Williams Grove Amusement Park closed in 2005 (87 or so years after the first rides were added to the picnic grove). About 3 years ago, the former grounds became the host of a weekly flea market. Even though I hadn’t been to the amusement park for years … I hesitated visiting the new flea market. I knew that most of the rides had been auctioned or sold in 2006/2007 and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about seeing the park in its present state.
The original Williams Family began having picnics and social activities at this site as early as the 1850s. Ownership changed hands several over the years and it grew into a pay-per-ride amusement park in the late 1920s. Across the road from the park entrance, the half-mile Williams Grove Speedway (which is still in operation) was built just prior to World War II. The park endured its ups and downs throughout its lifetime: the grounds suffered floods throughout the years due to its proximity to the Yellow Breeches Creek. Competition from Hershey Park and other regional venues didn’t help matters. By 2006, the owner was in his mid-80s and unable to find someone to purchase the park and keep it operational.
The flea market is held every Sunday from dawn until 2 pm. The Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association also holds a flea market during the same hours on their adjacent property (you can easily park at one market and walk to the other). Below are some of the images I captured last weekend. (the full collection is in the gallery at the end of the post)
It’s sad to see the days of the amusement park are over … but life goes on. Be sure to check the related links to read more about Williams Grove and view images of the park when it was still a hoppin’ place
A view of the Yellow Breeches Creek
(from the bridge between the Speedway and the old park)
Spring-fed pond with island gazebo inside the park … it was in better shape than I would have guessed.
Intially, I thought that this was the carousel shelter … but I found that a few minutes later. So, I’m not sure what this one was for?
I’m not sure of the origins of this Church … but, believe it or not, it was briefly used for LAZER TAG!
No one purchased the Cylone Roller Coaster. It looks lost and forlorn … but the cars look practically brand new!
I thought that I would recognize the Bumper Car building, but I didn’t. If you are familiar with Williams Grove … perhaps it is in one of the pictures in my gallery below? (update: see Tony’s comment below)