The Remains of Williams Grove

Williams Grove Flea Market
(formerly Williams Grove Amusement Park)
1550 Williams Grove Road
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
submitted by: Wendyvee

*note: the flea market inside the park no longer operates. The Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association (adjacent to the park) is still held every Sunday from dawn – 2pm

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.

Initially, 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 believe that this building was beside the “Dantes Inferno” dark ride (complete with pretzel cars). I remember that being the coolest ride in the park.

 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)

> Williams Grove Speedway

> Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association

Williams Grove post at “Ride Zone”

Jimvid’s pics (taken the day before the park closed)

*Click On Images Below For Full-Sized Views


More Wonders:

Distelfink Drive-In
York Barbell Muscle Man
The Art of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing

111 Responses to “The Remains of Williams Grove”

  1. Jean says:

    Hey Wendy, I took these photos Sept. 2013 during the steam show…don’t know if they’ll post or not, so I put them as a public view on Facebook….

  2. I worked at Williams Grove the year of the flood. I ran the roller coaster and worked odd jobs for Morgan Hughes. The large open building was an outdoor music pavilion. I recall an ALL WOODEN carousel …even the gears and workings were wood. And a gentleman we call Benz (spelling??) who fixed everything and was able to get on the carousel while it was moving with 2 full cups of coffee, get off inside and not spill a drop.

  3. Tim Jordan says:

    Man the memories that we had of this place as a kid.

  4. William says:

    Does anyone know the name of the head mechanic? Was always around when our company held picnics in the pavilions. Had a long grey beard.

  5. Tom says:

    I dont understand why u cant walk around and look at everything that once was a very cool place to go as a kid i loved it and wish i could take my son there but no trespassing and signs is a little much. I miss it alot.

  6. Jerry boyer says:

    Yes I went there when west fairview have there town picnice there.I went there when I was a little kid. My favorite why were the helicopters. And the marry go round.

  7. carol says:

    I use to live in trailer park next too it as a kid growning up plus I use to go there all the time

  8. Lee says:

    I actually just stopped by today on my way through and yes, there’s no trespassing signs everywhere and metal pokey things too to keep trespassers away. I would love to get in to photograph the place and would love to contact the owner to do so. Any ideas who owns it? There were new potted flowers (fake or real?) in side the gate and by the one building/house and one of the poles had lights lit on it.

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