck Pribulick, Eldersburg MD - Janyoyoman@Yahoo.com
Spent many, many, many, days & nights at Eldridge. Eating the french fries with vinegar on them, playing skeetball, riding the roller coaster, watching fireworks and softballs games, family get togethers and so much more. I do miss it.
07-19-05 Scott Stanbro, Elmira - email@example.com
My favorite ride when I was little were the little cars on the track that went over the little bridge. I would ride those all day if I could! I thought I was really stearing! Long After the roller coster was shut down, my buddy and I walked the entire track in the middle of winter. This was probably the dumbest thing i have ever done!
07-17-05 Jeffrey P Bell, Painted Post NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
I worked at the unmentioned Miniature Golf course located on the northside of the former park. From the booth I can see the stage to my right, food stands straight ahead along with the large flower bed I help weed and maintain with the direction of E. Gene Callihan, the man who got me the position.
To my left, the Kiddieland, the train, the east loop of the rollercoaster, the roof of the carousel. I helped maintain the golf course, water and weed the surrounding flowerbeds there, and I remember officer Bill Catlin who patrolled the park at night, he would stop and chat awhile.
I always dreamed of buying one of the last buildings to go by the tracks, and turn it into a 50's era restaraunt, but I was too late.
Thank you Eldridge Park, Mr. Long, Mr. Bittler, Mr. Blim, and of course Gene Callihan, I'll see you all someday again..
07-16-05 Terry (Sherwood) Menzies, Niagara Falls ON - email@example.com
Wow, what a trip down memory lane. I stumbled on this reminiscant site while looking for info for the Star Gazette...
I stayed up hours, reading and going back to my days on the merry-go-round and leisurely strolls throught the park with my Mom and Dad. Growing up in the 60's with places like Eldridge Park, Joycrest skating rink, Lovell's soda shop, makes me truly grateful to have experienced childhood in that era and to be blessed with so many fine memories. If we could only go back in time and share this with our kids and grandkids, (what a joy it would be).
Thanks for the memories.
07-16-05 Lucy (Comfort)Killeen, Sun City AZ - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: sister - Kathy (Comfort) Shawl
My favorite memory. Was harassed to ride the roller coaster, finally
07-15-05 Terrie Menzies, Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: surfing the web
Thanks for the memories. What a nice warm blast of nostalgia your site provides. It was such a pleasure to sit and read all the reminiscant recalls of days gone by. The fondest memory I have is.... what a hero my Dad was to me when he'd catch the brass ring and my mom sat and watched for my smile and a wave as we'd go round and round. I loved the leisurely strolls on a warm summer evening at the park with my Mom and Dad. We'd end the evening with a sugar waffle and a drive around the lake. Eldridge park, Joycrest skating rink and Lovell's soda fountain provided great years of family memories for so many. What a blessing to have grown up in that era. "Those were (truly) the days. Thanks for sharing.
07-15-05 Mary Ann Clark, Arnot PA - MaryAnn.Clark@acpmfg.com
I remember many a Sunday afternoon spent at Eldridge Park; making
my poor mom go on the big whip and roller coaster because I was to
small to go alone. Since I was an only child she always got dragged
onto the big rides. I can still remember riding the Little Whip, and
when I would come around to where my mom was standing I would slap
her hand. My mom has been gone now for many years but I can still
feel her hand as I go around on the Whip. Later in life (summer 1974)
my boyfriend now husband of 29 years took me there for the A&P
Company picnic. In 1976 when I worked for Citizens & Northern
Bank in Wellsboro we had our bank picnic at Eldrige. Eldridge was
always a great little amusement park. I was really surprised when
we moved back home from Texas to find out the park had closed. I would
have liked to have been able to share the park with my kids and now
the grandchildren. The fond memories I have for Eldridge Park have
lasted me a lifetime
07-13-05 Katrina Howard, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: Absolutely GREAT
I really don't remember the park - just what my parents told me. Every year I go there when we have the carnival. I am a parent now and I think it is good that they are bringing the carousel back.... Although I wish it could be more. Kids these days need a place to go just to hang out and have fun and maybe then they will stay out of trouble. I hate to travel just to take my kid to an amusement park. It would be nice to have one in this town.
07-12-05 Tammie Maher (Allington), Corning - email@example.com
I have very fond memories of going to Eldridge Park as a kid and as a young adult. I have often told my son about the park. i wish something like that was around now for our children to enjoy.
07-11-05 Joseph Fitzpatrick, Vero Beach FL - JosephFRocketman@msn.com
HeardOfUs: Tom Berhyte
I worked for Ralph Randall in the cotton candy booth and on Jasper. Barney, I used to call him. A better man I have never known. Taught me more about mechanics and life in general than anybody. Ruth was a sweetheart, she taught me to run the cotton candy machine. So many stories it would take forever to tell them all. Also worked for Bob Long on the Merry-Go-Round. Many fond memories of the Park. You are doing wonderful work and it is important work to preserve the parks history. Thank you. Keep up the good work.
Was able to visit the Park this summer. Talked to Tom! Was good to see the progress.
07-10-05 Sharon Decker (Barnett) (Brewer), Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
As a young teenager, I spent a lot of time there. As a 'regular', I was called upon to ride the Speedway when there weren't enough riders to make the hill. I vividly remember being stuck in the middle of the first incline on a misty day. But the merry-go-round had OLDER teenage boys as ring boys and operators. I learned how to get three rings at once and how to mount and dismount the moving carousel. I also received my first "real" kiss in the spook house - but that's another story!
07-10-05 Patti (Rouse) Sherfey, Snow Hill NC - email@example.com
Will they ever bring the park back for us who remember it so we can bring our children there to enjoy what we did growing up!a At least Harris Hill is still there and Mark Twain's study. My son loves to visit there when we are in Elmira because he comes home and tells everyone in Snow Hill that he visited Mark Twain's study and where he is buried. Great site. Keep up the great job!!!!!!!!
07-09-05 - Renee Waschezyn - Rwaschezyn@aol.com
I was born in the late '60's and grew up on W. Second Street and
am the daughter of Howard and Pamela Landmesser. I remember Eldridge
very well, especially the sail planes that we could drift way over
the water. I did not see any pictures of those and would've liked
to see them again. They were my Dad's favorite, along with the Ferris
07-09-05 Elisabeth Fuller Mobbs, Park Ridge, Queensland, Australia
My dad and I MEASURED the Lake one winter when it was frozen.
Picture in Star Gazette bout 1935 - 6. My dad was Jonas Fuller if
any one remembers those ancient days! I remember the park WELL!!
07-09-05 Gary J Heuser, Virginia Beach - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up at Eldridge Park. I had a girl friend in high school and we used to go to the park to make out (lol). When I was younger we would spend our summers in the park. My oldest brother, Clark, used to play baseball at the park. My younger brother, Tracy, used to play softball there. We always had fun on the play ground, and we learned a lot from the people who would teach us - projects to do. We used to go to Joycrest Skating every Sat. i'm so happy you created this page. Keep up the good work on the Merry Go Round. Thank you.
07-08-05 Jeff Miller email@example.com
For many years the Dance Hall pictured was the workshop and storehouse for the Parks Dept. I worked for that department for many summers at Brand Park Pool and later with the Parks crew cutting grass and repairing. When I worked for the dept FT in the early 60s, we would fix the park's equipment during the winter months when we were not flooding skating rinks or clearing walkways of snow in the various public parks such as Wisner. We had a little room partitioned of in the dance hall with a pot belly stove for heat when we were painting or repairing playground equipment. .....It was colddddddddddddddd.
07-08-05 Lisa Golden, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge park was the only park we could get to for the rides there was nine in our family. It wasn't easy to come up with money for all of us to go. We would pack a picnic lunch and eat up at the tables, then come down and ride the rides and watch the free shows on stage.
07-04-05 Cindy DeFilippo Schiller, Venice FL- email@example.com
I actually caught the gold ring from the carousel...it was great!!
07-03-05 Andrew Grover - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spooks House and the rollercoaster were great. I am in my early 30's and live in Florida, but will never forget it. Thank You!
07-03-05 Mike Matuszak Sr (TAE64), Jacksonville Beach FL -
Eldridge Park and the "merry-go-round" were part of growing up in Elmira Heights.
07-02-05 Jennifer Bush, Ashville NC - email@example.com
I was born in Elmira, and lived in Horseheads until I was three years old. When sent to visit my Grandparents one of the highlights of my visit was always a trip to Eldridge Park to ride the carousel. My Grandfather loved to tell me about the history of the carousel as well as the park and would ride along beside me as I sat like a princess upon the hand carved horses being taken on the most memorable, magical ride in my memory. I remember fondly the year I was tall enough to reach for the brass ring, and the feeling of excitement when I finally caught one I could have stayed on the carousel forever. My first roller coaster ride was on the coaster at the park, once again with Grandpa at my side, and Grandma watching from the grass.
Unfortunately I remember when I found out that the carousel had been taken apart and the animals auctioned. I was heartbroken to hear that I wouldn't be able to put my children on the carousel, and faithfully retell the history as my Grandfather had with me. Luckily there are folks out there who want to bring that feeling to more children. I was very happy to read that the Preservation Society is restoring the Carousel. Thank You for the wonderful site where I can relive childhood memories, and perhaps create more for the future.
07-01-05 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Roberts, Pine City - firstname.lastname@example.org
The thought of the merry go round coming back is a thrill to my husband and myself. We spent many a happy day at Eldridge Park. And now that we are Grandparents for the first time we are very excited to think that soon we will be able to take our Granddaughter for a ride on a very old memory! Thank you for all of the hard work that you are all doing.
06-30-05 William Joseph Brown, Elmira - email@example.com
I won my first bicycle as a child at Eldridge Park about 1952. Now I'm a part of the reconstruction of the carosoul money wise and Dr. lyon is my wife's dentist. I have pictures of the park as it was once, lined with trees and heard stories of the dance hall on the north west hill by the tracks. Many nites spent at the park on the rides, and if I could, I would like to replace the dragon boat. I own two big boats now but that one was special to me. I rode the rollercoaster many times and have still got brass rings in my archives.
06-29-05 Debbie Kosloski, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
My fondest memory is of my sixth grade class picnic that was held at Eldridge Park. It was such a grand day of celebration with my fellow classmates. We all enjoyed the rides and our picnic was held in the pavilion that was located on top of the knoll at the park. It was a beautiful sunny day and a good time was had by all!! To this day I often think of that great day in June.
Other wonderful memories are times that my sister took me to the park. She just loved to catch the brass ring; and she was good at it too! On other occasions, my mother also rode the carousel with me or watched me from the sidelines where I would laugh and wave to her as I went by! Those were definitely "the good old days"!! Memories like those are such keepsakes.
06-27-05 Mike Matuszak Jr., Elmira - email@example.com
My Grandpa used to take us to the park to ride the merry go round. I could not wait untill I was big enough to try to get the brass ring. Great site.
06-26-05 Dawn Manoogian, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I moved to Elmira in 1975 and remember going to Eldridge Park and riding all the rides. It was a fun place to go. It's great that the merry go round is coming back. Sure would like to see the park come back to life.
06-20-05 Cindy Sheldon, Beaver Dams - email@example.com
I have been watching on TV about the merry-go-round and my parents used to go there every year as Corning Glass used to have their family picnic there. I was always afraid to ride the planes out over the lake because everyone always said it was bottomless and really scared me.
I do have something that is original that belongs on the merry go
round. I have a brass ring that when I finally did get it after riding
it over and over I took the ring home with me so that next time we
went back I could get my free ride, And time passed and I never got
back and then I grew up and the park was gone. And I kept that brass
ring in my jewerly box all these years and I would like to give it
to you for when the merry go round runs again.
06-20-05 Meara Smith, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember riding the carousel with my brother and sister. I always wanted to get the brass ring. I didn't even know what it was for but I wanted it. I never got it. I was still a young child when the rides were closed down.
06-19-05 Sandra Shakespeare, St. Petersburg FL - email@example.com
One glimpse into my life and anyone could see the joy the carousel has brought to me. I have ridden many throughout my life. From gentle farm animals to the exotic sea creatures they stir our imagination. Someday, I would love to own one of my very own to leave to my children and grand-children. These websites are wonderful and I thank you for sharing a part of yourself and your great talent. We live in such a throw away society and without a few that treasure life's fleeting moments, it would all be lost. Thank you for caring.
06-17- 05 Robert J. Hotaling, Baltimore
I have so many great memories. We would visit my G\grandparents for 2 weeks every summer. My Grandpa took my sister and me many, many times. It was around 1977 or 78 that I remember going and catching the brass ring. I kept it and told him about it later. He was mad but I wanted something to remember Eldridge. It is on my keyring.
I loved the coaster, the whip, flying the planes and best of all, the Merry-go-round. I can still see my Gramps on the bench seat waving at me everytime I went around.
He told me how he got in trouble for painting the horse statue (near the race track) like a zebra. I don't remember what year it was, probably the 30's.
Not to plug another park but my wife and I go to Kennywood in Pittsburgh almost every year. They have the Whip and the merry-go-round looks similar to the one in Eldridge. It was build in 1924. Often when I am tired, I will sit and watch it go round and feel like I am in Eldridge. I miss the simpler times.
Thank you for this site and working to restore the park. I look forward to coming up to Elmira soon.
06-15-05 Mary Lou Bauman - Circlekgirl@aol.com
I remember the Park, My Mother-in-law worked there for years. Her name was Evelyn Bauman, she sold tickets at the whip.I loved playing the Skeeter Ball and minature golf riding the carousel too.My mother-in-law lived until she was 89 years, she passed away in 1980.Bumpber cars were fun too.
06-15-05 Carolyn Buczkowski, Erin - firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of my fondest memories of Eldridge Park was riding around the lake in Jasper. What ever happened to the boat. Also, riding on the Merry-go-round and attempting to catch a brass ring.
06-15-05 Al Affeldt, EFA 52 - email@example.com
I worked at the French Fry Stand (or the O'Leary's). I also worked for Al Weisenfluh at the games. He also owned the French Fry Stand after the O'Learys sold it. Sometimes he couldn't make up his mind to have work the games or the French Fry Stand. I had a hot sauce recipe that I made up to go with the clams. I worked there in the early Sixites when my kids were babies. My son worked for Al when he got old enough also. I can remember going there as a kid many, many times. We went cruisin' thru the park on Friday and Saturdaynites during the Fifties looking for girls. Lots of fun in those days.
06-13-05 Charlene Crand Murdock, Sarasota FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I spent many summers at the park when my parents ran Crans Park Drive Inn Ice Cream store just out side the park. Also my Great grandmother ran the park. I loved the games and the movies and the rides in the 60's.
06-13-05 Richard J. Butts, Flagstaff AZ - email@example.com
06-10-05 Carroll Ann (Moffe) Lynch, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have many fond memories of Eldridge Park. Although I was too young
to enjoy the park in it's "Hey Day", it was just as magical
in the 70's and 80's.
I also remember the roller coaster. I rode on that for the first time and I was screaming "Mommy!" because I wanted off. I was 7 years old then and didn't ride another roller coaster again until I was about 14, and now I ride them any chance I get.
How about that plane ride? Every time that plane went over the lake I thought it would be my last ride, because I would fall into the "bottomless lake". As much as I disliked the Scrambler because I would always end up pushed against the side of the car and bruising my leg, I would love to have it back in the park.
The Whip Rocked! I'd like to have one more chance to catch the brass ring on the carousel. I was too little to reach it before.
One year I was allowed to have my birthday party there, instead of Harris Hill. I was so excited. I think it was the year I turned 8 and I took my 2 cousins and 2 friends. :-) I was saddened to find out the city of Elmira was taking all of the attractions away to build a "sports park". I think it would be wonderful to bring the park and rides back. I would love to show my children how much fun I had.
Thank you for this website and letting me re-live my childhood at Eldridge Park.
06-08-05 Mary Daddona Sullivan - MSullivanMooey1@aol.com
My dad ran a restaurant near the entrance of the park and the members of the acts (that performed at the park) would visit the bar after the park closed. A chimp came in with his owner and loved my poor little brother. We still tease him about the very sloppy kiss he was given. Dare Devil Bluffy was a friend and would spend time with us after every show. We never missed the movies and the show. That is how we spent our summers.
06-08-05 Arlene Daddona Liberatore, Elmira - email@example.com
The park was the place to go every summer. My parents owned Park View Tavern located at the south entrance of the park, so I lived at the park. Having 50 cents you could spend all day there going on all the rides and eating the best french fries with vinegar in the world. Every nite they showed movies or had some act to entertain whole families - all for free! Always spent most of the money riding the lion trying to catch the brass ring. My husband still has one of the brass rings on his key ring. Yes, the park is still one of my favorite childhood memories.
06-08-05 Mari Cayouette, Ft. Lauderdale FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a former resident of Elmira. Through my growing years of the 1940's &1950's, Eldridge park was the most fun place to go, in the summers.. to ride the merry-go-round and get that elusive brass ring,, and the roller coaster gave my stomach butterflies, especially the 1st drop... Those were the days.
06-07-05 Graham, Elmira - email@example.com
My people i didn't live in the age of Eldridge but I must say there's no reason it shouldn't come back. This town is going to hell... and I think this is the thing to save it. We need to add color and happiness to this town to try and regain its respect. Our town needs this and we must pull togther to make it happen. Let this town be what it used to. Let it live.
06-06-05 John Sardo Jr. and Angie Sardo, Clearwater FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
John: I ran the projection booth at Eldridge Park with Ernie Sardo and my father growing up.
Angie: I used to ride the merry go round and the whip all the time. I have the best memories of growing up at the park.
06-05-05 Tim Smith, Elmira - email@example.com
My favorite ride was the air planes. I could ride all day long. Remember Pepsi Day when you could trade bottle caps for ride tickets? It's hard to think all the old trees are gone and one of the finest parks in Elmira was reduced to a flat wasteland.
If the companies left in Elmira could sponsor one small ride or event the experience may be something our grandchildren would cherish and create a family place in the city again. Or we could pretend it's a golf course or hockey arena and our local government could pour profuse amounts of money into it.
06-02-05 Gerald Forsburg, Mt. Jackson VA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My mother's side of the family was from Elmira and we used to go to the park for family reunions. I loved it as a kid. Don't have particular memories except that it was always a fun time. I hope there are plans to re-open the park. It would be fun to visit with a new generation.
05-30-05 Nancy Elwood, Endicott - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: Searched on Web
I was thrilled to find this Web site. I lived in Horseheads as a child from the time I was 3 years old until I was 8 years old (1964 - 1969). Some of my fondest memories are from Eldridge Park. My husband and I went to Eldridge Park in 2000, and I found a piece of wood I believe may have been from the old Roller Coaster. I have it at home in my shadow box. It was wonderful to show my 10 year old son and my husband the pictures of the coaster on your Web site. Thanks for the memories.
05-25-05 Mike Flaherty, Huntersville NC - firstname.lastname@example.org
05-24-05 Daryl Osgood, Daytona Beach FL - email@example.com
05-24-05 Rich Schornstheimer, Life-long Elmiran - RichS@IDBOOTH.COM
When I was growing up, Eldridge Park was the place to go. I will
never forget going to the park and enjoying endless hours of entertainment.
At the time my father was a union prsident at Moore Business Forms,
I remember him taking us to the outings being held in the picnic area
and just how crowded the park was with happy, smiling people having
a good time. Anymore, you travel around Elmira and all you see is
run down buildings and people with unhappy forwns on their faces.
Elmira needs the carousel to come back - a place for people to go
and have some fun without having to travel 2-3 hours and spend a month's
salary just for a day at an amusement park. Keep up the good work
- you're doing a great thing!
05-18-05 Barbara Penley, San Francisco area - firstname.lastname@example.org
What a beautiful city Elmira is. People like to brag about the concrete jungles we have now. Elmira and Eldridge Park are what childhoods and nature should be. I hope to come back and visit soon.
05-17-08 Matthew R. DiPetta, Horseheads - email@example.com
Many fond family memories that are still talked about when we all get together. I wish my grandparents were still with us to see it evolving once again. Bring back the fireworks.
05-16-05 Nancy Kane, Ringwood NJ - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Randy Hendrickson, documentary filmmaker from L.A.
Rating: Absolutely GREAT
I participated in the Talent Shows, which were a great way to get a little extra stage training, although we knew that if there was a baton twirler, no one else stood a chance of winning! I became a professional dancer/singer and now perform, direct, choreograph, and teach in the NYC suburban area.
When I was in high school, I used to spend hours in the Steele Memorial Library reading all about Eldridge Park, from its days as a pleasure garden with a casino through its war era donations of the lions that used to stand at the gates to the present day. I still think there is a mermaid fountain at the bottom of the lake (formerly controlled by a switch in the casino), and someone should make a film documentary about the raising of the mermaid. I'd volunteer to work on it!
I remember a couple of DJs sitting on a swing trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, school picnics at the park, and later fending off amorous advances from a high school sweetheart while looking at the lake at night!
I remember when my father would take me in the spook house and on the roller coaster to teach me not to be afraid of anything.
The closest thing I've found to the Eldridge experience is at Rye Playland in Westchester County, where they still have a whip, a scrambler, a Charles Carmel carousel, and a museum that features one of the flying boats of the kind Eldridge used to have.
Thanks for this site.
05-16-05 Meghan Prunier, Elmira - email@example.com
My Aunt Colleen would take me there for the Farmer's Market and the view was awesome!! I can't wait to see the final product of the carousel !
05-12-05 Lisa Sindelar, Yardley PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My memories of Eldridge Park are so wonderful. I only wish that when I come to town for family visits my children could experiece the same fun and excitement that I did as a child. My favorite rides were the carousel and roller coaster. i will always remember Eldridge Park with smiles.
05-12-05 Jack and Ann Kay, Horseheads - email@example.com
I remember riding the whip, rollercoaster, watching the movies at nite with my parents and siblings and having family picnics there and just walking around the park. It was a fun place to go to! My husband, Jack, worked at the park when he was a kid!
05-07-05 Jan Bowdish, Lake Wales FL
Oh, what memories your site has brought back to me. My first "driving" experience in the bumper cars. Catching the rings waiting to finally catch the elusive brass one. (think I might still have a few around somewhere) Soaring over the bottomless lake in the flying scooters. Unfortunately by the time my kids were old enough to enjoy Eldridge, it was falling into a state beyond repair. I, too, remember the stage shows and Jasper. Jasper was the only thing tame enough for my Mom to ride. The first coaster ride with my Dad cause he was the only one that would take me. Actually brings tears to my eyes, knowing that such a great place is now just memories and what kids today are missing out on with the demise of Eldridge Park.
And just a quick "Hello" to Dr. Brooks who delivered both
my boys at Arnot.
05-05-05 Mike George, Charlotte NC - firstname.lastname@example.org
Still visit the old Park when getting to Elmira once in awhile - what a wonderful place to spend my youth. Loved the merry go ground and the Whip and of course everything else. Saw where Bill Tryon (The world famous Princeton football player) is on your committee - he sold me my first life insurance policy.
Keep up the great work.
04-25-05 Joe Barnelby - email@example.com
Old Eldridgio. The ol' Ridge as we used to call it. Yes siree. I used to love going to the Ridge when I was a young lad of only 10. Oh the memories, the memories. It was great.
04-17-05 Lisa Wieland, Breesport
My mother worked as a nurse's aide at the Arnot (then the Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital) and they always had their company picnics there which included tickets for the rides. I remember that rickety old roller coaster, the whip and the spooks house. My best friend and I got stuck in the spooks house once when we were about 10 or 11! It was hilarious! Anyway, great memories!
04-15-05 Charles Mochrie, Las Vegas - firstname.lastname@example.org
My favorite memories are of the Company picnics at Eldrige Park when there were hills, trees and grass. I was SHOCKED to see what the city had done when I last visited. Eldridge Park and all that went with it from the wonderful french fries to the skeet ball room will forever warm my heart.
04-14-05 Joan Gush, Elmira - email@example.com
Whenever my brother and I were good, this was our treat from Mom and Dad. Even though it may have been only a couple of hours, it seemed like we had spent the whole day going on the rides over and over again and feeding our faces all day long. If we were extra special, we would get to go at night. God, it was great and such a wonderful memory.
04-13-05 Judy (Seymour) Hunt, Pigeon Forge TN - LittleRed56@bellsouth.net
I grew up in Elmira Heights and I loved going to Eldridge Park and especially the carousel!! I have a straw hat from the last hat day at the park, and a card that says I rode the carousel with Jim Miller-Go-Round for MDA at Eldridge Park 8/17-9/1 1986. I now live one mile from the main gate of Dollywood, in Tennessee.
Great web site, Thank You!!!
04-05-05 Peggy (Brown) Hambrick, Cumming GA - PeggyHambrick@adelphia.net
We, (my siblings and I), were born in Elmira but moved to Montour Falls when I was 5 years old. We used to picnic at Eldridge, ride all the rides and eat all the "junk foods" that were so good (we didn't know they were bad for us at the time). Since our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins still resided in Elmira, we visited often.
Class picnics were held there, family reunions, etc. As we became teen-agers, "Eldridge" was "THE" place to go in the warmer months - Joycrest in the winter. Meet with friends, play the games, ride the roller coaster, boat, train, bumper cars, even try to catch the brass ring, or just walk around. A wonderful place to grow up...sorry that we don't have more "quaint" Eldridge Parks for people to enjoy today.
Thank you Eldridge Park for so many, many cherished memories.
04-03-05 Hugh Warfle, Geneva - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was brought up in nearby Wellsboro Pa, and we did all our shopping in downtown Elmira, and my favorite was the Planter's Peanut Store. But if the trip was extended, we went to the amusement park - Eldridge Park.
Like many that have shared their memories of this park, my most pleasant ones are riding the carousel, trying to get the elusive brass ring. Like someone else commented, lucky we did not fall off, reaching way out.
What a a great site.
When I moved from the area in the Fifties, I spent much time at Crystal Beach Park in Canada, which is also gone. The roller coaster was saved and is somewhere in New York State, and has been rebuilt.
04-02-05 Elaine (Underwood) Golden, HHS'56 - Burgaw, NC -
My fondest memory is of the Speedway. My mom and sister were afraid
to ride it but my dad and I rode it every time we went to Eldridge.
It was our special thing. Of course, we rode the other rides, too.
I am so glad to see the merry-go-round being restored and look forward
to 2006 when I will be in NY and will be sure to visit Eldridge.
03-23-05 Ronda, Chemung County - email@example.com
Yes. My dad worked for Tanner's building construction and we had a picnic there one year. I remember the rollercoaster! I was scared but I went on it! I was a little kid!
03-22-05 Berba-Lu, TAE61 - Oldsmar, FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I too remember the roller coaster altho I never rode it. Too scared,
but I did ride The Whip, the bumper cars, and, of course, the merry
go round. Tried several times to get the elusive brass ring. Never
did get it but had fun trying. And, of course, Jasper and the tales
of it being a bottomless lake. Too bad those days are long gone but
we have the memories. Plan on going to the park's location this spring
when I will return after 30 years.
03-21-05 Allen C Fulmer, Southside - email@example.com
03-20-05 Ro McNeil, Pennsylvania -
Having family reunions at the park.
03-20-05 Maryann, Murfreesboro TN - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was an adult when we moved to Elmira, but I worked at the Arnot and we had our picnic there. It was great.
03-20-05 John Wolfe, Kernersville NC - email@example.com
There was nothing more dangerously exciting for me as a 10-year-old kid living in Elmira in the mid-fifties than to stand up, lean, stretch, and dern near fall off a horse trying to grab a ring...any ring... but oh, that elusive brass ring! I have absolutely wonderful memories of the carousel, the bumper cars, and all the amusements. I applaud your efforts.
03-19-05 Pat Hicks(Watkins) - Zephyr Hills FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was in grade school, we had our yearly picnic at the end of the year at Eldridge Park and we all looked forward to all of the fun we would have there. Also, our family, when we would have the type of outing where they would come from all over the country to gather, would come to Eldridge. Many wonderful memories.
03-19-05 JoAnn Green, Elmira - email@example.com
I remember the roller coaster, we use to get on rides with Pepsi caps people. were elbow to elbow walking the Midway, movies, stage acts. It's something I'll never forget and my children never had a chance to see . what a shame...
03-19-05 Jacqueline (Colburn) Reid, Lancaster CA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was my family's favorite fun area. As kids we always rode the ponies (I remember one Welsh pony I always like to ride). The Merry-Go-Round was a favorite too. We would have picnics in the picnic/playground area. I'm thrilled you are restoring at least a part of the park. I was so disappointed to see it in a state of disarray. I do have some pictures that were taken and will look for them.
03-19-05 Ray Kline, Winston-Salem NC - RKline8723@aol.com
Was very sad when I heard that the park was closing, so the return of the carousel is a positive in my book. It will give the kids in the area something to enjoy that us older people had, minus the rest of the park.
I guess the one thing that stands out in my mind about the park, as it's a sad time in my life, is the fact that my mother passsed away in the stage area of the park. At least I know that she was happy being she was at the park, a place the whole family enjoyed for years.
There was so much to do at thepark back then. It probably kept a lot of us kids out of trouble. The food tasted great. All the rides. the arcade. Miniture golf. picnic area. and the great shows put on in the stage area.
Thanks, Eldridge, for all the great times and fond memories.
03-16-05 Gwen MECUM Hunt, Templeton CA - Gwen@AmericanServiceCo.com
Oh yes, the thrill for an Elmira Heights girl was to ride the carousel
and try to catch the brass ring.....grew up in the Heights and went
to Cohen School and TAE for a short while before moving to California
around 1951. I loved the carousel so much I now have a black inside
jumper horse in my living room that we bought at an antique auction-
what a conversation piece - and all the grandkids have had their portraits
taken atop him over the years.
03-16-05 Joy Carlyle, Tyrone NY - email@example.com
The close for almost every date was a promenade of the park and vinegar french fries.
03-15-05 Rosemary Cacciotti Cummings, Irmo SC- firstname.lastname@example.org
As a child it was the center of amusement to me and my family in
the summer time. Many hours were spent on the carousel trying to get
that brass ring as we sail by the arm that held the rings. The many
stories of the monster that lived in the lake kept many a kid from
swimming in it. The new addition of the airplanes was exciting as
the park did not too many new additions while I was growing up. It
was a great city to gtow up in, a great park to be at.
03-14-05 Susan Moulton Witkowski, Wildwood MO - NxDoorGirl@AOL.com
Eldridge Park was one of the highlights of my summer. My brother Jeremy and I spent every summer with my grandparents in Elmira, NY. My grandparents were Doug and Helene Moulton of Kiwanis Road (my grandfather use to run the power plant in Horseheads.) My father grew up in Elmira and my mother is from Sayre, PA. We were so fortunate that my grandparents took us most every weekend we were with them.
Our favorite was the rollercoaster - - the first one for both of us. We were convinced it would collapse while the car climbed the first hill. The merry-go-round was a must -- how could you not try for the brass ring! I still have a white sailor's cap that says Eldridge Park. My daughter plays with it to this day and tolerates my stories of the good old days. I am 38 years old now and would love to bring my daughter back for a walk down memory lane.
03-14-05 Lisa Kerbein Dever, Goldsboro NC - email@example.com
I have both of the beautiful prints of the carousel and my husband had them professionally framed for me. They hang in our living room so I get to reminisce anytime I feel the urge.
As a child I spent many days at Eldridge with my family riding the rides, playing the games, and eating the food. We usually had family picnics there with aunts, uncles and cousins several times every summer. My sister 2 years older than I wouldn't ride the rollercoaster so I always had to find someone to go with me. My parents wouldn't let me ride it alone. Once she made me ride the cups 'n saucers with her - knowing I suffered from motion sickness. Need I say the result?
The carousel was always my favorite because I could pre-occupy my stomach with trying to catch the ring instead of the round and round motion of the ride. The bumper cars and spookshouse were about the only other rides that didn't just spin and make me sick. Regardless I'd beg to go there and beg to stay when it was time to go home. My mother loved to get a cone full of french fries and douse them with vinegar. The snow cones seemed to take care of my upset tummy.
I, too, recall the story of the bottomless Eldridge Lake and the sea monster that lived in the lake that came in from Seneca Lake. I can't wait to come up this summer for my nephew's graduation and come visit the carousel.
03-08-05 Jon Siverling, Lockport NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am working with Hilliard to supply the bearings in the drive system. It looks like we will be able to do it with Tom Makovitch at Kaman Industrial Technologies in Elmira.
I have no memories of the amusement park...I'm 32 and grew up in Albany, but as a native upstate New Yorker, things like this project are important to me. Projects like this are a catalyst to improving the general community.
03-05-05 Dan Rose, NYC - DanRoseMusic@AOL.COM
Your site brought tears to my eyes. I was born in Elmira in 1947
and lived in Hawthorn Court. I lived to go to Eldridge Park when I
was young. Memories are too numerous to mention but your site begins
to capture a lot of them.
02-27-05 Theron Andrews - Elmira & Largo FL - email@example.com
There's not much more that can be said. I also enjoyed the Fastpitch softball tourneys.
02-22-05 Robin Iller, Central Florida - Iller3257@cfl.rr.com
The wooden rollercoaster was the FIRST coaster I ever rode on! I was very scared at first but after the first dip I was hooked!
ahhhh Eldridge Park, what a great place :)
02-19-05 Margaret LaBarr, Athens PA
I remember going to the park from the valley with my parents and
younger brother. I loved to ride the merry-go-round. I liked to try
to grab the brass ring. I think I rode the rolla coster one time and
turned white as a ghost. I am really glad that they are restoring
the carousel. I wish they could bring back some of the other rides
also. Like the whip, and the bumper cars. Also the arcade was a lot
of fun .
02-13-05 Al Houghton, Chemung - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember the hot peanuts. The free movies and talent contest. Boat ride, miniature golf course. But, what I remember the most is all of the times that my family had lunch at the park - almost every Sunday.
02-11-05 Linda MacAuslan, Gillett PA - Lmacauslan@aomc.org
Our Elementary School always visited Eldridge Park for our year end
School trip. It was the best day of the year. In 4th grade we delighted
in bringing up the trip to Eldgridge Park. Our teacher would let us
talk about the trip and we forgot the lessons. It was great to talk
about the rides, especially the roller coaster.
02-05-05 Dayna (Moss) Schreckengost, Ithaca - email@example.com
Hello and greetings from Ithaca. I was born and grew up in Elmira
I would just like to say how wonderful your site is. I sat there
What I didn't see were any pictures of the picnic grounds....remember
Thank you so much for giving me those good memories; it's funny actually,
I was having a bad moment of remembering highschool (EFA grad 1991)
Again, many thank you's. The pictures are great!
02-01-05 Mark Polovick, Elmira & Shrewbury PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My Dad's family grew up a block from Eldrige on Thurston. The home is still in the family. My Uncle worked on the Merry Go Round and the Bumper cars for years. I remember the stage and the talent show's, 60s and 70s and the shooting range with the 22's you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with. We were lucky to have the greatest pleasures the world had to offer. Our children will never understand having 50 cents in your pocket and spending the day away from home at Eldrige with friends having simple and safe FUN. God bless you for your work. I will drive over and relive some memories next week when I am back in Elmira. I still go to soccer games behind the Roller Coaster. My heart will always be in Elmira.
01-24-05 George F. Sproul - BTCElec@msn.com
My big thing was the boat ride. What a nice little park it was. Big trip for me to go there at 6... Used to live in Watkins.
01-17-05 Judy Smith Mann, Elmira - email@example.com
I spent many nights at Eldridge Park in the Fifties. I have many wonderful memories of it. I especially remember the waffles and the tangerine sherbert ice cream they had. I also remember in a building near the arcade there was a mechanical fortune teller in a glass case. You put your money in and out came your fortune.
12-27-04 Jim Griffing, Whitehall MI - firstname.lastname@example.org
I lived in Sayre, PA and Waverly, NY until leaving the area after graduation in '65. My family went there many times for picnic's with Stroehmann's Bakery where my dad was employed for 17 years. I have countless fond memories of the amusement park. It was so sad to return years later and find the park no longer in operation.
12-25-04 Sam Leonard, Sarasota, FL - email@example.com
I am happy to hear that you have got the American Girl pieces and will restore her.
12-05-04 Beverly Porter, Sarasota FL - Porterb44@aol.com
Originally from Elmira Heights, NY, I remember the park and the Merry-Go-Round and the rings I use to catch, a lot of the times the gold ring to get a free ride. What great memories. I used to work in one of the concession stands. What great times. Thank you for the page.
12-01-04 Evelyn(Morter) Westbrook, Piedmont AL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to Troy High School and we always went there at the end of the year courtesy of our school bus driver. I believe his name was Gene Gurnett. It was one of the most wonderful memories that I have of growing up. Reading all of the memories of others brings back all of my own. I especially remember the waffles and the roller coaster. Oh, yeah. the Merry Go Round and the brass ring was another one and Oh, yes, The Whip. Gee. So glad to find this site.
11-20-04 Judy (Lewis ) Kirch, Watertown - CrabLady@A-ZNET.COM
My friends and I would walk down to the park almost every Fri. and Sat. night and hang around. I use to love to ride on the merry-go -round and the airplanes and go out over the water.
I enjoyed this site very much, Even saw some notes on here from folks I went to school with. Thanks for the memories !!
11-10-04 Tammy (Coe) Bretherick, Gainesville GA - email@example.com
My older brother and I looked forward at the end of every school year to that "special" day at Eldridge Park. I remember the Heights, Lincoln School, perogies on Fridays and the candy store! What wonderful childhood memories which included great times at the park, we couldn't wait for all the rides and fun times. Our family moved away in the early 70's but we still talk about Eldridge Park to this day! We are blessed!
10-05-04 Justin DeMember, Corning - DememberJ@yahoo.com
I used to go to the fishing competitions. then I got older and used to go there for the fire works and soccer games.
10-03-04 Bob in Hawaii, firstname.lastname@example.org
I can remember the weekends spent running around in the park. Riding
the coaster and the whip, then bashing into friends on the bumper
cars. Also the weekend dates, riding through the spooks house and
playing skee ball. It is nice to see someone trying to bring a little
of it back. Wish it was possible to bring the whole thing back. Would
be something for our children to enjoy.
09-23-04 Lois Scherer - Burlington, VT - Babblingbrook2@aol.com
If Eldridge is in the town near Syracuse, NY I spent over 13 years
of my life there. I was born on LI and every weekend rode the PTC
on Coney Island. At least I think it was a PTC since I was younger
than 5. Now I have a wonderful painting called Evening Ride by Bob
Byerley that is fantastic as well as a 1/3 size jumper which is all
I can afford in these wonderful times. What is the cost of a horse
like I think the name was Sugar Candy on your site? Hope you will
email me with info, as well as any other carousel news you care to.
If I won $10 million most would go toward preserving all these old
wonderful machines with a little set aside for 1 or 2 reproductions
for me. I bought 50 tickets for the carousel horse drawing but did
not win. If I were back in Syracuse, NY I would live at the Carousel
Mall & try to let them let me operate the carousel there or at
least clean it. Thanks for listening. I really love them 50 years
09-15-04 Tom Valego, Key West - SAMKW1@aol.com
YES! I have great memories of the park. Do you remember Jasper the boat? The Spooks House? Ralph Long and those great candy apples? The train? Kiddieland? That little rollercoaster? Then there was a little storm called Agnes. Can you imagine what that water did to that carousel? That is when I went to work for Bob Long. There was an apartment above the Spook House and Ruth ruled the roost! I have pictures of Bob in his workshop teaching me how to carve and paint along with his grandsons Scott and Greg. I also have photos of every horse and the Lion and the Tiger. How about that round sky blue room with those deco speakers? I could go on and on.
09-04-04 Jim Morrell, Endicott - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: I know Bill!
It was SO scary entering the park from the west (from College Ave). You would come thru the small underpass of the railroad, and "worry' that Mom/Dad driving would not turn in time and you would go right into the lake and the monster would GET you!
Also, I got my first "door prize" there.. when Iwas probably
about 10 or so, Iwas at my mom's company picnic (Westinghouse), and
in a drawing at the Band Stand, they called my number! I won a basketball!
It is one of the few times in my life I remember WINNING anything!..
there were pictures around someplace.. maybe when and if I go thru
my mom's stuff, I will find them..
08-29-04 Dora Lewis-Wassum, SE PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I love and adore amusement parks but since Eldridge was my FIRST amusement park, it'll always have a special place in my heart. Nothing newer or better can replace it. For me, it'll always be the BEST! I loved your web page!!!!
As a child of the fifties, Eldridge was the scene of the yearly
It was difficult to sleep the night before the picnic. The family
My Daddy took me on the Speedway coaster the first time when I was
The bumper cars were always a problem for me as well, once I grew
Daddy also took me on Jasper, the dragon boat. Mom always
The Merry-Go-Round was also a right of passage. As one grew you
As a teenager, I visited the park on dates and loved the chance
My profession took me away from the area and the park in 1972 but
08-26-04 Nick Baccile, Coconut Creek, FL - email@example.com
It was a great place as well as a safe place for kids to meet unlike the big city where I live now. Can you think of a better place to meet a girl and invite her into the spook house. I cant think of any.I miss all my friends that I met their along with those fond memories. So far away now but the pleasant dreams are always their. Enjoy!
08-17-04 Kathy, Allentown PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I only went to Eldridge Park once as a child. I grew up in Waverly, and my parents weren't too big on entertainment. I was too small to ride the roller coaster, and the screams coming from the Spook House scared my mother, so she wouldn't let me ride it. But I remember Eldridge Park with great fondness, and I love going through your site.
08-16-04 Kitty Mack Kuhn, Medina OH - email@example.com
Eldridge Park! Oh the memories flood back. Field trips from Lourdes, family outings, the carousel, roller coaster (once I rode it 23 times in a row). It was always a special treat to spend a Sunday there. Never went into the SpooksHouse, but my bother Jack did. I remember the shows, smells, cotton candy and the lake with no bottom. Don't remember the name of the boat - an age thing. I'm thrilled that the carousel is open again and can't wait to make a trip to see it and walk down memory lane!
Still keep in touch with some ND/EFA girlfriends, think it would be great to have a reunion at the park/carousel. Great work to all that have worked on this project. Hi Sue! I used to babysit you girls!
08-12-04 Morton Sadinsky, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Heard Dr. Lyon speak tonight.
I grew up in Elmira (Born 5/1/29) and spent many enjoyable evenings at Eldridge Park with my family. Carousel and Whip were favorite rides and getting rings on the carousel was great fun. Playing Ski-ball was another favorite. As an adult I worked for Dairylea and we always had our annual family picnic at the park.
08-12-04 Pam Mattone, Painted Post - email@example.com
08-08-04 Mary Jo Rohde (Johnson), Kansas City MO - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park. Wow. I lived on Doane Street from about age 5 until
age 12. The thought of being so close to the park was too much for
me! I remember getting a dollar or two and heading off for the park
with my friends (on foot of course). I can't remember how many birthday
parties my sisters and I had there or how many stories we heard about
the lake being "bottomless". What I DO remember is riding
the merry-go-round and how proud I was of myself the first time I
could actually reach the arm that gave the rings!! I'm not sure I'll
ever forget how thrilled I was the first time I actually got one!
I can still see the man who ran the ride back then (wish I could remember
his name). That's been 24 years ago and as fond childhood memories
go, it's in my top two! Glad to hear you're trying to preserve "the
08-07-04 Jeff Rosenheck, Pine City- email@example.com
08-04-04 Ruth Cleveland Palmer - Rudote42@yahoo.com
The amusement park we went to, growing up in Wellsboro, PA was ELDRIDGE PARK! We loved riding on the carousel, grabbing for the brass ring, riding on the roller coaster, boat rides and all the picnics. My three sisters and I always considered it a very special treat when our family took us to the park.
07-26-04 - Jack Wheeler, SHS 1963, Rochester - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Yahoo Elmira N.Y. Group email
I have many memories of Eldridge Park. Family picnics, the rides, the arcade, bumper cars, spooks house, roller coaster, and, of course, the merry-go-round. I can remember trying to get the brass ring for a free ride and getting 2 rings on one passby was quite an accomplishment. I won a bike there in the Fifties and a putt-putt golf tournament in 1964. I think there were water shows on the lake as well. There were also some very good softball games played there.
07-25-04 - Ewe11111@aol.com
I, too, grew up at Eldridge and was sad to hear it was forced to close. Although I sadly expected it with the times the way they are today. I was very interested in Parker Zack's pictures and it brought back fond memories. I grew up in neighboring Horseheads (1978) and like Parker, now live near the Seabreeze Amusement Park. I live in Rochester, NY, but find myself thinking often of my youth when I was at Eldridge. The park is gone, but at least some pictures are still around. Thanks!
07-25-04 Margie Bennett, Lake City MI - email@example.com
I was fortunate to grow up in Berkley, Michigan, where we had access to several amusement parks: Walled Lake Park, Edgewater Park, and most importantly, Bob-Lo Island Amusement Park. To go to Bob-Lo you had to take a cruise (1 hr.) down the Detroit River on the most wonderful ferry boats. Capt. Bob-Lo welcomed all passengers. They had live bands and dancing, food and souveniers for sale. There was also a midnight cruise on the boat that did not stop at Bob-Lo island. Now the island has been sold for condos and the boats are anchored outside Detroit in need of some TLC repairs. Bummer.....
07-11-04 Anne Marie Jackson Bronson, Niagara Falls - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: searching the web
To many wonderful times at the park....one of my favorite is when
we were rewarded for a being saftey patrol at J. Sloat Fassett school.
07-11-04 Carol Cordner, Troy PA - cjc@CQservices.com
I'm a native of Smethport in McKean County, PA so never went to Eldridge Park or saw the Carousel there; however, I love carousel horses -- have been to the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum in N. Tonawanda, NY where many of the original carousel horses were made and have been preserved. I think it is a wonderful thing that you are preserving and restoring this great art and that it will be open to the public. Bravo!!
07-11-04 Patricia M. Otis, Rome NY - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: web site of SHS '54
Fond memories of Eldridge. Family Reunions, gatherings plus SHS Reunion
one year too! Like Bill Cook, I took my
children until the park closed.
07-06-04 Donna Wood, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
My memories of Eldridge Park are meeting my husband on a blind date at Eldridge, and spending time there, and going there with my children's class when they were in school. Nice memories.
07-05-04 Anne Marie Jackson Bronson - AMB41654@aol.com
I was born & raised in Elmira. I spent many many happy fun times
I live in Niagara County. My children are now all grown. My grandchildren
would of loved Eldridge Park. I have wonderful happy memories of the
park & times with my family. I turned 50 this year. Thank you
Editor's Note: If you'd like to know what
happened to Jasper, click
here. It's a story you'll never forget.
07-05-04 Jim Scott, Horseheads - email@example.com
I think my first memory of Eldridge Park was in 1960. My parents had moved to Elmira around 1955 or 1956 and then to the Heights. This particular year I was starting the First Grade at Cohen-on-the-hill in the Heights in the Fall (we lived at just the bottom of the hill on 13th Street). That July 4th, we went to the Park and I remember the fireworks; lots of rockets and spinning things, noise and smoke. But the standout was a firework that appeared to be an American flag just floating in the air. Just blew my little mind away. Later, as a teenager, I spent as many summer days & evenings there as I could; skeerolling, riding the coaster, shooting ducks, riding the whip, sailing out over the lake's edge on the airships, and getting "green" in the cups. And that miniature train running around all the time! Not to mention grabbing for the brass ring for the nth time ... and a pretty dark-haired girl whose uncle was rumored to run the carousel or something like that. Since then we've played many games of softball on the various fields there.
But the most amazing thing was years after we left Edison and moved on when I came across some old photos (at the defunct pizza place where the coal pits used to be) showing buildings from the park in the early part of the last century. When I asked about them I was told of a casino and a dance hall and all kinds of other interesting things. Amazing, simply amazing.
07-05-04 Judy (Mitchell) Conklin, Gainesville FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Elmira Heights and we spent many wonderful hours at Eldridge Park. My dad and grandfather both worked at Thatcher's and we always had the company picnics there. What great times we had. The talent shows, the outdoor movies, all of the rides and of course the Merry-Go-Round with the brass ring. What fond memories. How I wish it were still there for my children and grandchildren to see.
07-05-04 Karen (Weisenfluh) Moon, Phoenix - email@example.com
This is such a great website. My grandfather was Al Weisenfluh and
ran the gift shop, ferris wheel and games. I spent many years as a
young kid, till highschool when I spent my summers working at the
park. There were many perks having your grandfather part of the park.
I, too, have a brass ring and many great memories. I found a friend
that I worked with when 18 on this website. Have emailed her and caught
up on 25 years passed. So thanks for the memories.
06-28-04 John Sleggs, Hornell - firstname.lastname@example.org
My family moved from Elmira when I was eleven years old. One of my fondest memories was the hours of pure pleasure that I spent at Eldridge park. Today we were attending a soccer tournament at the park and I walked over to see the old Carousel building. I was delighted to see that the people restoring the Carousel were busy at work. They were most gracious to chat with my wife and I. We walked around and enjoyed looking at the restored animals. The happy memories came flooding back.Elmira is truly fortunate to have dedicated people working to restore a piece of history that is near and dear to so many. Thank you!
06-23-04 Bobbi Molettiere, Souderton PA - email@example.com
The first 12 years of my life was living across the street from the world-famous Willow Grove Park. I loved the Merry-Go-Round, the music and the beautiful animals. It was only 25 cents to get in and I was there almost every day. I knew everyone that worked there and they would pretty much let me ride for free. The best memories of my childhood were at Willow Grove Park on my Merry-Go-Round.
06-18-04 Tom Burhyte, Horseheads - TBurhyte@stny.rr.com
You know they say dreams don't come true. That may be in the sleep mode, but in all reality the day dreams of working at Eldridge Park have come true for me 100 percent!
I wish other people could know and understand where I'm coming from. Maybe some do. I used to go to the park after it closed in 1989 and try to look thru the cracks in the building to just see the ride without the horses on it, but now I have my own key so I can go down there anytime and just sit and see it as it was back in the 40's and 50's and imagine. This makes my day - big time.
I can close my eyes and still see all the people I used to be associated
with way back then. The thing about all of this is I still get all
choked up when I'm down there. I worked with so many good and honest
people like the late Bob Long, Herb Randall and his brother, Ralph.
I truly believe that having worked there with them has had a big effect
on my life and the way I have lived. The day this project gets done
and we give that first ride again, I don't know how I'm going to be
able to handle it, but I will some how!
Editor's Note: Thanks to Tom and the folks working on the Eldridge Park Carousel Project, thousands of Eldridge dreams are coming to true for all of us. To those of you who don't know who Tom Burhyte is, please read about some of his contributions to the carousel preservation project and the stories he has contributed to this web site by clicking here.
06-18-04 Colleen C. Hosking, Museum Assistant, Herschell Carousel Factory Museum -
HeardOfUs: NCA website
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Your efforts to bring back the Eldridge carousel are fantastic, you should all be commended. The carousel is the one thing that I would always ride at any amusement park I visited, and the memories are so wonderful. You are re-creating a machine that will give future generations some of the same memories enjoyed by those of old. When people visit the Hershell Museum and tell me stories of visiting Crystal Beach and various amusement parks when they were children, their faces light up with fond memories. Thank you for giving our children the chance to experience this!
06-14-04 Tom Starkweather, Fredericksburg, VA -
06-11-04 Vickey Kincaid Paggio, Tampa - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for bringing back a lot of wonderful memories. My dad worked for Thatcher's and they had their picnic there every summer. Remember the playground with the old wooden slides, my cousin got a fanny full of splinters on one of those.
I can still smell the fries, candy apples and waffles while strolling down the Midway. And the talent shows were always a lot of fun. The fireworks across the lake on July 4th and trying to do everything on that last day before they closed for the winter - we wore ourselves out!
I met my husband, Tom, while he was working at Kiddieland. We have a lot of wonderful memories. It was a wonderful place to grow up. Family, traditions,and values are fading fast in America, so thank you for taking me down memory lane and letting me relive what probably were the happiest and best of times.
05-29-04 Donna M. Reynolds Ruhmel - email@example.com
In the mid sixties.... no matter what our original destinations.... we always ended up at Eldridge Park to end our evening out with a ride on the Merry Go Round...
Where are the safe places like Eldridge Park for our children? Looking back you really appreciate the times and places.
No matter who was visiting from where... my mother insisted on taking them to The Park.... It is such a nice park for our area"...and so we have many memories of The Park. I have always been sad my kids could not experience it.... And now.... they may get that chance.....
Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication.....
05-27-04 Betty (Locke) Baldock - RoadRunnerWoman@hotmail.com
I also remember in the early 80's when my brother would come home from the Marine Corps on leave and the whole family would wind up at Eldridge Park. My brother was an expert rifleman (has the badge and all to prove it) and my mother would always challenge him to a shootout at the rifle range at the games area everytime. They would BOTH grab the rifles, and start shooting, and EVERY time, my mom would outshoot him. He would always get mad and say that he let her out shoot him because she was his mom.
But, I know better. Anyway, I miss being there with my family and watching mom outshoot my older brother each time. To this day, Raymond would deny it ever happened. but, my mom, dad, AND other family members can confirm that it did happen. Too bad they can not do that now. If they brought all of this back, my mom would do it again.
05-25-04 Don Montgomery - firstname.lastname@example.org
A trip to Eldridge Park from Waverly was a major affair back in the Fifties and early Sixties. Family reunions (we always seemed to be near the horse statue) and special days of any kind were spent at the park. We always saved a ride on the Dragon Boat for last, before we left for the very tired drive back to "The Valley". The park might have been in Elmira, but we felt is was our park too. My Dad worked at the old GE iron foundry on the other side of the tracks. Anyone remember the little steam switch-engine? Riding the merry-go-round again would be a dream come true. Good Luck!
05-19-04 Coni O'Shea - ConiO@em.cortland.edu
Please restore the park. I would love to hear about any plans that may be in process for opening the park again. I so want to bring my grandchildren to enjoy this wonderland of enchantments as much as I did.
05-12-04 Irene K. Diveris, Woodbridge, VA - email@example.com
Yes, I had fun times there, loved the roller coaster, spooks house, & bumper cars. It was gone by the time I had children and came to visit my family in Elmira. My children had fun at Harris Hill and Watkins Glen.
05-10-04 Cindy Saparito, St. Louis - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Elmira, NY. Elmira was and still is, a great place to grow up in. Maple and Oak trees still line the streets. I remember the Great Flood of '72. I remember the thick mud and the destruction it left behind.
Of all my memories of Elmira, Eldridge Park remains my favorite. There were family reunions and A & P Company picnics on those hallowed grounds. If I close my eyes, I can still remember the long, rickety ride up in the old, white, wooden roller coaster and the view looking back at Eldridge Lake. I also remember the brass rings I managed to get while riding the Merry-Go-Round at Eldridge Park and I wonder what ever became of my collection. When I rode the airplanes over Eldridge Lake, I knew for sure how it must feel like, to fly.
Eldridge Park was an experience that I have longed for over and over again.
05-05-04 Brenda (Cook) Brinck, Chesapeake VA - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: looking on the web at Olivia Langdon site
I was born in 1958 and in the late Sixties and early Seventies my sister use to take me to Eldridge Park every weekend. I loved it, She use to let me steer the flying machines (planes) and drive the bumper cars. I loved the merry-go-round and to get the brass ring for a free ride. It was awesome. I wish it was still there for my kids to enjoy like I did.
My memories are told to my kids now age 29, 25, 22 all the time. My mom just passed away in April 04 at the age of 87 and lived in Elmira all her life and she use to take me to Eldridge Park and watch the enterainment on the stage through-out my teen years. We talked all the time about what fun we had together at Eldridge park. What a wonderful park it was.
05-04-04 Sheila, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
A wonderful place for a family to go and have fun in a beautiful area. I have a brass ring from back then. That was the goal to get the ring while riding a steed or other animal. After catching the ring I had my daughter. The park is still pretty. I am happy about the return of the Carousel and the ring is in my daughter's baby book.
05-03-04 Keith Oxley, Miami FL - email@example.com
I was born in Elmira in 1960. I moved to Huntsville, AL in 1965. We visited Elmira/Horseheads often. I spent the summer with my grandparents in 1973 (I was 12). My grandfather, Joseph Nagy, knew the owner of the SpooksHouse and Rollercoaster. One day before the park opened, my grandfather took me in and I rode the rollercoaster non-stop at least 10 times all by myself. I have very fond memories of Eldridge and have a photo of the rollercoaster.
05-02-04 Kathleen (Nelan) VanScoter, Laconia NH - firstname.lastname@example.org
Many happy memories from childhood at Eldridge Park. Love your site!
04-29-04 Deborah Wright Kopcho - email@example.com
I remember the Merry Go Round, in fact I still tote a ring from it on my keychain. Very fond memories of Eldridge Park. My children literally filled every seat on some of the rides (horse carts).
04-26-04 Gregory Erway, Canandaigua - firstname.lastname@example.org
This site is simply awesome. I feel sad every time I think about how Eldridge is gone. I absolutely cherish the days of old spent at the park. I first visited the park with my family in the late 1960s as a very young child. Over the years my favorites in the park changed. But the park always held a special place in my heart. The memories just come flowing back like...
But most of all, through all the years, I remember loving to try to get the brass ring on the carousel. In some of the last few years the park was open, my best friend and I would head down to Eldridge to try to get some brass rings. The origional ring mechanism gave a ring everytime and if you got the brass one you won a free ride. If the ring you grabbed wasn't brass you could toss it in a tank on the back side of the ride. I don't remember this method myself as it was conveyed to me by my father from much earlier years. I have since seen this method in operation at Knobels Grove in Pennsylvania.
But by these later years, the mechanism was replaced with one where only one (and I think with enough people possibly two) rings would be released per ride. You tried to get your finger into the area where two spring loaded fingers could be clicked. When the ring was actually released your finger would come out of the mechanism with the prize on your finger. In the later years, a light board was added to give people the sense of doing something with their empty clicks for the ring. As you clicked away, the lights on the board would change colors to show that some progress was made.
We figured out that if we waited to ride when we were the only two people on the ride, we had a much better chance of getting at least 1 free ride from a brass ring. But we quickly found out that there seemed to be a magic number of clicks needed for a ring to be released. Unless we could get more clicks per ride we just were not going to get the rings. We quickly learned how to make multiple clicks per pass of the arm. We experimented with reaching as far forward as possible and while clicking the arm we would swing our body back to allow maximum time possible.
We got to know the ride operator that was frequently there who taught us the two hand technique where you would simply stand on the edge and use both hands to click the arm all the time trying to lean our bottoms back far enough to keep our balance and not fall off (as we did not hang onto anything during this method). Frequently the ring would be dropped due to the release coming in the middle of multiple clicks. We quickly learned the proper way to leave and rejoin the moving ride. I loved the feel of sliding my right foot along the floor of the ride was you looked for an opportunity to quickly step up and grab a bar all in the same motion to get back on.
My friend and I tried to count the number of actual clicks we were getting by watching the number of light square changes made per pass. I believe our highest number of clicks was around 8 per pass with the typical being 4 or 5. We also figured out the "magic number" of clicks needed for the first ring was around 200 or slightly higher. I still have many brass rings from Eldridge parks carousel and carry one with me every day on my keyring.
I think it's fantastic that there is an effort to bring the carousel back to life. I can only wish that this might grow in the future to include a resurrection of the whole park, a park I would be proud to bring my two sons to visit so that they might get to experience some of what I remember as some of the best times of my life.
04-23-04 Connie (Osborne) Gleason, Payson AZ -
04-21-04 Christine Harrigan, Tampa FL - email@example.com
I can remember going to Eldridge Park with my family EVERY Saturday night. Joe ran the "whip" and he was a friend of my dad's so we got to ride that several times for free! AND that brass ring on the Merry-Go-Round, it was really something when I would get it. When I got older I was allowed to go watch the fire works with my friends. Great memories I will never forget!
04-21-04 Jonell Campbell, Westfield PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
04-17-04 Bill Cerny, Ballston Lake - email@example.com
My memories of Eldridge Park would cover picnics, all the rides, ball games, stage shows, & movies, including all of the good eating places that were available .
I`ve told many aquaintances about the place since leaving the area. It`s certainly too bad it`s gone.
04-14-04 - Karen Baker Irwin, Charlotte NC - firstname.lastname@example.org
04-04-04 James Flaherty, Webster MA - email@example.com
I spent a lot of time at Eldridge Park when I was young. Back in the late Fifties and early Sixties, we lived in Hathorn Court (another place of fond memories), and my mom worked at the Park running the Gift/Souvenir Shop, so I had to be there during the day while my dad worked. During the weekdays, business was slow, so the guys running the games would say, "Oh, your Betty's son, just go ahead and play." I got to know the Mini-Golf Course really well.
My best childhood memory was at age 5, meeting "Zippy the Chimp", who put on a great show. Someone in my family has an 8x10 of me shaking hands with Zippy. But yeah, the Scooter was awesome flying over the lake, the Coaster, the Whip, the candied apples, and, of course, the Mini-Golf Course. Thanks for having this web site!!! I'll be back.
03-31-04 Jo VanDemark - firstname.lastname@example.org
Surprised by how many great memories your web page has stirred!
03-30-04 Tom and Shirley Thomason, Horseheads - email@example.com
I loved the airplanes that would sail over top of the lake. It was
my favorite ride, after the carousel, of course! I had such a feeling
of freedom my 1st airplane ride! Also I remember the fantastic firework
displays, like no other I have seen, I wonder if it was just because
I was a kid?
My memories are not about your wonderful park in Elmira but of the man who has created the wonderful animals for the carousel. Larry Pefferly was my classmate in elementary school. I can tell you he was talented then and I am thrilled to see his talents used to recreate memories for so many as shown in this guestbook. Cheers and accolades to the folks responsible for keeping part of what made our country great alive today.
03-21-04 Sherry Conover - firstname.lastname@example.org
My mom used to take my nieces and nephew and me at least once a year to the park. Usually twice a year through the 1950s and 1960s. It was the outing of the year for us and always looked forward to going. When I got older and was dating, that was the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. I still have a brass ring from the Carousel somewhere in my accumulation of stuff. I hope the Carousel can be brought back. I would like to someday take my grandchildren to it. At least they would get a part of what I used to have.
03-20-04 Bob Wheaton, Crofton MD (near Washington DC) - email@example.com
I grew up in the Fifties and Sixties in Painted Post. I remember many warm summer evenings, after a day of playing. Mom and dad would say to get ready...we were going to Eldridge Park. Wow...I can still recall the excitement and anticipation as we traveled to Elmira. I remember how exciting it was to go under the overpass and catch the first glimpse of all the lights and rides.
I was still too small ...or too chicken to tackle the "big" rollercoaster on my first visits. So I stuck to the reasonable facsimile in Kiddieland. I remember my first ride on the speedway...I had never gone so high or so fast in my life! I thought my stomach was going to float out of my throat! I remember fondly also...the whip, "Jasper" (how scary floating on the "bottomless" lake in a dragon) also....the spook house, the carousel, the "Scooters" that flew way over the lake shore so high!!! And...the bumper cars. To read these memories and see these pictures is truly a joy! Fond memories indeed.
03-13-04 Jamie Melville - Clayton NC - JGMelville@aol.com
03-13-04 Ronda Allen, Pittsford - firstname.lastname@example.org
Harding Bros. picnics, my grandfather watching me on the merry-go-round, my first dive down the roller coaster, the spooks house, yummy waffles with powdered sugar on top, watching "Abbott and Costello" movies at the pavillion, miniature golf when I was older, wondering if there was a bottom to Eldridge Lake.
03-09-04 Nick Fierro, Elmira - Nfierro@stny.rr.com
How about the food at Eldridge? The French Fries & Vinegar were the "best" anywhere. I spent alot of hours in the Penny Arcade just from returning bottles to the store for deposits. Remember when you could actually "use" a penny for something. Keep up the good work with the Web Site. I'm enjoying it all.
03-02-04 Candy (Dettweiler) Rounds - Ontario Canada - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: Elmira-NY .com
I remember all the great rides and the mid-way, all the eating booths, and the band stand, but I also remember the great Fireworks display that was put on every July 4 right over that lake. I could sit on my porch and watch the beautiful display that filled the skies that night.
03-02-04 Maxine Butler - Gainesville FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
My father's side of the family grew up in Elmira and all my uncles at one time or another worked at Thatcher's Glass. I was born at Arnot-Ogden Hospital. I remember a Butler family reunion held there when I was a child. I liked the Park and the Merry-Go-Round, but won't ride the roller coaster with my older siblings.
I have very fond memories of it and couldn't find out what happened to it until I found your website. I am so pleased.
02-29-04 Marie Ciuros Girardi, Sanford FL - email@example.com
I grew up in Elmira - it will always be my home. Our family used to go ever Saturday night. Mom and Dad would watch the movies while my two brothers and I would go on the rides. We lived on Railroad Avenue, so sometimes we would walk to the park following the railroad tracks. I was there five years ago for a funeral and always go by the park. I miss it all still today. Just wish someone would bring Elmira back to life again.
02-29-04 - Randy Green, Elmira Area - Dream-Weaver5@stny.rr.com
I personally think the entire park should be rebuilt. I remember going there for years (I'm 37) for picnics and riding the rides.
The funnest time in my school years was when Watson school busses in Corning/ Painted Post School District would take an "end of the school year" trip to the park. Fond memories! I was very saddened to see the park go downhill and eventually go completely.
Remember the huge statue that was at the tunnel entrance to the park? What ever became of that? That was our way of knowing as a kid that we were near Eldridge Park and IF dad turned there, we all were totally thrilled beyond belief. It's too bad that someone with a kind heart (like you) wouldn't have come along before and saved "our" park before it was picked apart and destroyed.
My aunt has pictures - some dating back to the 50's and 60's) that I am trying to get (so I can scan them. She will not part with them for good (and I don't blame her) but if I can "borrow" them I will send you copies.
Maybe after the Carousel is done, the society can work on taking possession of the rest of the park for future preservation. Isn't the park a historical site or can it be considered to be placed on the list?
Thank you for all your wonderful work and keep moving forward!
Oh..... one last note.... I work at the Wal-Mart at Consumer Square
and get the honors of seeing the Honey Bear everyday :)
02-27-04 Patti Rouse Sherfey, Snow Hill NC - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remembered growing up in Southport and when Thatcher would have their family picnics and going to have a great time on the Tea Cups, Spooks House, Merry-Go-Round and getting the brass ring, which I still have after all these years. My son asked where I got that from and I told him from Eldridge Park where I would go on weekends.
He asked me if he could go there when we went to Elmira and I told him that the park was gone. It was so sad to see it go. I wish they would open it back up. The fries with vinegar were fun. The roller coaster was the best to me. Riding it at least eight times in a row. Please bring back the park for our children to enjoy like we did for years.
02-27-04 Roy Kennedy, Lunenburg MA - email@example.com
Yes, I have, I had forgotten until I found this site. How much fun we had in the late Fifties & Sixties. I wish I had the brass rings I stole??? I'm sorry!!!! I was a kid !!!!!!!!!
PS. I grew up in Millerton, PA.
02-25-04 John Carleton, Port Orange FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Went there as a child. Loved getting the french fries with vinegar and riding The Whip.
02-20-04 Rachel Simonds, Horseheads - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: surfing the web
As a child my parents took us there often. I always loved the airplanes and my favorite was the orange plane. As a teenager my friends and I always went there to socialize and ride the rollercoaster. I sure do miss dear Eldridge Park, I only wish my daughter could see it how it used to be. I also miss the beautiful tall trees in the used to be picnic area.
02-07-04 Leona Waters - firstname.lastname@example.org
My great Aunt Dorothy was a member of the Sky High Alcidos trapeze act. I was doing a web search on them just for fun when I came across the article about Jasper the Dragon Boat. I have a picture of Aunt Dorothy sitting on Jasper's neck. You can see his name "Jasper PV23" on the side of the boat. I always wondered where that was and what happened to it. The picture is labeled Elmira, NY. 1942.
02-06-04 Betty (Locke)Baldock, Elmira Heights - RoadRunnerWoman@hotmail.com
I remember another attraction that I had forgotten to mention in my last post. I remember seeing the Blue Ridge Quartet at the bandstand. They always played there. I have some of their records STILL.. Boy, THAT is something as a young girl you never forget.. But, of course, I still cant get over the amount of people that would pack the bandstand chairs just to hear the Blue Ridge Quartet sing.. And they didnt do just any songs, they also did some gospel songs as well.. Like i said, when my brother and I were younger, we would always be there to help them set up or tear down before and after their show. Good memory.. Thanks again for letting us tell our stories..
02-05-04 Margaret Franklin, Oshawa, Ontario Canada - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: booth at NCA/ACS convention
I had special memories of P.T.C #12 at Crystal Beach amusement park in Fort Erie. My favorite animal was the hippocampus. The Comet was also my favorite roller coaster. Crystal Beach closed in 1989 but my beloved carousel had already vanished in 1986!!
I am a self-employed artist who creates custom hand-embroidered T-shirts and other merchandise. Carousel horses and mengerie figures are my specialty subject.
01-30-04 Frances Osteen - Lenore910@aol.com
My favorite memories of the park are of all the park, but especially the roller coaster and of course, Jasper. I can still see us walking in the sunshine through the midway and always getting a candy apple or cotton candy. It was a wonderful place to take the kids and I still remember the free movies. I even remember the monkey cage and the shows on stage. People complain that there is nothing for kids to do anymore, so why did they let Eldridge Park just slip away? I'm 70 now, but would still go and enjoy it. I'm happy about the carousel and hope maybe it will lead to other rides and games. I can remember my dad telling about dancing there and rollerskating with my mother.
Since the Heights Theater has reopened and is doing well, I can only hope the future of the park will do the same.
01-23-04 Betty (Locke) Baldock, Elmira Heights - RoadRunnerWoman@hotmail.com
I remember Eldridge Park back in the early Seventies because we always had our family reunions there. My cousins and my brother and I would run through EVERY exhibit (especially the games area). I remember the Spooks House more than anything because one time, my brother, Raymond would go with me. We would go through it and towards the end, a sign would pop up that read "DUCK!" and a duck would fly out. Now my brother was tall back then(Still is, but, a bit taller) and he was wearing his favorite baseball cap. Needless to say that "duck" knocked his hat off his head. He was so mad that they had to shut the ride down for about a half an hour just to find his hat.
I also remember the Whip. This isn't your ordinary ride. You sit there and get flung around like a rag doll. I got hurt one time on it. I was bruised and all. But, I still liked it. Then there was the Flying Planes that went over the lake. I liked that. It gave you a chance to see the WHOLE lake.
I am now 35 years old and have fond memories of the Putt Putt too. NOW, I look and there isn't anything there anymore. I would LOVE to see the Carousel back. I was at Walmart the other day and saw one of the new things that they are going to put on the Carousel. My mom collects anything with bears and she would LOVE to have that in her collection. Although, I have NO idea where she would put it. I want to see the Spooks House back also. But, with new things to enjoy that would scare us(or at least try). That would be a good one.
Thanks for making a GREAT site for us to go back down memory lane.
01-17-04 Charon, Oswego - firstname.lastname@example.org
Childhood memories of Eldridge Park!? Which ones do I choose?
Do I choose the first summer I ever went there? Summer of 1975 and I had never seen such a small amusement park (my only other amusement venue was the State Fair, but I was too young to appreciate that). and how I tried to ride everything at last once, but couldn't because I got tired and sick?
Do I choose the summer my mother and her husband broke up, and everything was so bad at home I was at the park almost every day, even when I didn't have anything more than bus fare to get there?
How about when I was down to my last dollar and played one of the games there and actually won a decent prize (a set of four colored shot glasses from the game next to the Fun House), which I used as a Christmas present for my favorite Aunt? That was also the time I (much to my embarassment) went on the roller coaster with a soda in my hands. I still blush when I think of the soda I was dowsed with as we came down the big hill.
Then there's the time my mom spent her 36th birthday party at Eldridge Park, and me, my aunt, my two cousins, my favorite aunt, and my grandmother all went on the rides together.
I cry when I think of this, but up until my move from Elmira to Oswego, I still had the last Brass Ring I ever won from the carousel. I couldn't use it because we had to leave, and planned to use it later that summer. However, one summer became another, and then the park was closed. I wanted to keep that ring all my life, and somehow I lost it. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for losing it, but at least I still have my memories.
One last memory . . . Eldridge Park also gave me a different kind of memory as well. When I was fifteen, My 89 year old aunt (the recipient of the glasses) spent an entire rainy afternoon regaling me with memories of the bandstand and dancing to various bands as well as her own memories of the park and how they got rides, how there used to be the dragon boat, and how the park changed over the years. She's gone now, but that memory is still with me, and will be forever.
Thanks for letting me relive some of the BEST times of my childhood!!
P.S. Why aren't there any pictures of the Tea Cups? I used to LOVE those!
01-14-04 - Kate Carsten, Horseheads - email@example.com
I just found the web site last week and boy oh boy! I'm spending a lot of time here. I can't wait for the Merry Go Round to be going around again! I can still see my mom reaching for those rings! And me waiting to get big enough to do that myself. I remember all the games, and, of course, the airplanes! The Whip, The Spooks House (particularly the Duck sign and then the Duck) HA! One weekend they had free admission for 2 days and the place was just packed. I remember looking down on the crowd and all you could see were people! I don't remember having to wait in line too awful long tho, and I guess it didn't bother me much anyway.
I just read the article on American Girl and I was just in tears after...I can't wait to see her come back as well. She'll even get to keep company with a whole herd this time! I just don't understand why people would destroy her the way they did....
I remember the stories about the lake too! As a matter of fact I just took my son there last week after discovering the honey bear at Wal-Mart, and as we sat there looking at the lake, I told him that it had no bottom...he responded with a sarcastic "yeah, right, Mom" then silence...then " is that really true "...I did manage to reply with a somewhat cryptic "YES" and well...I think he got the message.
God bless you for all your efforts! Hope to see you at the park Peace.
01-11-04 Jim Blackwell, Troy, PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
My father was John Blackwell who played organ for the Eldridge Park
Talent Parade. I remember Jay and Ginny Parker who organized the shows.
We were a family of five kids and always spent weekends at Eldridge.
We always got complimentary tickets for the rides. I remember Bob
and Ruth Long and the behind the scenes tour of the Spooks
House. My rides were the Flying Scooters, the Bumper Cars, the Whip,
and of course the Merry-Go-Round. I was afraid of the Speedway(roller
coaster) at a young age, but in late years of the park I loved it!
Who could forget those candy apples or the variety of sherbert, especially
tangerine! The park also had a great mini golf. Thanks for giving
me this opportunity to contact you.
12-26-03 David Zumchak, Rochester - email@example.com
My father is from Elmira Heights, and we would come down from Rochester a couple of times a year to visit my Grandmother. If it was the summertime, we would inevitably go to Eldridge at least briefly. My grandmother had taught in the Heights for years, and it seemed like she knew everyone at the park.
I suspect that over the years I rode on all of the rides at least once -- except for the roller coaster. My parents and my grandmother were convinced its collapse was imminent and wouldn't let me ride (I'd sure that fact that I still don't like roller coasters has NOTHING to do with that).
Reading through the other memories posted, I notice a number of people remembering seeing The Banana Splits perform on the stage, and I remember that, too. I wonder how often they were there.
David Phillips, Celebration FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
12-20-03 Barbara (Schonher) Crerar - Stratford, Ontario - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: SHS-web-site & Tom Burhyte
I have great memories of Eldridge Park, All the kids from our neighborhood made it a weekly thing to do,in the summertime. It was a place of fun and excitement, the whip was my favorite. Loved the music of the merry-go-round, the ringing of the bell and finding just the perfect horse to ride on. ( We all had favorites) Went in the Spooks House, once. It was a scary place as I recall.
A lot of our family reunions were held at Eldridge Park, up on the "hill" where you could look down and see all that was going on. The movies put on at the park, were a big thing with us kids and the acts that came to perform at the park.
It was amazing how far a dollar would go at the park. The popcorn stand was my favorite place to find something to eat.
I am so pleased to hear of the restoration going on with the carousel
and proud of those who are behind doing this.
12-13-03 Robert Frutchy - firstname.lastname@example.org
I really enjoyed the mini outdoor stage that use to be there and various acts performed for a usually small crowd or people coming from the Midway. The bumper car rides were awesome, the Carousel was fantastic, especially getting the rings out of the dispenser, throwing them back into a retreival box, but, maybe putting one in one's pocket for a souvenir.
The roller coaster was always fun to ride on, but, like the rest
of Elridge Park, deteriorating with age and neglect by ?????. It was
always great to visit, ride on Jasper and take in the scenery etc.,.
Another facet was being able to drive all around the area, picnic,
laugh and have a grand old time while at the park. "Ah, for the
good old days"!!!
12-12-03 Ed Vallee, Phoenix AZ - EddieInPhx@yahoo.com
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Eldridge Park. The sounds, the smells & the best candy apples in world! I especially remember playing Ski-Ball in the Arcade with my Dad and riding The Whip with my Mom.
Wow.....if I could only go back.
12-10-03 Linda (Austin) Congdon, Horseheads - email@example.com
So many memories here when going through this site. I think it is wonderful that you are bringing back the merry-go-round. I remember when I finally got big enough to catch the brass rings. My parents took my sister and me there when the fair was in town. Eldridge was much nicer than the fair. We watched movies there, talent shows there, so many different shows.
My favorite rides were the merry-go-round, roller coaster and the gliders that went over the lake. My children also got to enjoy Eldridge for a few years, too! Candy apples were my favorite there. My mom loved the fries with vinegar. It was a shame to see it all close down. I have been to Seabreeze in Rochester and it is so much like Eldridge was. The memories are so good to have. This site is wonderful. Keep up the good work!
12-06-03 Barbara (Rahall) Penley, San Francisco Bay Area
My father is from Elmira and as a child he took my sister and me to Eldridge Park. It was better than Disneyland. Now that I am older, I appreciate things more and wish more places on earth could be as lovely as Elmira, New York. I would trade places anyday to be there. Thank you for a great website.
12-02-03 Audrey H. (Burhyte) Comfort, Elmira
I did work at the custard stand for Ralph & Ruth, at the time they were showing movies! I had a real good time for I could work and at the same time eat all the "Chocolate Custard" I could handle!!
12-02-03 - Bill Cook, EldridgePark.US webmaster - firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, Bob Lyon, you finally got me good.
I first went to Eldridge Park in the early sixties with my great grandmother and was not allowed to ride the roller coaster. I was very disappointed. I spent a lot of time on the merry-go-round and still have, in my posession, three brass rings. That was a big thrill. I also was fond of the cross-country car arcade machine. The object was to stay on the winding road and make it from New York to California.
11-12-03 Claudette Estrada, Dorado, Puerto Rico - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: my cousin, Bill Cook
Rating: Absolutely GREAT
This web page brings me back to my roots. The cherished memories of parents and family are relived at Eldridge Park. Eldridge Park meant fun, laughter,and excitement in sharing with my Dad, Mom, Sister,Gramma, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.
Our family reunions in the summer were always held at Eldridge Park. Is there still a myth that the lake is connected to Seneca Lake by an underground channel? I always believed the stories to be true. Every time I looked at that lake with the dragon boat I wondered if the boat might end up in Seneca Lake with us on it!
I rate the Web page as Absolutely GREAT, EXCITING AND MEMORABLE!!!!!!
11-12-03 Richard Kay, TAE '62 - firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Elmira Heights. I went to elementary school at the old wooden #1 school next to the what was later called Mary Thurston High School. I graduated from TAE in 1962. As a child, TAE's present site was a large corn field for the "Reformatory".
I can remember walking from 13th Street, down College Ave, past the corn field and over McCann's Blvd tracks (at that time a very high ramp) and along Thatcher's plant (by the railroad creek) to get to the park. I remember needing to be there to watch the movies, the serials and the "hot rod movies"
The Merry-Go-Round was tops...get the brass ring. It was really a treat when I was old enough and big enough to lean off the horse and be able to touch the ring dispenser and get rings.
Candy Apples and cotton candy were our biggest treats.
The roller coaster was always a treat. I remember my mother saying that she went on this the night before I was born. (This would explain a lot of things!) I have a post card of the old Dance Hall that was atop the hill. That's gone now, as well as the hill. Many a picnic were held on that hill.
It is a shame that this park had to be destroyed. It could have been saved. Yes it was costly, but such a fantastic park and its amenities would have been a benefit for Elmira to keep. I remember when the Merry-Go-Round horses were sold. It broke a lot of hearts to see those magnificent carvings removed.
Eldridge Park will always be Eldridge Park to me, no matter what
it looks like.
10-23-03 - Hinolah@wmconnect.com
I have many memories of the park, but there is one that stands out for me. I was a puny kid but still tried for the brass ring while riding the merry-go-round. On one such ride and having no luck as usual, Mr. Long came over and personally gave me a brass ring. What a special treat that was and it shows what a special person he was!
10-17-03 Larry L. Rice, Elmira Southside - email@example.com
I am disabled I have been disabled all of my life. I went to Eldridge Park mainly on the weekends with my family and we had picnics. When I was a little boy, I can remember the free movies, and the talent shows. My cousin John Rice use to work on the Merry Go Round, and I use to get free rides. And my Dad knew the man who ran the Whip and I got free rides on that, and they gave my family tickets for the other rides. I would like to get some pictures of the old Merry Go Rround & the new one so I can make post cards to sell. Keep up the good work.
10-15-03 Sandy (Tracey) Rollins, Livermore, CA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in 1942 in Elmira and grew up there. Eldridge Park was one of my favorite places to go, and I have many fond memories of it. Once, when they had a special event onstage, they were having drawings for different things, and I won a Schwinn bicycle, the biggest thing I've ever won!
As a small child, my mother would usually bring us to the park, and I remember being scared to death to ride the boat in Eldridge Lake because if I fell out, there was no bottom, and not even my body would ever be found. I even kept my hands in the boat! I had a love/hate relationship with the roller coaster. I went on it, but I was really scared of it, and to this day, I don't go on amusement park roller coasters. I loved the Whip and the Bumper cars,and my favorite food was a kind of waffle with powdered sugar all over it that I just adored. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else.
As a young teen, my group would often walk to the Park, even though we lived way over on the South side. In those days, it didn't seem all that unusual to walk many miles.
I left Elmira when I was 16, and the first time I came back for a visit, the park was already shut down. I was so saddened to learn it had been closed, and that the wonderful carousel horses had been sold off. What a tragedy! I can still hear the sounds and smell the great smells, and wish I'd had an opportunity to take my own children and grandchildren. I will never forget Eldridge!
10-13-03 Richard Hogan, Vienna, VA - email@example.com
The best ride in the entire park was the Spooks House!! I would love to have my kids take a ride through it. The best ghost house I have found since is the one at Knobles in PA. My family went to Eldridge Park every year as part of the Athens Ingersoll Rand family picnic. We always had a great day.
10-13-03 D. Shaun Congdon, Honeoye - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: newspaper article
I grew up in PA. Just outside of Elmira. I do not have any specific memories but I do woodcarving and know several woodcarvers. There is a guy in vermont that carved the carousel horses for Eurodisney. Looks like you have your plans laid out but they might be interested in watching or helping.
10-12-03 Jamie Melville, Clayton, NC - JGMelville@aol.com
10.5 hours to The Park - I see my brother Mike in Atlanta submitted an entry (6/13/03) that said he was afraid the roller coaster car would leave the the tracks because I probably told him that. Well.....I did tell him that! I also told him how the airplanes broke off and flew into the lake and how there was a monster in the lake that came from a hidden canal to Lake Seneca. We were kids and know better now. But I do look forward to telling his kids those stories when we meet after the Park is rebuilt and opens again.
10-09-03 Audrey J. Edger, Southside - email@example.com
I remember Eldridge Park from the late 30's. There used to be a den near the railroad tracks and in that den were bears. I remember in the 40's trying to catch the brass ring on the merry-go-round although I was too short to reach it. The old dance hall from the early days of the park sat up on a hill near the east entrance by the Erie Railroad tracks. It was boarded up and we were cautioned by our parents not to go near it.
The arcade games, especially the one where you threw balls up a carpeted machine(like the modern bowling games) were a big hit because you won beads, little cups, etc. just like at the fair. The Spooks House and the Rollercoaster were also exciting. On hot summer nights, my mother would take us for a ride on Jasper to cool off. It was great fun being able to reach over the sides and run your hand in the water.
The big trees on the playground gave such good shade on a hot summer afternoon. The swings, teetertotters, and the push merrygoround were always full. Then evening set in and we settled down to watch the movie being shown that evening and the stage acts that came to Eldridge Park. Most of us didn't care that the movies were old. Times were tough, money was short, and the movies and acts were free. It cost 10 cents to ride on the rides except for the Merry-go-Round and that was a nickel. For fifty cents, you could have a great time and have enough left over for a hotdog or icecream.
Remembering Kiddieland and the little train that circled out around
and under the roller coaster, I used to take my daughter to Eldridge
Park and she rode on all of the Kiddieland rides and the train. She
also loved the merry-go-round and Jasper.
10-09-03 - William Scheepsma, Horseheads - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Searching the net
Riding Jasper on the lake and live shows in the park. It was a family park with lots to do. Too bad it had to disappear.
10-02-03 - Frances (Scheid) Osteen - Lenore910@aol.com
Boy, did I love Eldridge Park. My children and grandchildren, too. My first roller coaster ride and my favorite, The Whip. I rode it just before they closed the park. Have to include old Jasper, too. Let's face it. I loved everything about the park and have never had a candy apple like the ones made there. Wish it was all still there. My mother and dad roller skated and danced there. They would be 103 now. Thanks for the wonderful memories which brought a tear to my eye as well as smiles.
09-30-03 Penny Brink, Columbus, OH - PBrink@alldata.net
I worked at Eldridge Park all 4 years that I was in College (1978-1981).
I worked in the Gift Shop that was owned by Al and Priscilla Weisenfluh.
They had an apartment in the back of the Spook house. I knew Al's
family and also the Bittners: Scott, Greg and Doug. I also worked
Skeeball once in a while. It was a perfect summer job. I got to ride
most rides for free, especially the Roller Coaster since the Bittners
worked it and the bumper cars after the park closed.
09-28-03 Doris V. Thomas, Brooksville, FL - MomaPapaThomas@webtv.net
HeardOfUs: my niece
Yes, my late husband, & I used to like the Merry Go Round, plus I was a nut for bumper cars. Just walking around & watching all the happy families. & of course can't forget the boat rides. My family, before I was married, had family reunions there every year. Wish they would bring it back, for my grandchildren to enjoy.
09-28-03 Gail Van Cise, Elmira - email@example.com
HeardOfUs: saw the website posted on the old Gorton Coy Building window
Oh yeah...unfortunately I was at the tail end of its hay-day, having been born in the early 60's. But I remember seeing the Banana Splits there when I was probably 8 or 9. My family always had family reunions at the park; the picnic area was so awesome...I actually cried the day I went there and discovered that that beautiful area had been leveled. I remember one Saturday when I was maybe 4 or 5, and my older sister took me to Eldridge for the day. And my AV club outing in 8th grade was at the park; must've rode that coaster 10 times that day!!!!
Your website is absolutely wonderful! I looked at everything and enjoyed it sooo much! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reminisce about good things from my childhood!
09-23-03 - Renea "Bennett" Roussell, Elmira Heights - No1RangerGirl@juno.com
I remember when I was a kid being just terrified of the rollercoaster but I always rode on it if I wanted to or not my father was so proud of me and I wanted them to think that I wasn't scared about anything. Oh boy, was I ever scared. I can remember to this day that I when we started to go down that drop I would try to climb back up it - without success, of course. And to top it all off, we pitched a tent right behind the beast so there I was staring at it as though it was a nightmare and I had to sleep by it.
I was also scared to go into the Spooks House, I remember a time I went with a couple of friends, and my friend, Kelly Barton, wanted to go in the Spooks House and I was not going in. It would be the first time and I have lived here all my life and why would I want to go in now, after avoiding it all those years? I think it was 1983, I was in 8th grade. SO I raise a stink about not going in and the guy who ran the Spooks House that day overheard us talking and me saying that "I wasn't going to go in there it was too scary for me." He told us "To come here." and so we did, and he said to me "I will let you go on free" and here's the stupid part "if you are scared, after you ride this time" Even as a kid I found that statement rather stupid. Why would I want to go on for free another time when I didn't want to go on it ever? Well after that Kelly Barton said to me, what do we have to lose, if your scared he will let us on again for free. So I went in and closed my eyes shut the whole time, tricking the girls I was with to believing that I had my eyes open the whole time, we got out and I acted like I was not scared. All was good after that. But I didn't go on it again.
I always like the bumper cars and later they brought in the go-carts, I really loved them but seldom got to ride them because they "Cost too much." my parents would say to me. It was my first time "driving" and I couldn't wait for that.
I remember playing pool in the arcade, fireworks when my great grandma was alive. My first kiss with Tim was there, the father of my son, Christopher. Later, I had my wedding shower there, it was cold out and my father and his friends put plastic tarp up around the pavilion. My sister's graduation party was there. And a Brink family reunion we had there, when my great grandfather was alive.
I rode the carousel and I think that I caught only one ring, because before I was too scared to try, and when I did get one I was big enough to not fall off the ride. But my husband, Michael and my favorite ride (and I remember riding it like it was a religion) was the big whip. Boy, it was the greatest ride - it seemed to be hypnotic in the way it would make you feel.
Years later I heard that they had found old ride cars that were from Eldridge park in Seneca lake I thought how terrifying that was to hear. I remember thinking I rode the airplanes and they went right over the water and a couple of others did as well and I could have fallen in and gotten sucked down into the water and went all the way to Seneca lake. Wow, what a terrifying thought that, and that there is some connection underneath Eldridge pond and Seneca lake.
I loved Eldridge park and I will never forget it when it was the happening place to be here in Elmira. The other day I was at my father-in-law's and we were looking at some old picture's and there it was the old rollercoaster and I got a chill thinking about all the times I was "being brave" for my father and how I really miss those good and the bad old days at Eldridge Park.
09-15-03 Mike Ribble, West Bend, WI - firstname.lastname@example.org
As a child in the 1970's my family used to visit Eldridge park often. I recall the kids ride where you would fly the airplane. I also recall the carosel where you could get a brass ring. Great memories.
09-10-03 Alan Coldiron, Pittsburg - email@example.com
The feeling - excitement, joy, anticipation of going through the tunnel and there it was - the planes going over the lake. You knew it was going to be a great day!
In the late Sixties and early Seventies my father would perform in the Park on the main stage Memorial Day with his band Cliff Coldiron and the Countrymen (I have pictures somewhere). I remember other music shows at the park including the Blue Ridge Quartet and others. Although it embarrasses me to admit it, I begged my parents to take me to see the 'Banana Splits' once (from the Saturday morning kids show).
One of my fondest memories is my Hopkins Street School 6th grade picnic. It was the first time I rode the Ferris Wheel. I went on with school mate Jeff Fielding. After the first time around I started screaming "GET ME OFF". Oh well - what a wimp!!
A couple years ago I went to the site of the park and found it to be very sad that it's mostly gone. Today I find new happiness in knowing that another old school mate, Bob Lyon is involved in restoring the Merry Go Round. You can bet I'll be anxious to see it once completed!
Waffles !!! My grandparents lived in the Heights. My fondest memories were going to the park and getting waffles. Of course I grew up in Kiddieland and graduated to the big rides. All but the Ferris Wheel were equally my favorites. I had forgotten about the machine gun on the jeep until I was reading through the long list of mail and read that someone had bought one and still has it. Probably I cranked that gun more than once.
I remember when the turnpike opened. Man, what a thrill it was going through the covered bridge and racing downhill at breakneck speed. Of course the Whip Jr and Sr were also thrilling . One memory that will never be forgotten is when the speedway was running without anyone at the brake lever and it ran around the track several times before someone got to the brakes. Man, that was scary watching the cars come in full speed and roaring around that first curve out of the loading area the whole track, wood and all bowed out when the cars went around it. I was waiting for my ride when that happened. I wonder if anyone who was on the coaster will read this and write in about that ride.
Skeeball with my mom and grandma was also a big highlight, my grandma was pretty sharp at it. Nobody seems to remember the scrambler but maybe it was too new for some people to get used to. I could not believe the city and politicians couldn't see the benefit to the community and surrounding areas and just basically turned their backs on it and made it die. I can not picture my childhood without waffles, etc. I only remember one thing about Roseland Park and that was the wild mouse ride. One time on that was enough . There was just no substitute for Eldridge Park then or now.
09-05-03 - Frank J. Forte, Jr., Layton, UT
HeardOfUs: Star Gazette Web site
Of course the Merry-Go Round, the brass ring are vivid memories for me. I loved the old down and back wooden roller coaster and the Flying Airplanes that threatened to throw you into the lake. Who could forget the French Fries in the snow cone cup with ketchup and vinegar and of course the Waffles with powdered sugar.
All of it is a great memory, I was brought up on Oak St. in Elmira. I loved that park and never have understood why the city let it go. I am so pleased to see this project and only wish I was there to help.
09-05-03 - Barbara Schwartz, Mahwah, NJ - firstname.lastname@example.org
09-02-03 Tom Dean, Elmira - email@example.com
How would you like to hear Dr. Bob Lyon speak about the Carousel Restoration Project? Dr. Lyon, local dentist and spearhead of the Carousel restoration, will be speaking on the Wednesday, September 10, 2003 at the Horseheads Rotary Club. The meeting begins with a buffet lunch (optional) at 12:00 Noon at the Horseheads Holiday Inn. Program begins at 12:30. Interested in attending? Call me at (607) 734-1884 (eves) or Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - Tom Dean. I will have some Eldridge Park memorabilia on display including an old penny arcade machine called "What Am I Inclined To Be" in working order. Only a penny to play.
09-01-03 Rick Rennells - email@example.com
I was born at the Arnot Ogden Hospital in Elmira, NY in May 1954. Eldridge Park was a real highlight while growing up in Elmira Heights, NY.
Each summer, my father's employer, Hardinge Brothers would hold their annual picnic at Eldridge Park. My three sisters, one brother and I -- being the youngest would love the reunion! Those free tickets from Hardinge Bros. and all of the food they provided was a real blast to a little kid. The Dance hall was closed when I visited there, but I do remember the statue of that famous "horse" that stood at the entranceway from Horseheads Blvd. To this day, I cannot remember the story behind it? Anyways, once I got the nerve to go on the Speedway, I would have to go again and again!!
Remember the Spookhouse?? My Dad had told me that as a teenager when there were no cars along the tracks -- He and his friends would sneak in and grab peoples ankles as they walked along the rope guided tour. That sounded so fun to imagine the horror people felt!
I'll always remember the Lake that had "no bottom". Folks
would say that (I suppose out of rumor) it would tow you away if you
fell in and that you would be
The last time I visited Eldridge Park, most of it was completely closed, I felt sad. Remember the Ring Toss, the Paint Wheels where you made your own design as it spun around? The deep fried Waffles that were made can never, ever be the same elsewhere, period! The cotton candy, the small Arcade which dazzeled us at a young age had one of the first Penny Stretchers ever where you could make a memory to take with you.
To sum it up, Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY was the best! We lived on Elmira Heights Blvd and a quick walk through Thatcher Glass's Plant made it so easy to go there.
Long live the memories of Eldridge Park and I hope the history will be shared with both young and old.
08-27-03 Deb Southard, Elmira Heights - Classyfied2U@aol.com
I spent almost everyweekend at the park. We had the best roller coaster for miles and I was always afraid it was going to fall into the swamp because it seldom got painted and looked so rickety.
The Merry-Go-Round was so beautiful and I spent all of my time trying to get the brass ring although my arms were never quite long enough to get any ring at all. My sister was a master at getting it and getting free rides. My favorite horse was a black stallion in the middle of the three rows, it moved up and down with the ride and music.
Those memories will always be cherished and ironically when I finially
purchased my first horse 5 years ago he was a "Black Stallion"
Thanks to all who are bringing some of the memories back!
08-25-03 Chad Perfetti, Oswego - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: Surfing for old amusment park pictures
I have never been to Eldridge Park. I appreciate the dedication that you guys are putting forth, to preserve some good old fashioned fun. Kids these days are lost. I remember Roseland Park and Gaslight Village in Lake George.
08-24-03 Jack Koniski, Endwell - email@example.com
Having grown up on Roe Ave. most of my "formative years" the 1940's, a trip to Eldridge Park was an easy bike ride. I recall playing ball on the north diamond and trying to hit the Thatcher Glass Works - dream on.
In my too numerous to count trips to the park, I enjoyed all the rides except for the Roller Coaster which demonstrated to me that an astronaut I wasn't cut out to be - not that the term astronaut was even in existence in those days. The skee-ball got lots of my "hard earned" nickels and reminded me of my "boss" while working at the Mark Twain Golf Course at the time - Mike Rybak who practically cleaned the place out with all his high scores.
After college and the US Army, I moved to Endicott to work for IBM. My parents continued to live on Roe Ave. and as my family visited my parents, a trip to the park was a frequent event. In later years, my dad and I would watch the softball games at the field next to the lake. I certainly support your efforts to keep the memory of the park alive as well as your restoration activity. Keep up the good work.
08-19-03 Tina Vain, Bridgeton - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was like a second family to me and my family. Many fond memories.
08-17-03 Sam Leonard, Sarasota - email@example.com
This is an update of my February 2003 comments. I have purchased a "Brass Ring" from the wonderful organization working on restoring the "Merry Go Round". I urge others to do the same. I hope Elmira gets its' beautiful park back. It was a really special place.
08-16-03 Jo Ann Edwards Libby, Sun City, AZ- Gehler41@wmconnect.com
I grew up 4-5 blocks from the park and have many wonderful memories of Eldridge - from the absolute best candied apples ever to the thrill of my first roller coaster ride!!! Thanks for letting all of us "kids" still have those memories and thrills.
08-06-03 Donna (Dobson)Gott, Nesquehoning, PA -
My fondest memories is weekend trips to the park, doing park rides, candy apples, french fries with vineger, and the best times of my childhood" I graduated in 1972. My sisters still live in Elmira/Horseheads area.
08-06-03 Mark Jones, Elmira
I went to see Seabiscuit the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find a carousel horse in the lobby. It brought back so many great memories from years long past. Thank you.
08-06-03 James Benjamin, Riverview, FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
07-30-03 - Donna Rose Dobson, SHS 72 - email@example.com
I lived all my life in Elmira, and Eldridge Park was part of my growing up. I have moved away from the area, but I have a twin sister Debbie (Dobson) West who still lives in Elmira and when I do get up there we go over by the park. My best memory although I have many , is the Spooks' House. And candy apples - yes, those where the days.
07-28-03 Deborah A. Randall-Hlubek, San Antonio - RandallHlubek@hotmail.com
Thank you for spending your time and energy providing this memorable web-site.
Family and friends have special memories of how they spent a significant part of their lives "experiencing" Eldridge Park. My Grandparents, Ruth and Ralph Randall gave a very significant part of their lives to the park. They operated the Cotton Candy/Candy Apple stand, the Custard stand and ran the boat(s)-including Jasper- on Eldridge Lake. Needless to say, their oldest grandchild has special memories of them and their/our lives in the park. Thank you again.
07-28-03 Barb, Naples - BBORREL1@rochester.rr.com
I remember going to Eldridge Park in grade school for our annual end-of-the-year class picnics. My family used to love going to the Talent Shows in the summer. As a college student, I worked at Eldridge Park from 1981-85 and ran many of the rides that you have pictured on the Website.
I must editorialize here for a moment: The City of Elmira leadership at that time caused the demise of Eldridge Park. The owner of the park at that time tried desperately to return the Park to the status of its heyday - and the City blocked him at every turn. For example, he requested that a fence be put up with a nominal fee (1 or 2$) required to even enter the park - this would keep the gangs of kids and vandals out of the park and make it safer and more inviting for families. The city said no - so we had to constantly break up fights, chase away kids trying to steal tickets, etc. It broke my heart when I saw that the city bulldozed everything to the ground to make soccer fields - actually the City had already "buried" the Park in the mid-80's. Sorry to be so bitter - but Elmira had it's chance to save that Park and they chose not to at the time.
I was born and raised in Elmira, graduated from Elmira
Catholic High School Class of 54, and have many memories of Eldridge
Park from early childhood through high school.
Thanks also for a visit to a great site. You've triggered a flood of wonderful fond memories.
07-22-03 Bob Wynne SHS'62, Denver
Crusin' this website is a trip down memory lane. From a toddler at picnics and family reunions to riding in the Spooks House in Junior High. Going to Eldridge was such a treat - loved the Roller Coaster, the Whip, getting the brass ring on the Merry-Go-Round. Will always remember the hot sugar waffles, the french fries with vinegar (not ketchup). A real special treat was to stop at Lovell's for a Lucky Monday on the way home.
Kudo's to the SHS Class of '58 - this website and the links to our
favorite memories are "priceless".
Would love to hear from my classmates.
07-07-03 Sue Beach - East Smithfield, PA - RSBeach@excite.com
I grew up in Ithaca and it was always a great treat to go to Eldridge Park. One of my fondest memories is winning the game where you had to shoot water into tubes and reach the top first. I didn't want one of the big stuffed animals, I wanted this tall, pink ceramic cat statue with some gold glitter on its front. Because of this my cousin who came in second also got to choose a prize. I still have that ceramic cat to this day. The Spook House was the scariest with the Airplanes that went over the lake coming in a close second. I have tried to describe the Dragon Boat to my daughter and, now, thanks to finding your wonderful website, I can finally show her what a REAL dragon boat looks like!
07-07-03 Deborah Knapp Golightly, Jacksonville - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember the merry-go-round, and I caught the brass ring twice.
Oh, the roller coaster, my friends and I have so much fun. I visited
Eldridge park last July 2-7, I was in Elmira for our 30th class reunion,
was sad to see that the merry go round was not there. Hope they get
back soon. I grew up in Elmira, I miss it alot.
07-06-03 Bryan, Lake Worth, FL - email@example.com
I still have a brass ring from the merry-go-round. Got it in the mid 80s before moveing to FL. I think I still have it someplace
07-02-03 Gerald S. Clark - Dade City, FL - HMCE7RET@aol.com
Loved going to the park. Spent all my summers at Big Pond, Pa. but would somehow convince my mother and father to get me there at least five or six times a year. Loved the Merry-go-round, the roller coaster, the whip and, of course, the bumper cars, (kind of drive like that today!!). Liked the fireworks and of course the shows at the grandstand. Remember the waffels--great tasting!! Also a great place for picnics. Hope they get the merry-go-round refinished, would like to take my daughter there the next time we come to Elmira--if ever. Maybe for my 50th class reunion.
06-21-03 Barbara Jean (Northrup) Schwarting - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have pictures of myself and my two cousins, Shawn and Dennis Northrup and my parents' friends, John and Jennie Semesky, and the twins, Marlene and Arlene, and brother Ted, all at the park. I remember riding the merry-go-round and getting the gold ring, couldn't go on the Whip because my dad got hurt on one when he was young, but loved the Roller Coaster! Loved it all! Thank you for the memories!
06-20-03 James Glassford, East Syracuse - email@example.com
I worked for Bob Long on the Merry Go Round, Bumper Cars and Fun House in the 1950s and early 60s. I now live in East Syracuse NY. I will try to get some more information on people who worked there when I did.
Keep up the wonderful web site. I enjoy it very much.
06-19-03 John A. (Jake) Rathbone III - Keuka Lake & Bonita Springs,
FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh to get the brass ring again
06-18-03 Al Howland, Johnson City - email@example.com
My wife, Judy and I, were both raised on College Avenue and Woodlawn
Streets and were often at the Park as kids. We are delighted that
the merry-go-round is going to be restored. We drove through the park
a couple of weeks ago and were appalled to see all the trees gone.
We have so many memories of the park that we couldn't get them all
into this note. All of them were good memories. I was especially interested
in the article describing how the lake was dug. We always thought
it had no bottom or was connected to Seneca as kids. That was probably
to keep us away from it when we weren't supervised. It worked!!
06-17-03 Nancy Webb, Elmira
Speedball. I loved speedball. Could have played it all night! Ahh, and then there was the Whip. What a great ride! Could I keep my hands up the whole time on the roller coaster...you bet! Hands up...dinner down...click, click, click, click (up it went)...silence for a split second...and then screams and laughter as it made its way back down the tracks. Ya know, there's just something about an old wooden roller coaster - they had personality - the new fangled ones will never capture their spirit!
06-17-03 Bob Caparula, Davenport, IA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park holds so many memories to numerous to mention. I grew up in the forties and fifties and spent practically every day during the summer playing baseball at the park and enjoying the supervision of Margaret Fisare and Jim Flynn as they passed out horseshoes, shuffleboard equipment, etc. from the little equipment shed located in the playground area. I remember the "scary" OCEAN WAVE childrens playground ride along with the swings, teeter-totters, etc. I would hope that a large outing would enter the picnic grounds during the week which meant that the rides would open.
A big day was 2 or 3 days before Memorial Day when the doors of the Merry-Go-Round would be removed and the task of moving Jasper the Dragon Boat out of its' winter home into the waters of Eldridge Lake.
I will be visiting Elmira again this summer. I can't wait to see the Merry-Go-Round and the progress being made. It sure will be different this year compared to previous years when I would attempt to see through the cracks between the doors to glimpse the Merry-Go-Round.
Keep up the good work and congratulations to all who are keeping the memory of Bob Long and his pride and joy alive.
Bob Caparula, EFA Class of "52
06-16-03 Mike Melville, Atlanta
We went there often as children and had several family events there. I think bumper cars were my favorite and I think there were some boats that went around that you rode in. Of course, nothing was better than the roller coaster... I still remember riding it today! I was always afraid that the car would jump off the track at the bottom of the big hill. (My brother probably told me it would.) It was always a fun time!
06-16-03 Steve and Diane Pryslak, Romulus, MI - PRYS60@AOL.COM
Life seemed so simple back then for most of us in the 50's while our parents struggled to live the AMERICAN DREAM and in all reality we remember the happy moments and a lot of those occurred at Eldridge Park----the picnics with family and friends----the dates--the rides and those FRENCH FRIES with vinegar added----ELDRIDGE PARK represented part of that DREAM and to this day it will ""never be forgotten""----we have shown our grandchildren where we grew up in Elmira Heights---where we went to school and the PARK--our parents didn't need a 2000 sq.ft. home--three cars or a $100,000 dollar year salary to keep up with the Joneses--Life seemed so simple back then because when YOU really get down to it... It was the simplest things in life that brought us the fondest memories.
I would never trade those special moments at the Park. Take care and God Bless to All.
06-15-03 Charles F. Kakritz, Pine City - Freddy7@stny.rr.com
I spent many hours on the Carosal and the Bumper Cars and because I came from a very poor family, the free movies were always a great treat.
06-14-03 Cecil William Gee, Bath - email@example.com
I remember all the great times as a child in the mid 50's through the mid 60's at Eldridge Park. Every year my grandparents, Gladys and William Hardiman (Niagara Falls), would visit around the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends. Without fail we would go to Eldridge. My grandfather was the only person daring enough to take me on the Speedway roller coaster. I enjoyed the large train ride that took us around the park and under the roller coaster. I had one good picture of the carousel with my Aunt Bernita, my Brother Bob, and me. I sent it to her many years ago. Someday, I must go through all the old negatives I have (there are alot) and find the ones of Eldridge Park.
06-13-03 Charlene McCann - firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was a kid I lived with my parents in Lawrenceville, Pa. Actually,
it was East Lawrence, out in the country and we were farmers, definitely
not wealthy ones.
To me it was an "event" just as thrilling as Christmas morning, Santa Claus or Easter and the Easter Bunny. I rode everything at least once(except the bumper cars. I was too little for them for awhile). It was a 'given' to get a cotton candy and also a cone of the most delicious Sherbet. Dad would always say he couldn't understand how a dairy farmers daughter wanted sherbet instead of REAL ice cream, but I got it anyway and he'd laugh.And the last ride before leaving for home was, of course, the Merry-Go-Round.
I am now 55 years old and my heart aches for what 'used to be'. It was elbow-to-elbow people on the midway; lines were long and such fun was had by everyone. Eldridge Park is greatly missed and I am tickled pink to see that a part of it is being restored.
I am a collector of Carousels & Menagerie animals, not the big, life-size ones, I'm sad to say, but many, many porcelain, wooden, ceramic and pewter figurines; some quite large and other as tiny as a thumbnail. And every time I find one I really like, it brings back all those joyous times at Eldridge Park.
06-13-03 PJ - Majikhorse@wmconnect.com
Eldridge Park is a treasured part, I think, of anyone who was lucky enough to grow up in Elmira during it's run. My favorite was - and always will be! - the carousel. Never being "brass" or agile enough to actually grab one of the brass rings, I was in awe of my older cousin who could! When I got older I took my PAL (mentor organization) Jennifer to a picnic there and we rode the boat (not a dragon one - perhaps Jaspar's replacement) on the lake. I still have the picture I took of Jennifer on the boat. CONGRATULATIONS Preservation Society for restoring the carousel - and a BIG Thank YOU too!
06-13-03 Anne Shearer, Horseheads - MeMeAnne@cs.com
I'm all for preservation.
06-13-03 Robin (Dildine) Velez (SHS 90), Tampa
I can't believe the countless memories this brought back and that I am now old enough to have these "good ole day memories." The 1st memory to come to mind was our 5th grade teacher Mr Squier (Parley Coburn). He took our entire class to Eldridge Park. Todd Brooks, John Hmiel and I road the speedway at least 12 times before they made us try another ride. What a great time, great teacher, great friends and mostly a great memory!
06-12-03 Jamie Smith, San Diego - email@example.com
I can remember being so scared to ride the Spooks House. I went through it many times, and NEVER saw a thing. I always had my eyes clamped shut and my head in my grandmothers arms. All I can remember is the noise, and that blast of air that scared the crap out of me. I also remember the coaster... today modern rides have huge padded bars to keep us in our seats. The coaster had a thin chain that clipped above your waist. I dont know how many times I thought I was going to fly out of my seat... but we ALWAYS went back for more!
I remamber one time my mother Elizabeth Smith was in the car directly in front of my cousin Jeffrey and myself. We began that first "drop" and I remember hearing shreaks of laughter from my cousin and the people behind us. When the ride came to a stop, we began making our way to the sidewalk where my grandmother was waiting for us. I was really small at the time so I was kind of lost among the adults.
Just then my cousin Jeffrey came bounding out of the swamp/pond area under the coaster waving a dripping brown hairy thing in his hands... It was my mother's WIG!!! It had flown off during the big drop, and she was left with this crown of hairpins and nylon material covering her head. She grabbed the wig from his hands and stormed off to the ladies room embarassed as hell!
Many years later I had the chance to visit that coaster one last time. After a late movie my best friend Ron Wilcox and I decided to go and walk around the park. It was a very cold rainy evening, and we were not ready to go home. I remember it being so quiet, everything was boarded up ( not for the season, but for good.) or just standing empty. We came to the coaster and decided to walk the tracks. I know it was a very stupid thing to do, but we did it. When we finally finished the walk, we sat on the huge gear that powered the chain to pull the cars to the summit. It was so very quiet, just wind and rain. The great beast seemed like a pile of bleached bones standing so white against the dark grey sky. It began to rain again, so we left... The coaster was torn down shortly after that. sad....
06-12-03 Shirley Pacheco - Toms River, NJ - firstname.lastname@example.org
As a child my whole family enjoyed many picnics at Eldridge Park. We are having a gathering in July and will be seeing siblings that we have not seen for many years. We were hoping to gather at the park for a picnic. As I no longer live in the area I have no idea as to whether there are still covered pavillions there. Is there anyone that could reply to this - I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
Robert Price Jr., Horseheads.- email@example.com
I am so amazed to see that others care as much about this park as I do, I remember all the fun times my dad and I had on the planes that went out over the lake and also riding the coaster and also the caramel apples.
I am so proud of you guys for all the work you are doing and would love to be a part of it. Does anyone know where American Girl (I ithink that's her name) is?? She was the horse statue that was vandalized in the early 80's. Last I knew she was being restored. Can someone who knows please email me?? I remember being so devastated when it happened. I am so glad to have had Eldridge Park in my life, I just wish it was all still here, It was pure MAGIC!! Thanks...
06-12-03 Scott Brewer, Tampa - firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to Eldridge Park every chance I got. In the winters I would ride my bike through the park by the Spookshouse and the bumper cars. The roller coaster was awesome. I can still hear the clicks on the chain as it rose up towards the sky. I loved the airplane ride you could steer out over the lake. I loved trying to pull the ring out of the carousel ride and watching the lights change every time you clicked it. I remember as I got older, I could click it more than once. I also remember being too small to actually grab it! One of my favorite arcade games was the one with the airplane that you flew under the arch! Remember that one? I miss the old park. I'm glad to see it is being partially remembered by those who are rebuilding the carousel. Good job.
LouAnn Pritchard, Canandaigua, NY - email@example.com
My very first roller coaster ride was on the Speedway with my favorite aunt. She put us in the very front seat and then we rode again in the very last seat. I was about 10 years old and scared to death.
Another fond memory was of the Spookshouse. I jump everytime the air hit your legs.
I also remember taking my two girls there just before it closed down. I was so disappointed because it was a great place and very affordable to take your children.
I still ride the Merry go round whenever I get the change in other places.
So many wonderful memories of Elridge Park.
Can't pick just one, but the standout would likely be the water ski shows and the 4th of July Fireworks.
06-07-03 Jamie - Clayton, NC - JGMelville@aol.com
My family grew up in Elmira Heights, "right down the road" from the park. The underpass was always the way in and out of the park for my family - you always had to blow your car horn to make sure no one else was coming through. It was wide enough for only one car.
The Merry-Go-Round was always my favorite - my favorite horse had the confederate and union flags. The Lion and the Armored Horse were a close second & third.
Then there was the creature that lived in the lake. I remember the stories about the monster, sort of our own Loch Mess Monster - I even remember reading old newspaper clippings about the monster that my grandmother had saved.
Then there was the flood and the coaster was closed down. Years later, my good friend Jim was the DJ for WENY dances at the park, and Jim briefly set the Guiness World Record for living on the Carousel.
But through everything, there was always the carousel. It was always there, and it will always be the symbol of the park for me.
06-02-03 Susan Luellen Hutto, Rochester - firstname.lastname@example.org
I loved Eldridge Park growing up. My brother and I had lots of fun at the park. He worked at the whip and the ferris wheel during summers and in junior high school won the talent show for his ventriloquism.
Kevin Todd, Rochester - email@example.com
I have GREAT memories of the park. It was a very anticipated visit every year. My Grandfather's Natural Gas Company held their yearly company picnic at Eldridge ever year. I was in attendance from about 1964 through 1971.
I can still recall many of the rides and the stage. I have some pictures and when I find them I will scan and send them. One is of my younger brother and me on the "Thruway" (I think thats what it was called.) It was at the picnic end of the Midway and had little rail-guided cars on a track. The picture is of us coming off the overpass.
Speedway was the first roller coaster I ever rode and I retain a very fond memory of it. I have to say the "Jackrabbit" at "Seabreeze" here in Rochester is VERY similar and the whole park gives me flashbacks of Eldridge.
I can also remember being young enough to not be able to reach the brass ring on the carousel. The "Spooks House" was a huge favorite of mine, as were the Bumper Cars. I also liked the train ride and the Whip too... The boat ride was a seldom done ride, but enjoyable.
The entrance through the underpass and around the lake seemed to be a great anitcipation builder because the rides were in view but not fully and it was like a reward to ride the rides after getting out of the picnic area.
05-28-03 Susan Newell, Elmira Heights- firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to the park several times as a child with my parents and two brothers. I was only 12 when the park closed. I remember how much fun we would have when we went. My parents would have to drag us to the car to go home. It seemed so large as a child,s o magical. It was so close to home but yet it had all the wonder of a amusement park. That was one of the many things which made the park so nice.
I have children of my own now and how I wish the park was still here for them to enjoy. I love living here, I have lived here my whole life. People loved the park and still long for its existence. Elmira should have taken the time, money, and effort to keep the park open. They had a rare jewel, if only they had cared to realize.
05-22-03 Lynn Dickerson Greatsinger, Horseheads - LDGMA@cs.com
What a great site. This has brought back many memories. I remember going to Eldridge Park for my third grade class trip in 1976 when I went to Coldbrook School. Actually, I think the whole school went that day because the school was closing after that year. My friend Becky and I were on the top on the ferris wheel when it decided to break down. It took a couple of minutes to get it going again, but we were scared and it seemed like forever that we were up there.
We rode the bumper cars and we both somehow got minor injuries. It's funny because she and I talked about this 3 years ago at our 15th year Southside High School class reunion. I never did like bumper cars after that.
Weren't there planes that flew out over the lake? I remember that I didn't want to ride on the dragon boat because I wasn't sure as a child if the boat was the dragon in the lake, or if there was another dragon in the bottomless lake.
I tried and tried to get a brass ring throughout the years and I never did get one. I really wish I had gotten one. I know of a couple of people who have their brass rings on their keychains today. I do remember the Spooks House and the Duck-Duck sign and the loud train noise. It was very scary. I played miniature golf there sometime around the year 1982 a few times. It's too bad that the park with all of it's rides couldn't have remained open. I have walked through the park on occasion trying to remember what was where and it's a happy/sad feeling. Thank God for memories.
Good luck with your restoration project! I bought one of those very large pictures of the carousel. Maybe I'll get a brass ring yet!
05-19-03 David B. Dailey, Wolcott, NY - email@example.com
I remember the Carousel - riding on the Horses and trying to get the gold ring fort a free ride on it again. That was pretty cool. Tough when you could only just reach the holder.
I remember a story about the Dragon in the Lake but thought it was a real one. And that the lake was bottomless, and tied to Seneca Lake somehow. The Airplane ride that swung out over the lake was pretty scary, thinking that if it broke you would shoot out to where the Dragon was and the lake with no bottom.
My families (Dailey, Wayne's & Moylan) enjoyed Eldridge Park so much. My father was wondering about the White House that was at one of the entrance. Whatever happened to that?
Thank you for letting us read so many great memories of this great place.
05-03-03 Joy Keller, Horseheads - NewYorkJoy@aol.com
05-03-03 Marty Stebbins, Altamonte Springs, FL - Martyvh2@aol.com
I grew up in Odessa. It was always an exciting time to visit the park. Bumper cars were fun with the biggest kid the target.
05-01-03 Devon Darrow, Boston - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember begging my Dad to take me there and he usually would. Jasper, the Dragon Boat, was great and I truly believed that the lake was bottomless. The Merry-Go-Round, a favorite for sure, had to have an outside horse. The Whip was great! I remember not being allowed on the big roller coaster for a while and had to do the Kiddie one which was boring.
I remember the pick up a duck game and also some kind of soft ball pitch that I loved. The soft ball pitch had cloth dummy heads that rotated in and out and around some doors and you had to try to knock them over. They were really old and funny looking.
The Spooks' House was another favorite. There was a sign that said DUCK! and then youd hear QUACK QUACK. I remember some rats running around a barrel, and some kind of whirling pinwheel or target that got closer and closer while you heard some scary loud noises. A skeleton would light up and dangle dance around. The skeleton was named Herman and before you got to him you saw a sign saying "Where's Herman?" Also, the noises that you heard when you saw the pinwheel target getting bigger and closer was a shrieking train whistle and railroad track sounds getting louder and louder as if you were going to get hit. This was an excellent effect and scared me every time. At the end some wind would whoosh on your legs. What a blast :)
When I visited Elmira awhile ago and learned that the park was gone I was devastated. Those were the best memories I have of my Dad.
04-29-03 Kim Watson, Colorado Springs - email@example.com
Pulling the ring on the Merry-Go-Round and the ride that took you out over the water. What FUN!!
04-27-03 Wayne Ferguson, Williamson, NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
It was considered quite an event, coming from Cameron Mills, a small village in the Canisteo Village, to visit the park in the Fifties. I remember the Carousel and the excitement of trying to get the brass ring which always eluded me, and it seems like there might have been a boat ride?
04-27-03 Duke Harrigan, Tampa - DukeDuke@TampaBay.rr.com
04-23-03 John "Jake" Fredericks, Flemington, NJ - email@example.com
I grew up in Elmira in the late 30's and 40's (Southside High School Class of '49)and I too have so many fond memories of Eldridge Park. Picnics, family reunions, hoping to catch the brass ring, the Whip (my favorite), the movies (I am sure they were pretty bad, but...). My Grandfather worked on the grounds crew, my Aunt and my mother's cousin worked at one of the concession stands.
Often when I returned to Elmira in the late 60's to visit my parents, I would take my three children to the park and they too remember all the rides that have been mentioned by so many others.
Lastly, when you entered the park under the railroad trestle, there was a run-down pavillion on the left. My mother told me about all the dances she went to there.
04-23-03 Wendy Youmans-Teems, Palm Bay, FL
Even though I spent most of my life traveling with the military in one way or another, Elmira will always be with me. When I think of Eldridge Park, A lot of memories come back. The Carousel will always be my favorite. I wish my daughter could have experienced the same fun I had as a child growing up in Elmira. Thankyou for giving me the memories.
04-19-03 George Rahall. San Carlos, CA - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember Eldridge Park in the Forties & Fifties. The low underpass to enter. The lake that "had no bottom" Remember that? Rollercoaster was unique - made me kinda scared. My daughters got to go there in the Fifties What nostalgia. Charley Rahall's BBQ steaks filled the air...sighhh...
04-15-03 Leo Shepard - Glen Aubrey, NY - Timberwolf0913@aol.com
I remember as a kid leaving early on Saturday mornings to come up and spend the whole day at the park. I truly enjoyed the Merry-Go-Round, the Merry Mixer and, of course, the boat rides. I am so happy to see that someone is rebuilding the Merry-Go-Round. I can't wait to ride it again.
04-09-03 Estelle (Rubin) Morris, Rochester - email@example.com
Our family were frequent visitors to Eldridge Park in the 40's. I have many fond memories and was sorry to see it go. My favorite rides were the Whip and Roller Coaster. I can still taste the custard and french fries and remember the fun picnics we had. They were great times. Thanks for the great site and will look forward to seeing more.
04-09-03 Michael Smith, Ft. Lauderdale - Schwinncol@aol.com
I have very good memories of Eldridge and now collect the very few items I can find on Ebay from the park. I am located now in Dania Beach (Ft Lauderdale) Florida (and am related to Jackie Aber, DDS) But was born and raised in Horseheads, until I was 13, we moved in 1980.
We (3 of the 5 grand children) would goto Eldridge with our grandparents, Leland and Eileen Smith of HHDS. It was off to Eldridge and then when it closed up to Harris Hill for putt putt and then to Lovell's for ice cream. The only thing left is Harris Hill now. And only 2 of the 5 grand children stayed in the area. But, I come back every 2 years or so since moving to Florida. Chemung County is in my blood.
I believe when the carousel horses were auctioned off some of them stayed in the area. My aunt told me that one is owned by someone that worked for the Phone Company and lived up on Ochard Knoll (Latta Brook Road). She was on the last street as far up the hill as the houses were. I don't know if she is still up there or still has the horse. Maybe you could find a couple of the originals to put on display?
I know one thing. When its finished I will be there to ride. My 4 yr. old daughter loves carousels, and has since she was a baby. She loves the one at Disney even though its not that old. The one that I liked riding the most was out in Seattle Washington area at the Pallyoup Fair that was from the 1910's? Fully restored now and in working order. Get this - they allow senior citizens to ride for free!
04-07-03 Mary Biroscak, Watkins Glen - MB754@aol.com
The higher grades at Our Lady of Lourdes School would be the lucky ones to go to Eldridge Park for Field Day---we'd say lots of prayers that it wouldn't rain and be canceled!
The big day would be initiated by our Principal, Sister Mary Cecilia...What a sight -- I'd stand at the fence watching her in the Roller Coaster front seat, with her veil tied back and her hands in the air as she went down that first great hill! Hey, if she could do it - I could!
Finding "your" horse on the Merry-go-round and trying for that brass ring...Staying on The Whip forever...Ah, those were the days! Thanks eternally for this site!
04-01-03 Jim Hackett - firstname.lastname@example.org
I lived for a number of years on Norton Street. as a kid and quite frequently went to The Park. Although most of the rides made me sick I loved many of the attractions and especially the dragon boat which I would love to see on the lake again. I won a tricicle at the park, when I was 4 yrs old and had it for a number of years. There were also so many picnics at the park , the arcade the movies , the shows, cotton candy, candied apples.
Oh, I could go on but we all share those special memories of the park that was. Today it's little more than an exercise path about the lake.Well landscaped with trees and parking areas, lots of sports fields, but still a beautiful lake.
03-27-03 Katrina Bjorck Pryde, Reisterstown MD - email@example.com
I will never forget the end of school year trips to Eldridge Park. It was like going to a huge playground far away. Always a treat. I still have a brass ring from the Merry-Go-Round. To touch it brings back fond memories from long ago. I have not lived in Elmira in 13 years, and it was a sad sight to see Eldridge Park gone for ever. Thanks for the web site, it does make for wonderful memories.
03-19-03 Thom Jennings, Eagle River, Alaska - firstname.lastname@example.org
I really enjoyed reading all the comments and especially remember the Merry-Go-Round and brass ring dispenser. Most of the rings were silver color but if you got a brass one, you earned a free ride. My favorite thing in Eldridge Park however was the sugar waffles. They weren't anything like a traditional breakfast waffle. These stood about 2 inches high and were shaped similar to a honeycomb. If I remember right, a hot metal form was dipped in batter then immediately dipped in boiling oil for a minute or so. After cooking was complete they were dusted with powdered sugar. Mmmmm Good! Thanks for the great web site and stroll down memory lane.
03-19-03 Joe Ford, Southern CA - JSF0621@MSN.COM
Although several different memories come to mind, I think the fondest ones are the times I spent fishing at Eldridge Lake (rarely caught anything - a "carp" if anything) and the Merry-Go-Round. I left Elmira after graduating from high school in 1979. It is unfortunate that the park is now nothing but a memory; however, I think we all agree that the memories we do have are nothing but positive.
03-18-03 Carole (Martin) Cook - email@example.com
Does anyone remember the WENY Dance they used to have on Friday nights, and the DJ would interview all the girls and have radio decathlons over the air. That was so much fun.
And what about the FF from Aggies Stand. There was nothing like them with vinegar and salt. I've tried to fix then the same way at home - just can't do it.
Taking my children there to play at the playground. That was fun. Even if you didn't have the extra money for the rides, they thought it was good. Gosh - so many memories and all good. Even the monkey that used to throw things at people, if you know what I mean.
03-17-03 Danny Polovick, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad worked at the park for many years. When he finally quit, he worked on the bumpercars. His name was George Polovick. I look forward to hearing more about the Merry-Go-Round.
03-17-03 John Kolanach, Horseheads- email@example.com
The park was a family tradition. My parents met there as well as my grandparents. My grandfather always boasted on how he could get 4 brass rings at a time on the carousel by quickly running all his fingers across the dispenser.
03-15-03 Bill Austin, El Paso - firstname.lastname@example.org
A wonderful site with outstanding pictures. I grew up just across the border in Jackson Summit, PA. Eldridge Park was our annual family reunion and something we looked forward to all year long. I'm so glad to hear they are trying to bring back the Merry-Go-Round.
03-15-03 Nancy Collins, Elmira - Nancydavidm@aol.com
I have many memories cause I was there a lot. I would walk there every evening with my dog. I watched movies there. Performed there. Had lots of fun there. My Eighth Grade graduation party was there and we went on the train ride to neck with our boyfriends. The memories just keep flooding back and it is a great feeling. A happy time in the lives of many. It is great what is happening there now so keep up the good work. Wish I had the means to help and the time. Maybe someday. Good luck.
03-14-03 Donald Claypool, Horseheads - email@example.com
I lived several blockes away from the park and was at the park from the mid 60s till it closed. I remember the fireworks, softball games and, of course, the carousel. It would be the first thing to go on and the last thing to go at the end of the day.
I met my wife to be in 1986 and we went to the park alot until the end. Somewhere before the end of the Carousel run I was able to get one of the last Brass Ring which is in our wedding book along with other tokens from other parks.
I will always remember the park the way that I saw it and I hope that someday it will be a park to take my kids to. The park was great and this site is just as great. I hope that each one never fades away.
03-14-03 Stanley Bennett - firstname.lastname@example.org
03-14-03 Annmarie Streff (Annie Ball), Burke, VA- email@example.com
I grew up on East Thurston Street. All of my sisters and I spent many days and evenings at Eldridge Park. One of my sisters worked at the Ice Cream/Cotton Candy stand. Remember the talent shows, the rides, and just a fun, safe, inexpensive place to hang out. Too bad the younger generation of Elmira can't experience what we did. Hopefully the renovation of the Carousel is just the beginning to the renovation of more rides at the park, and bring it back to life! GREAT JOB- glad to see such progress being made!
03-08-03 Thomas B.(Tim)Lynch - Bowie, MD - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have many wonderful memories including riding the Carousel when it had a real band organ playing (before the Ken Griffin organ recordings), riding Jasper late at night and especially riding the Roller Coaster. Also, my younger sister, Eileen, appeared on Ethel Parker's show on the stage singing the theme song from the movie Davy Crockett.
03-08-03 Mike Leach - SHS Class of 62, email@example.com
Currently in Alton, NY, but am planning on moving back to Elmira in the next couple of years.
Too many memories of Eldridge Park to write all down. Especially back in the 50's. I loved those 'special' days. I remember one event where you could pay for rides with pop bottle tops.
Eldridge ... It was the Best! Thanks,
03-08-03 Yvonne Teyssier Fields - Austell, GA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dad and Mom (Pierre and Maria Aloi Teyssier) used to take my brother Pierre and myself there very often throughtout the late Forties and Fifties. All of the rides were exciting to me and my brother and, of course, all of our cousins, too. The smells of the cotton candy, the candy apples, the french fries with vinegar instead of catsup......(mmmmmmmmmhmmmm)
All of our family, cousins, friends gathered there many, many times over the years. We used to love seeing the Cannon Ball Man get shot out of the Cannon...and the tight rope groups...the animals in the cages and especially the bumper cars.....It helped to learn (Defensive Driving - ha ha) Which living in Atlanta has truly been helpful.
I left Elmira in 1967 and lived in Rochester. I had two sons and a daughter in the early 60's and brought them there many times as well. We used to love to go to see the "Fireworks" for the Fourth of July and see the movies at night. Lord, I could go on and on.
Moved to Atlanta in 1976 and haven't been back to the Park since. Sure did think about it a lot, though. The boat ride, rollercoaster, shooting hoops over the bottles, winning prizes.
God Bless you all and look forward to hearing more from your webpage. Thanks for preserving such a special place in my heart......I will never forget it.
03-07-03 - Kathy Kittle McGee - Clemson, SC - email@example.com
I have so many fond memories of Eldridge Park. The oldest of four girls who spent many hours at the park, I loved the roller coaster the most and one day rode it 13 consecutive times with my uncle, Ted Clark. We had to get off and get back in line each time but the crowds were not bad so there was never a wait. Not so with the theme parks of today. I loved grabbing the brass ring at the Carousel. It is a shame that the Carousel is not in Elmira. My dad told me before he died in 1997 that the individual parts of the carousel had been sold. Looking forward to reading about the Preservation Society.
03-06-03 Betsy Hartman Owens, SHS Class of 60 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our sixth grade class at Number Nine School (on the Southside) went to Eldridge Park in June 1954. Our teacher, Mrs. Stearns, was very nice and she was lots of fun. I went on the Whip and didn't like it one bit and never went on it again. I went on the Roller Coaster too for the first and last time.
I did go on one in Glencoe, IL. north of Chicago with my husband to be when we were stationed at Hospital Corpsman School at GLAKES. It was almost as bad as I remembered it in 6th grade. I haven't been on one since. I like the Buccaneer which goes by other names, but is the high, long swinging boat they have at Six Flags amusement parks and the Log Flume and the Carousel and even the Ferris Wheel are my type of rides. I let the other daredevils do those other stomach lurches.
It is nice to have someone restoring Eldrige Park and it's memories. My brother-in-law did have one of the Kiddie Rides at his house that he got when they were selling things. His grandchildren used to play on it. He went there when he was a kid. Of course he remained one, not ever growing up and if any of you know Jud Graves of Graves Press in the Heights then you know what I mean.
03-06-03 David & Donna Taylor, Elmira - email@example.com
We, as well as our two children, enjoyed riding the Carousel at Eldridge Park. We would like for our grandchildren to have as much enjoyment there. Thanks for your work on this project.
03-06-03 John Pirozzolo - Elmira & Windermere, FL - Netjohnfl@aol.com
Spent many days & nights at Eldridge Park, and patroled it from 1964 till they closed it..Knew most of the employees and owners of the park, including Don Bitler who owned the roller coaster, and Lou Conklin who worked for Don. The Police Benevolent Assoc. used to have Kiddies' Day at the park every year, so I spent time there working Kiddies' Day. Many police officers put in a lot of time & hard work so that all of the kids could enjoy a day at the park and all the rides for free....
Also IBM used to have their employee from the Owego & Binghamton area brought to the park on the train and they spent the day eating and enjoying the free rides in the park sponsored by IBM...Many other factories used to have outings at the park also.The list goes on, and on......
03-05-03 W.H. Gilbert - Newark, DE - DEAutoConsultant@aol.com
My first memory of Eldridge Park was our Lincoln School Kindergarten Picnic. We often went there as a family and frequently as a teenager with friends. My favorite was always the Bumper Cars but I also enjoyed the Whip and the Roller Coaster. I also remember enjoying the fireworks over the lake and the "Battle of the Bands" on stage. Having left Elmira Heights on January 1, 1972, I've often wished my children and grandchildren could have enjoyed the park. I only have fond memories of Lincoln School and TAE. It was great growing up in a safe and friendly community where our teachers were so professional and committed. Keep up the good work at Eldridge Park and best wishes to everyone back home!
03-05-03 Anne & Jim Gush, Dallas - firstname.lastname@example.org
I always enjoyed going to Eldridge Park when we were growing up. I will never forget going with our family.
02-23-03 Rose Forrest, Elmira - Cantcthtrees@aol.com
I just looked up your website on Eldridge Park. I do not know if you are up on our local news, but there is a group that has formed to RESTORE THE CAROUSEL at Eldridge Park. It has been in the news of late. I don't have much info on it, but they want to have it up and running by June 2003. They are in the process of funding the purchase of animals for the carousel, and have a few. The only name I have connected to it is Bob Lyons, and he is an Elmira Dentist.
I am a fan of carousels. I am currently working on a fictional story about two little girls and a carousel, inspired originally by my discovery of the County-Fair carousels still in operation in Binghamton NY.
I rode the Eldridge Park rides as a child, and have always felt terribly about the dismantling of the park and the breaking up of the Merry-Go-Round. Somewhere I even have a brass ring that I got on the last ride of the day and never got a chance to redeem.
I would like to get in touch with some folks who have memories of the carousel, because I need background info for my book, which may take on more flavor of the Eldridge Carousel and rides if I could get it.
I too can look at those pictures for hours and am flooded with memories, and I think the carousel is one of the best things about Elmira, and have longed for it to be restored for a very, very long time.
Thank you for taking the time and putting in the work to build this site. You have brought many good thoughts and feelings to mind, and made my heart "merry."
02-23-03 Dan Kliegel, Elmira - email@example.com
As a kid growing up in Elmira, who could not write 10 pages about all the sights, sounds and thrills of Eldridge Park? I remember it from when my mother would take me there on summer afternoons when I was 3 or 4 years old. That would have been in '62 or '63. The picnic grounds, the chestnut trees in Fall. And also the smell of oil from the Erie Lackawanna and the lake.
Special Memories of the Park Trains: I do remember riding a train about that time,that went under the rollercoaster and over a bridge by the whip and thru the midway. That would have been 63 or 64. It dissappeared in later years. I am an avid Park Train enthusiast, and would love to hear more about this early Eldridge Park Train. Pictures would be fantastic! It seems to be a forgotten element of the park.
Later Train: Fast forward to about '68 or '69. The Crown Metal Products 4-4-0 has arrived and is being installed. My friend and I (we lived 2 miles away near the Arnot Hospital) ride our bikes there every day on summer vacation to watch the track being laid. Finally, as summer draws near its end and school (6th grade) is soon to start, the track is done, and the Live Steam Loco arrives on a truck one day. It's placed on the tracks (which run from near the putt-putt course to out by the roller coaster and back) and fired up. During the testing, we got many afternoons of free rides on this train. Eventually, the tracks were adjusted so no derailments occured. I remember it like it was 3 years ago. Sad when this train disappeared (late '80's), and much worse when the park closed. (Yes, French fries, boat rides, Merry-Go-Round, penny arcade - all were special).
It occurs to me, 10 minutes in "the penny arcade" would be worth MORE than ALL the video games at WAL-MART today!
02-21-03 Dave Wipfler, Omaha - firstname.lastname@example.org
Everything, Merry-Go-Round, The Whip, "Jasper" the dragon boat. Today's edition of the Star-Gazette has an article about a group who is trying to restore the Merry-Go-Round. The drive system is still there, only the animals are gone.
02-18-03 Pastor Rick Barber, Mountain Top, PA - email@example.com
I remember my mother Naomi Barber(Hendrix) entered me in the Eldridge Park's Annual Talent Contest (I played the organ). I won a second place trophy. I was beat out of first place by a ballerina. I also have many fond memories of going to Eldridge as a child and later going to a Chemung Foundry company picnic there in the 70s. Great web site. It brought back many fond memories.
02-18-03 Sharon Danks Touschner-Lambert, Elmira Heights - Lambertsgadding@aol.com
Thanks to Shirley, I've just discovered your website and find it fascinating. When I have a little more time I'll explore it in depth, but for now I wanted to add a few more memories. Some of my recollections of the park go back to over sixty years ago, when my grandfather, Charlie Danks, had the pony ride concession there. I used to think of the ponies as my own, although some of the friskier ones scared me to death.
A little later down the path of time, my dad, Ray Danks, worked part time at the children's rides. Like so many others, I fondly recall the rides....especially the whip and the roller coaster. As I had children of my own, we enjoyed picnics in the park and playing on the slides, swings, and teetertotters on a lazy summer afternoon. It truly is a shame that today's children will never know the magic and joy of Eldridge Park.
02-15-03 Sharilyn Disinski, SHS Class of 65 - firstname.lastname@example.org
What a wonderful site - I am so happy to have found it. I, too, remember Eldridge Park and all the wonderful memories. I miss Elmira and the good times.
Today I live in Washington, DC. Elmira had it all - the best place to live and raise children, an area to feel free in and all the places to have fun, especially Eldridge Park. I took my son to visit there recently and was shocked when I saw no park. A real disappointment. So sad for all of us who remember such a great place and who don't have such a place to go to now.
Thanks for the site. I will enjoy it often.
02-15-03 Phyllis Demun (Beaver), Delray Beach, FL - Mabear614@aol.com
I lived close to the Park. Went there on family picnics and went on all the rides. Had some wonderful times and memories. I miss Eldridge park.
02-15-03 David Mosher, Albuquerque, NM - email@example.com
As a kid I loved the roller Coaster! The best part of the ride was when the cars stopped short of reaching it to the platform and we had to give it a push. Of course this was always followed by a free ride. My Aunt was one the fortunate that was able to purchase a piece of the roller coaster mounted in a nice frame. Who ever knew there would be such a thing as a roller coaster urn?
02-14-03 Elizabeth (Betsy) Biroscak, Elmira
As a kid in school when we moved forward, we "graduated"
to amusement parks with our end-of-the year field trips.
02-13-03, Waxhaw, NC - Beatrice Haight - TheDews830@aol.com
02-12-03 Blair Bollow, Lancaster, PA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Aside from the late night high wire acts and the fireworks, the thing
I remember well at the park included the "Kids Day" sponsored
by the Elmira Police Dept. Everyone received a "lucky" ticket,
eligible to win a bicycle. Rides were free and a great time was had
at Eldridge Park.
02-07-03 - Sam Leonard - Sarasota, FL - Samflhomes@aol.com
I just found your Web site thanks to an Edison Classmate (Class of 62) Mary Lou Sardo (Jaynes).
I had so many good times there. I was always out at night and I am sure that going to the Park kept me out of even more trouble. I met so many girls there and I still remember a few names like "Diane Hill" of Pratt St. I really enjoyed the Outdoor movies. The monkey cage. The french fries and vinegar. Bumper Cars, etc. The Merry-Go-Round and the elusive Brass ring. And that Big "show off "that worked the Merry-Go-round and could get about six rings in one grab. This was in the Fifties. Years later, as Director of MIS for Thatcher Glass, I had an office that overlooked the Park and the Roller Coaster for many years. I have a large and framed aerial photo that shows the Thatcher plant and the entire Park as it was before being demolished. IT IS A GORGEOUS AERIAL PHOTO.
My older brother Joe Sementilli also had wonderful time there. We also remember the great Fish Frys at the Park View Tavern run by Mike Dadonna.
Thanks for creating this Web Site.
PS Whatever happened to the Statue of the Horse "American Girl" it was hit by a car and the city stored the pieces? She was a champion that raced there when the park had a race track.
02-06-03 Ed Kriner - Smyrna, TN- email@example.com
02-05-03 Clifton Soper - firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was a young fellow we enjoyed the movies, Merry Go Round,
I am couple days from 80 years old and still enjoy the park and Lake
THEY WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS
02-02-03 Patricia A. Ferry - Breeseport - Parosebud55@aol.com
It is a shame they did away with the park. It was a good place for a family to go forty years ago. I remember the place used to be packed. And the rides were great. I guess it meant more to me because I had never been to park like that. We didn't have any in Newark Valley where I was raised.
Keep up the good work.
02-02-03 David Soper - Fort Meade, FL - email@example.com
Then there was The Whip. Whew! There was good reason for it being called "The Whip."
I wasn't allowed in the Bumper cars until I was about 12 or so. But, when I finally got to ride them, it was a demolition derby! Ram anyone that got in my way, and keep driving them out of the way. Push and shove, slam into them.
I especially remember the Thatcher Glass picnics each summer. All the delicious food and the ice cream... all we could eat... and I could put away quite a few of those ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches.
We had a large family, and not a lot of money, so that was the time we were able to have the most rides during the year. We always looked forward to going to Eldridge Park. It was the HIGHLIGHT of our summer vacations. Later, When I was married, and had several children of my own, and came back to Elmira on leave, while in the Navy, we would take the kids to Eldridge Park and they would ride the boats and things in Kiddieland.
My oldest son wanted to take a fishing pole with him to fish out of the little boats. LOL! We'd also take the kids there just for a picnic, for a chance to get away.
I have many very fond memories of Eldridge Park. Thank you for this web site.
02-01-03 Dave Wilcox - Elmira - Wilfox64@juno.com
01-30-03 Terri Noyes - Horseheads, NY- firstname.lastname@example.org
12-31-02 Heather Bernhardt - Doylestown, PA - email@example.com
12-14-02 Dale Bryant - Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
11-10-02 Rick Colpitts, Zadar, Croatia - RickColpitts@yahoo.com
Keep up the good work with the web site
11-09-02 David Dalsis, Trento, Italy - email@example.com
10-28-02 Chip Vickio, Millsboro, DE - firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, I came across an 8mm movie film I must have taken as a child of the entire ride. It's still on the reel and I will try to get it converted to a new format. The 'Spook House' was my favorite dark ride of all time. I remember the smell, the sounds, the inside (like the mouse running around the barrel). We would come home and make our own spook house in our basement, wheeling each other around on a chair through a dark path of scary creatures inspired by Eldridge's ride.
The Merry-Go-Round rings were also an exciting part of the park -just the lights, music, and fun of trying to catch the Brass Ring. I recently found 3 of these brass rings at home. I gave one to my brother this year for a birthday present.Another favorite was what we called the "Penny Arcade" - the early version of video games.
Eldridge Park is sure a major part of my fond childhood memories that are cherished. It was a place of thrills, innocence, adventure, and family treasures. I loved it with a passion.
10-12-02 Frank Nisco, Vineland, NJ - FSNSR@AOL.COM
Well I read all the memories people had and can relate to all of them. I remember my parents taking me to Eldridge Park when I was very young to see the entertainment acts and movies. As I grew up the park was my second home. I remember every summer the bicycle giveaway. Always hoping to win one, but never did but it was a thrill to be there for it. The rides, games and food was always a treat. The boat ride around the lake and fireworks very enjoyable. Although the park is no longer, I will have the memories forever.
09-23-02 Carole Harvey, Valley Forge - email@example.com
Just this weekend someone asked me a question that stirred up the memory of a most memorable summer at the park -- perhaps 1959? But of course there were many other happy moments there in that far away time of growing up in Elmira.
09-22-02 Rip & Phyllis Banfield, Horseheads - Ripphi@aol.com
Rode the RollerCoaster, Bumper Cars, played Skeet Ball, caught the ring on the Merry-Go-Round. Went on picnics in the good old shade trees. School had picnics there .Watched the movies .Had a great time when it was a real park
09-22-02 Glenda Chambers Whitney, Sarasota - firstname.lastname@example.org
How could you not have fond memories of Eldridge Park in the 40's and 50's. It was the reward at the end of the school year to go to "the park" if you had perfect attendance. A bicycle was given away for some special project that all of the local elementary schools participated in. A neighbor boy won it one year.
Riiding the Merry-go-round and hoping for the brass ring - I remember getting it just once. I still have a photo that was taken in the 25 cent photo machine. That was the only roller coaster that I have ever gone on.
But the memory that is the most vivid is the rumor that the lake had no bottom and that if you ever fell in you would sink all the way to China and you would never be found. Rides on Jasper were taken with much caution and only when I was with someone that I felt secure with. No boat ride has ever held the thrill and delight like being on Jasper.
At that time I thought every town had an Eldridge park, how innocent. Now every town does, they are called Busch Gardens and Disney World, but it is not the same. I wonder where Jasper is?
09-20-02 Judy Bradley, Elmira - email@example.com
Yes, I have very fond memories. I grew up 2 blocks from there & I think I spent half my life there. This is really strange because yesterday at lunch, we were talking about Eldridge Park. Then Gary wrote to me & sent me your web site. My 4 brothers & I would spend everyday at the playground in the summertime with the supervisor & we always loved it.
When we were a little older, My parents worked at the stand where they served lunches & dinners. They worked for Mrs. Miracle. When I was a teenager, I use to babysit for Ernie Sardo's daughter. I would stroll her around for awhile & take her on the merry go round to put her to sleep for her nap. Then I would take her back to the custard stand. I loved that place & was very sad when it closed.
Thank you for creating this wonderful site of memories. Hope you keep it going. I just emailed it to one of my brothers, who now lives in Va Beach. He said he will check it out.
09-19-02 Vicky, Horseheads - Vlove2sew@aol.com
09-17-02 Gary E. Doane, Raleigh - firstname.lastname@example.org
HeardOfUs: My Brother sent me the link
09-17-02 Betty Elliott, New Port Richey, FL - email@example.com
Walking down there every night after supper and meeting boys from school and from other schools like Elmira Free Academy. Riding on the Merry Go Round, the bumper cars - it was the best time of my life.
09-17-02 Roger W. Palmer, Germantown, NC - RWPclock@aol.com
Formerly from Elmira Heights. Eldridge was a favorite place for me as a child. I remember picnics, movies, rides and good eats and pop corn.
09-17-02 Donald R. Hurd - firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I have memories of the old park. It was a place that was off limits to us, so we would wait until everyone was in bed at around 9 PM, they sneak out the bedroom window and head for the park. We would get to the park in time to see the free movies. (We were forbidden to watch movies, they would corrupt our morals), then watch the live shows, and if we had any money we would ride the merry-go-round.
This past summer I had the pleasure of taking my 2-year-old grand daughter to Harris hill, and we rode the little merry-go-round there, she giggled and laughed and made believe she was really making the wooden horse go up and down. What memories.
Yes, I remember the old park. I remember Sam Sopp who worked there. He later became a fire truck driver at the Heights FD. I had the pleasure of knowing Sam many years before he passed away.
09-16-02 Robert E. Gustin, San Antonio - email@example.com
How could anyone who grew up during the time Eldridge Park was open not have memories. The best part they are all fond memories. The park was a place you could go and enjoy yourself without a penny in your pocket. Many times I and sometimes with friends go to the park just to watch the movies, and watch the monkeys in the large circular case. When I did have some money my favorite rides were the bumper cars (can you still smell the electricity and rubber), and the merry-go-round (catching the rings and trying to get the brass one for a free ride). Whenever my brothers and sisters get together we somehow bring back our memories of the park. Last year at a flea market here in San Antonio, I found in a stack of old post cards two from Eldridge Park they were mailed 1903 and showed the double decker dance hall and the park area itself. Thank you for a great opportunity to remember fine mories during 1940-1950 time frame of good old Eldridge Park.
09-16-02 Steve, Dallas, TX- firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to send you a note to tell you how much I enjoy your site. Eldridge Park has always had a spot in my heart. I may not have been around to enjoy the Dance Hall or The Casino, but I have tried to find out as much as possible about my beloved park. I lived in Elmira when the Carousel was auctioned and the Roller Coaster was torn down.
I also have fond memories of Eldridge. Jasper, the dragon boat; the family picnics; a big roll of ride tickets; seeing cousins; watching my uncles play cards or horse shoes.
And Harris Hill was a great place to camp out with the Boy Scouts. And see the gliders take off. And the YMCA camp at one of the Finger Lakes. Plus Brand Park pool. I can still smell the chemicals thay put in the water.
07-23-02 Hal Barlow, Erie, PA - email@example.com
I have many memories. Too many to count and all good. Eldridge wasn't the biggest park, but to me it will always be the best. I will never forget the evenings spent there with my grandmother, aunt and uncle. The rides, games, food and movies and free variety shows were all wonderful. None of us will ever go that way again, but I will never forget.
07-22-02 Debra Roe, Greensboro, NC - firstname.lastname@example.org
I, too, was raised in Elmira, and Eldridge Park was always a part
of everything. My Grandparents met at the dance hall. As children
we enjoyed the rides and talent shows. As young adults my family and
I worked and ran rides. I still have tickets to the Turnpike, Kiddieland,
and two complimentary tickets for any rides. As an adult I had taken
my son to ride the rides and even fish. What a shame that it's all
gone now. Elmira has suffered a great loss. Nothing but mud fields
and the view of the old Thacher's Glass factory.
07-18-02 John "Jack" Swinko - Palm Springs, FL - email@example.com
I have some great memories of the park, but I can't put them here. Thanks a lot for the memories.
07-11-02 John Osterhout, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember as a child 20 years ago near the end of the whip era when my parents would take us to Eldridge, my father would let us fish and then we would go straight to the ticket booth. My favorite ride was in Kiddie Land - the choo choo train that took you all the way around the park and we would ride The Whip instead of the whimpy little jr. Whip and we would also eat our dinner there along with fried corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. I remember quite a few family reunions and school trips and know where the bathrooms set the old haunted house.
07-09-02 Lois Anderson - email@example.com
I was so happy to find this website that I emailed it to my sister before I even looked around in it! Our father wired the rides that Oscar Bittler owned so we had the great job of "ride tester". Every year he hooked them up in the spring and unhooked them in the fall so we were always the first ones to get to ride on them every year. This was really something special. I grew up going there several times a week and loving it every time we went.
I guess my favorites were the roller coaster and the whip, but I don`t think there was a ride there I didn`t love to ride. Whenever I think back to my childhood I always think of the park in one way or another. I`m glad I was all ready gone from the area when it closed down so I didn`t have to see it go. I`ll always have my memories of the way it was when I was young.
Every time I eat french fries with vinegar on them I think of the park because that`s where I first started to eat them that way. I don`t know how popular that is up north but I know people here in Florida think you are totally crazy when you put vinegar on your fries! Thanx for the great trip down memory lane!
07-08-02 Edna Johnson, New Smyrna Beach, FL - firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember Eldridge Park. My father was an electrician and he worked on the roller coaster when Don Bittler ran the park. We used to be able to go to the park every week while my dad worked. My favorite ride was the merry-go-round. My two sisters and I would try to get the gold ring as we went around. Eldridge Park was where I learned to eat french fries with vinegar on them. To this day, that is how I like french fries. After I grew up, I had hoped to be able to bring my children there. Unfortunately, that won't happen. It does bring back a lot of memories though. Thanks for the memories!
07-02-02 Scott Keller, Elmira - Keller.email@example.com
My parents met at ELDRIDGE PARK. I wouldn't be if weren't for good old ELDRIDGE. My father is Bob Keller. He worked for Bob Long.
07-02-02 Bob Keller, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
I started working there for Jay Parker around 1955 helping John Sardo with the free movies and collecting the benches that seemed to wander around the park on their own. Then it was off to the Scooter cars as an operater for over 12 years.
I remember the large company picnics and watching all the girls. It was a young man's dream job. I met my wife there while operating the Scooters and watched while she and Mrs. Long fussed over my first son while I was working.
Among the people I remember are Bob and Ruth Long, Pete and Caroll
Tota, Ralph and Herb Randall, John and Ernie Sardo, Gary Comfort,
John Roberts, Chet Blanchard and a list that goes on and on of a great
gang of hard working people I am proud to have known and worked with.
I will try to find some of my photos to share in the near future.
07-02-02 Ron Cowles, Watkins Glen - email@example.com
Does anyone know what became of the Dragon Boat? I dream about that boat very often, especially after visiting the Loch Ness Museum in Scotland. I now live on Seneca lake and would love to have my own Dragon Boat.
My memories of the park are too numerous to decide which are the
best. I loved every part of it, all of the rides, the out door theater
and live entertainment and listening to the music flowing from the
The food was great, and I still love vinegar on my fries and crave a frozen custard. Let's not forget the games like Skee Ball. This is a wonderful site and I have enjoyed my visit and will return. Thanks.
07-01-02 Jim Samuels - Rochester, NY- firstname.lastname@example.org
My first memory of Eldridge Park was in the crowded back seat of 63 Ford. My mother and I were visiting Horseheads in 1966 to view our future home. I was 13 and friends of my aunt had offered to take us with them to "Eldridge Park."
Having no idea what type of park this was, I was more interested in the friend's 13 year old daughter. However, this all changed once we reached the park and I found myself surrounded by the lights, smells and sounds of fun ocurring all about me. Fortunately, my earlier interest in my new 'girlfriend' led to her showing me all of the ins and outs of the park.
One of my favorites was immediately the Merry-Go-Round which was the first and last one I ever saw that had a brass ring attachment that fed steel rings one after another. The attendant would then drop a 'brass' ring into the slot and it would appear, if you were lucky, just as you came around. As the ride ended, we all would have fingers full of rings that were then tossed back into a large, padded wooden box.
A few years later, the system was changed over to a lightboard, an arm projecting out with a microswitch at the end and with a single brass ring dispensed per ride. The skill developed was how many rings could you grab at one time or how many times could you 'click' the arm tip! We road so many times, I lost track of the hundreds of rings I collected and threw back.
Finally I was shown the rest of the park and thought of how lucky a place like Horseheads/Elmira was that such a great park was here. My new-found friend and I ended the night going through the spook house 3 times. The first one was for the thrill, the second was for the kiss and the third one was for another promised kiss if I would get her a few of the 'spider webs' that brushed our heads as we went into the dark....
Now all of that is in the past. Memories and history of what was. The decimation of the park and its eventual loss, I'm afraid, is reflective of how the entire area suffered through the 70's and 80's. I'm gratified to hear and see that the area is slowly starting to revive. My wish is that one day, another amusement park could be operated profitably, for the pleasure of the next generations.
06-27-02 Lisa Crouch - email@example.com
My first roller coaster ride was at Eldridge Park, when I was six years old. My father took me and my brother on this bigger than life (to a 6 year old) coaster. My father could see that I was scared, so he said, "Close your eyes honey and when we get down the first hill, I will tell you to open them." Well, when he yelled "Okay, open them," I was at the very tippy top and down we went, that is something I will never forget!
06-25-02 Anne L. Ripley Beers - Wellsboro, PA- firstname.lastname@example.org
I just read all the letters sent in on memories of Eldridge Park . I loved the waffles, roller coaster & Whip.Our school band (SHS) played on the Stage many times. Our family reunions were always at the Round Pavilion in the picnic area. Later our children loved to go to the park also. Thank you for the walk down memory lane!!!
06-23-02 Denise Sawdey - Perry, NY - email@example.com
What a trip down memory lane. Eldridge Park was the site of our annual family picnic. I remember it all very fondly...the jerk and pull and clickety clack of that old rollercoaster as it made its way to that first and ever so exciting peak...the majesety of that carousel....do you remember "cups and saucers"? I do!!!
As I recall my sister and I were still young enough to to enjoy Kiddie Land before we crossed over into the "big rides".....it was our summer highlight every year....I'll remember it always.....Thanks for the memories!!!
06-21-02 Larry Wing - Horseheads, NY- firstname.lastname@example.org
I can remember watching a scary movie at night at the park, and, only living 4 blocks away from the park, we would walk home and think up scary things about the movie we saw.
06-04-02 Mel, Watkins Glen, NY - MotherNature11@aol.com
Editor's Note: For those of you interested in hearing
more about the horse and other aspects of Eldridge, there is an excellent
video tape that was developed by WSKG, the PBS TV Station in Binghamton,
NY. You can access their web site and take a look at all the videos
they have available. This particular video has a 15-minute segment
on Eldridge Park.
"Southern Tier Memory Store II is a series of remembrances of extraordinary events and everyday life in the Southern Tier of New York featuring: Elmira's Eldridge Park, once called "the playground of the Southern Tier"; Lackawanna Railroad Trains on the Ithaca-Owego line that negotiated the hills via an unusual double switchback; more than 1,000 people paddling home-made rafts 11 miles down the Susquehanna River in the Owego to Nichols raft race; and Rothschild's department store in Ithaca."
You can get to their web site video page at: http://www.wskg.com/videos.htm
05-20-02 Robert Roe, Horseheads, NY - email@example.com
FIREWORKS!!! That's what I remember. Every Fourth of July at the park sitting on the banks of the lake. I am only 24 but I lived on Grand Central, so I visited it tons before the coaster came down when I was little. Nothing will ever top Eldridge fireworks for me - ever.
05-05-02 Gail Flaherty Boughter, Millville, NJ - GailMFB@aol.com
There are so many memories of Eldridge Park for me and my three brothers, and one sister. My Mother even worked part time at the park at the souvenir stand for Al Weisenfluh.
My favorite was the carousel and all the beautiful horses. The roller coaster, and the bumper cars were also great. The custard stand, where I have never tasted custard anywhere as good as at Sardo's.
My husband and I have been to many places, and even lived in England for 1-1/2 years, and there is nothing like Eldridge Park anywhere that we have seen. Things were simpler then!
The french fries were also the best ever. The shows that they had for free were wonderful. Also, the fireworks every Friday night. We could see them from our bedroom window if we weren't at the park. It was sometimes hard to stay awake to see them.
I have a few photos of the park, but I don't know where they are right now. My own children also remember the park, although by the time that they were growing up, it just wasn't the same. I remember playing softball at the park, and picnics in the picnic area. I have enjoyed all that I have read, and hope to see more memories in the future.
05-04-02 David Bogaczyk, Amston, CT - GenBogey@aol.com
Growing up within a ten minute walk from the park in the Sixties, I could write a book on a kid's adventure at Eldridge Park and its folklore.
04-27-02 Shirley Vertoske, Elmira, NY SHIRLEY013s@webtv.net
I still live in Elmira NY. I remember when I was a child back in the 40's. My mother and father would pack up the family to take a bus to Eldridge Park for a day of rides and have a picnic. We didn't get to go many times a year as we didn't have a lot of money. But the rides were so much fun. I loved the whip and the Merry-Go-Round . Also as a teenager it was the place to go.
After I married we took our children there often. I am so sorry the park is gone but have a lot of wonderful memories. The old movies were another great memory
04-24-02 Betty Vancuren-Empson, Elmira Heights, NY - firstname.lastname@example.org
I used to take my chrildren there at least three nights a week back in the Sixties when they had something going on every night in the summer time. I have very fond memories of riding on the carousel, the whip,the bumper cars and the roller coaster. We were at the park the last day it was open. Don't remember the year tho. The last time that the roller coaster went over the tracks, it got hung upon the second hill. It just completly stopped. All the kids were crying, but attendents came to their rescue.
04-19-02 Connie Butts, Phoenix, AZ - email@example.com
I remember in the early 50's there was an archway leading into the park. As my father drove up the small knowl and under the arch you could see the lake. It looked huge to a 6 year old. It was the highlight of the summer and was all through my teenage years and beyond.
The smell of the waffles when walking down the midway, the homemade french fries in the paper cones still enter my mind every so often. You were always safe there, for it felt like a place that was meant just for you.
04-10-02 Mike Konopski - firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm younger than many of you, I guess, having graduated high school in 1981, but I still remember Eldridge as a small boy in the late 60's and early 70's.
The roller coaster ride there was my first. Did you know that coaster enthusiasts mention the "speedway" as a classic "over and back" coaster. I have seen their websites where they mourn its loss. I have always wondered if the blueprints are stored somewhere and if it could be re-built in Elmira or at another park.
The whip, spookhouse, kiddieland...they were just part of the unique make-up of Eldridge that made it so great.
We rode the pontoon boat on the lake but were always scared to touch the water because we all knew the lake was bottomlesss and I think we even feared it would suck us down to who knows where.
When I go to visit now on occasion I am saddened by what remains. It's a shame that we can't bring it back in some way to let today's children enjoy such a great place.
04-09-02 Gerald Tice, Oxford, AL - email@example.com
My first memory of Eldridge park was when I was about four years old. We lived on a farm down in Mainesburg, PA. My father took us to the park on a Sunday afternoon. We were walking along and I kind of got separated from the family and I was lost for just a minute or two. Then I saw the family.
Then My dad put all three of us kids on the roller coster and I didn't know quite what it was about. I remember going up the first elevation and looking around from up there and admiring the scenery, then all of a sudden we fell off the edge of the earth, I thought. I clamped down on that bar in front of me and gritted my teeth. I'll bet there are still dents in that bar from me hanging on so tightly fifty four years ago.
I remember people talking about the lake and how it was extremely deep. Could you please tell me just deep it really is? I would like to settle it once and for all.
03-25-02 Wayne M. Eldridge, Spokane, WA - WAYNECOMMERCIAL@AOL.COM
On the second trip I met my first wife (not that either of us knew that at that time). It wasn't too long after that trip that we started dating.
I haven't been back to NY in twenty years. This web site sure took me back in time. Thank you for rekindling some old and very fond memories.
03-04-02 Bob Vanderpoel, Elmira - firstname.lastname@example.org
Eldridge Park was part of my life growing up in Elmira. Looking back on it now brings both a smile and some sadness as it no longer exists. I remember the rides, the food and the entertainment. It's hard to believe our town was so fortunate to have such a place. My family was very active in the park also.
Many of you remember my Grandfather, John Sardo. He was the familiar
face in the projection booth. Though he died before I was born, I
feel as though I've known him due to the memories of my family and
others whom frequented the park in 40's and 50's. My Grandmother worked
at Kiddieland. up until the late 60's, early 70's.
I performed a marketing study on the park during my senior year at Elmira College along with a few other students. We examined every aspect of a comeback and it was determined that people are simply interested in other activities. Not one of these activities involved things that people do as a family. What does that tell you?
Editor's Note: Vanderpoel's uncle, Bob Sardo, has contributed much to this site in the way of photos and also memories of his own. You can read Sardo's piece by clicking here.
02-20-02 Nancy (Feshoh) O'Berry - email@example.com
I went to Lennox Avenue Elementary School and we had our "graduation" party there. Every year I was also there for the Thatcher Glass day with my grandfather, Leroy Clark. I loved the place. We used to get free ride tickets and then begged our parents for more.
My biggest disappointment about the place though, was the fact that the roller coaster always seemed to be shut down - in later years. When I did ride it, I was always scared that when you went around the big circle on the top, that the car would just keep on going right off the top. I am a H U G E roller coaster rider still and I always compare them now to the thrill I got as a child on the Speedway.
The spook house always brought chills to my skin but, it didn't keep me out of it.
The tea cups always made me dizzy and want to "toss my cookies" but I never did. You just can't find the thrill now that I remember I had then.
I still have about 50 brass rings from the Merry-Go-Round. I hated to have to turn them in and usually didn't if I could get away with it.
One of my favorites was the Whip. I finally found another one this past summer at Knobles Park in PA.
I live about 45 minutes from Busch Gardens in Virginia and go there about 10 times a year but, nothing compares to my memories of Eldridge Park. Last year, I took my husband there with pictures of the "OLD" park. I could not believe that I couldn't remember where the rides used to be. It was sooooooooooo depressing to see the place completely gone. Like a part of my life just dissappeared. I felt like I lost my best friend.
I remember the smell and taste of the Belguin Waffles. I still haven't been able to find them anywhere that taste as good as they did at Eldridge Park.
I am so grateful to be able to relive the old memories again. Thank you soooooooooo much.
I live in Virginia Beach now and would love any pictures anyone has
of the park that don't appear here. Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the memories,
02-18-02 Bruce Schmick - NEMOBS@aol.com
Nice web page.
My uncle, Richard L.Williams (Horseheads) worked at one of the game booths - the dart throw to break a ballon for a prize. I remember the ring toss, coin in the bottle, etc. on the "midway"
I look forward to seeing any old photos of the park.
Editor's Note: Those of you who were Southsiders during the Forties and Fifties may remember Schmick's Ice Cream Shop on Broadway. That was Bruce's grandfather's place. You can read more about it at the SHS Class of 58 Home Page by clicking here.
02-02-02 Lisa Battisti - email@example.com
I loved going to Eldridge Park as a child. I remember my sister DRAGGING me on the rollercoaster. Always crying...till this day, I'm still afraid of them.
My favorite ride was the airplanes. If you got the plane at the right angle you would hit the weeping willow tree that was hanging over the water. Another scary experience was my brother taking me on the ferris wheel and making it jiggle. Now I can only go on Ferris wheels that have a floor in them. I was really tormented as a child..,but loved every minute of it.
Believe it or not, I STILL have a brass ring from the merry-go-round. I was one of the lucky ones that could click it a few times. I never turned in my ring for the free ride, I collected everything!
Love the web site. Wish we could go back to the good old days.
01-31-02 Thomas W. Burhyte - TBurhyte@stny.rr.com
I started working for the late Ralph Randall on Jasper the dragon boat at ten years old for fifty cents a week.We were open till way after midnight every weekend. In my day that was really the only place to go.
Another thing about Eldridge Park you met a lot of people.Working at Eldridge Park, and for Ralph Randall, and Robert A. Long Jr.,was the best job a boy could have back in the 40's and 50's.Truly they were the good old days!
Editor's Note: Thomas sent us several Eldridge Park pictures from his collection, which you can view by clicking here.
12-27-01 Rachael O'Connor Cadra - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have some great memories of Eldridge Park. In the mid-seventies I was about 10 years old, and my sisters and I attended a Bike-a-Thon there. We'd collect the pledges beforehand, then bring our bikes to the park for the event. Each time we biked to the other side of the lake, an attendant would mark off one mile.
I think each round trip was one mile. We soon figured out that there was an attendant on each side of the lake and they'd both mark your card, which enabled us to complete the task in half the time. My sisters and I finished in record time, due to our double-dipping and spent the rest of the day on the old wooden rollercoaster.
10-01-01 Mari Scott Cayouette - email@example.com
Here are some of my memories. After moving several times during the last 30 yrs , I cannot find pictures, except for the ones I can see in my mind. They started as early as 6 or 7 yrs old. My dad took me to ride the big horses on the merry-go-round at Eldridge Park. The horses that went up and down were always my favorite.
The train , that clicked over the tracks and the bridges rode around the roller coaster. I loved that big roller coaster and would tease my dad to bring me on it.. He'd put his hand on his stomach and roll his eyes and say "oh no" and smile with a wink of his eye and bring me anyways.
I remember the green dragon boat with the firey eyes and large open mouth ready for a hiss. It was scary to ride on it, especially when I was told that Eldridge Park Lake was bottomless, the deepest lake in Chemung County.
Every year, in September, the Police Association of Chemung County would give us all, Kiddy's Day at the Park.I can remember waiting in long lines for my favorite rides and ice cream dixie cups and soda. Late that same day I would sit with my friends on the hill overlooking the stage, waiting for lucky numbers to be called. I wanted that Donald Duck bike with the yellow and blue colors and Donald Duck's face mounted on the front fender under the handle bars. I didn't get it,so I went out and bought yellow and blue paint, to paint my own bike, not as pretty as the original but it satisfied me for a while.
In my teens- on balmy summer nites, after spending either Fri or Sat nite, all evening roller skating at JoyCrest, my 3 friends and I would walk over to the Park to spend a couple of hours until closing and our dads would come get us. On the way to the Park, we could see the sky lite up by all the lights and here the music from the merry-go-round and hear the bumper cars smacking each other. We anticipated the fun and also enjoyed snacking on Coney Island french fries and sodas, which were bad for the complexion but tasted so good anyways.
From the penny arcade , I collected my favorite trading cards of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Tom Mix. When I was about 9 or 10, I had a crush on Roy Rogers.
After I went away to school and married, on vacations I brought my husband and children back to enjoy and recapture those memories I had and will always have. I was sad to know when I moved back to that area it 1995 to find out Eldridge Park had closed and the merry-go-round was sold.
It has been fun reliving some of these golden memories, and I will be watching for more stories to follow.
10-01-01 Larry Bohl - firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's see, what do I remember about Eldridge Park and the carousel. What I remember is running to get on an outside horse so that you could grab the golden ring. Not sure now why that was so important...guess it was for a free ride or something. I just remember that because I was, and still am, vertically challenged...
I nearly killed myself and scaring the bejeepers out of my parents when I'd try to reach...beyond my reach...to get any ring...let alone a gold one. Since those days I moved to the Endicott area where we have six carousels that we can ride free...no rings though.
What else...oh...something about a monster in the bottomless lake that ate little kids...no one wanted to ride the boat for fear of being eaten or drowned.
The roller coaster...WOW!.. that was something else...I don't think I realized what fear was until I got on that thing...I can count on my one hand the number of times I went on any coaster since those days. Actually, count one finger probably.
I remember the class picnics and excursions to the park. What wonderful memories.
09-29-01 - Jeanne (Gould) Freireich email@example.com
I remember Eldridge Park for the merry-go-round and the roller coaster. Coming from a very unhappy home life, it was one of the very few "happy places" with my father. I felt so free and in control on that horse reaching for the brass ring. I actually caught it a number of times and even got good enough to catch 2 rings at a time. The roller coaster was a gut thrill for that time and enough, as small as it was, to tell me I will never try one of the current "monsters". I remember Thatcher Glass picnics there. My father loved penny arcades and I remember one well in Elmira, but think there was one also at the park.
How about you? Do you remember Eldridge Park?
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