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Rocky Springs Photos- Lancaster, PA


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The recent photo tour of the old Lincoln Park reminded me that I had these pictures on my computer from the summer before last. We gave ourselves a tour of the property (no breaking and entering - it was open). Rocky Springs Park is now a bed and breakfast. Many of the old park's buildings are in tact, including the gorgeous carousel building. Enjoy!

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This is the view looking up at the park and carousel house from the bank of the Conestoga River, where the original Lady Gay boat would drop guests off.

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A peek inside the carousel house. Massive.

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A look at the ceiling of the carousel house. Looks like work has been done. Rumor had it, a few years back, that the original carousel was heading back this way to return home. It never happened.

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Old snack stand, which now has a timeline history of the park posted inside.

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Old, weathered restrooms. Spooky.

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I never noticed the word 'Dies' in 'Ladies' until I saw this sign in this eerie context... Still, this is just a small example of the intricacies of an old amusement park. Even the bathrooms had stone-carved signs.

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Old arcade/games building. I love the old-school name.

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Old ticket booth. 15 cent rides? Yes please. The star of the show is sitting to the right of the booth...

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The train from Rocky Springs 1928 Wildcat. They don't make them like that anymore. It's on display under a pavilion as you enter the property, near where the coaster stood until the early 90's.

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Wildcat's wheel assembly. A little TLC and this thing could still ride... Doubt it, but it's a nice thought.

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An old brochure I found somewhere online that I saved years ago.

Edited by robbalvey
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Cool! I bowled at Rocky Springs Lanes a few years ago for a high school tournament and I didn't know at the time I was at part of the old park. Some of the land has been turned into a housing development, but it's good to see that there's more still there than what I expected. I think I might consider stopping by there sometime.

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This is probably what Conneaut Lake would look like if it decided never to open again. Very sad pictures, but it appears to be in good shape in spite of it being out of commission for so long. I love those old PTCs, they remind me of the old Racer trains that used to be at Kennywood. It'd be awesome if they could rock those trains out because the newer PTCs they have on it now suck...

 

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There's definitely a mix of feelings as you walk around a place like this. You feel a bit of happiness, sadness, eeriness, and coolness because it is really neat to see how things once were.

 

My wife and I actually had our wedding reception there a few years back. People were free to walk the grounds. We even have a picture with the Wildcat train, with me in my tux and my wife in her wedding gown. Had the train not been so dirty, we would have sat in the train for a picture. Looking back on it, I wish we had. It would have been a cool picture, and clothes can be cleaned.

 

Oh, and I found one more picture from our wedding photos.

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Looking down toward the river past the carousel house. The place can be gorgeous.

Edited by Magnum PA
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  • 1 month later...

I travelled here almost a month ago and thought that it was a pretty cool experience. It made me realize that sometimes leaving a park the way it is after it closes sometimes can preserve the place (having owners who care about the place helps). I was amazed at how well preserved the place was.

 

Here's a link to some photos I took of the park as well as of the collection of goodies I found in the bowling alley's bar: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=57841&p=980764#p980514

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  • 5 months later...

Thomas Wolf here. I'm former owner of the Carousel and worked at Rocky in the late 70's. I'm the ex husband of Kimberly Figari whos grandfather Joseph G. Figari purchased the 1924 Dentzel Carrousel that was last operated at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Question, Why is the carrousel not being used when this beautiful building is still standing. Also, why is information on the carrousel so limited? It's been out of my hands since 1998. What's going on ? Also, the old Wild Cat cars should be sheltered so deterioriation can stop. I also want to reveal something that most people do not know about the side of the tunnel of the Wild Cat. Origionally , on the side of the tunnel at the top of the drop was written " Don't Forget The Wild Cat, the safest ride on wheels" As the paint was wearing one could see the sign on the side. It was written in quite large letters. That's just a tidbit of the past of a truely great ride.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As a kid growing up in the 1950's, I lived 30 miles east of Lancaster, PA. Every summer, we would pack a picnic lunch and travel to Rocky Springs Park. I remember the carrousel, especially walking up that hill, and the music. The carrousel and the airplane ride were my two favorites. I also remember the Funhouse. At the entrance there was a large mechanial lady, known as "Laughing Sal"...she had a loud spooky laugh. Also, on the river they had speed boat rides. In the day, Rocky Springs Park was like going to Disney World today.

Thanks for the Memories

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

I wanted to just add my two cents to the conversation about Rocky Springs. I grew up in Lancaster County, PA, and Rocky Springs was our local amusement park and we went there as often as we could. There was a smaller park, Maple Grove Amusement Park in Lancaster, and, of course, Hershey Park (it wasn't one word in those days...lol), but that was a longer drive.

 

The Wild Cat Roller Coaster was the largest roller coaster on the East coast at that time...and it was fast. Just a metal bar across your lap was all that held you in, and the snap at the bottom of the first hill slammed your head against the back of the car. There weren't many safety regulations in those days... The Carousel was advertised as the largest in the world...and I understand it really was at that time. For a kid from Lancaster, this was the "BIG TIME".

 

We always went to Rocky Springs on the 4th of July...there was a huge fireworks display there...the largest in the area...as well as all the other rides and amusements. There was a large dance hall at Rocky Springs...I don't know if it had another name, other than "the dance hall". The sides opened up so in the hot nights in July and August, people would ballroom dance and we watched them from the outside (I was just a little kid then). There was also a roller rink and a huge "penny arcade"

 

Since the park was build right against the Conestoga River, there were all sorts of boat rides, from pedal boats to canoes...but my favorite were the "motorboat" rides. Up and down that section of the river with the wind blowing in your hair...that was a good time. Rocky Springs also had a swimming pool, although the largest swimming pool in the state was nearby at the Maple Grove Amusement Park.

 

Today, the large corporate Theme parks have taken over the amusement park world...but at one time, Pennsylvania had the most amusement parks of any state in the US. And most of them were locally owned. While I still love the big parks of today, I gotta admit, back it the 50's...it was a good time to be a kid...

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