Celebrating 50 Years of Fond Memories of Euclid Beach Park

Blog Date: 
Mon Oct 21st 2019
Author(s): 

Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park 2019
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Image from EuclidBeach.org

The weekend of Friday, September 27, 2019, through Sunday, September, 29, 2019, included three outstanding events that each warrant mention. Each event has a personal meaning to me, so rather than mention all three in one blog post, I invite you to read the following three blog posts:

The events celebrate key dates for each of these three great organizations:

 

 

2019 - a Special Year for Euclid Beach Park!

On Sunday, September 29, 2019, our family participated for the fifth consecutive year in Euclid Beach Park Now's 15th Annual Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park event. This was a special year for us and for this Cleveland tradition for three reasons:

  • For the amusement park, it represented 50 years of memories.

  • For our family, it represented a new role for Julie and for our son, Kevin.

  • For the Cleveland Metroparks, it represented fulfillment of a plan to honor Cleveland's history while better serving Cleveland's Collinwood community.

 

 

Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park

Celebrating 50 Years of Fond Memories of Euclid Beach Park
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Image from September 29, 2019, Facebook event:
Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF FOND MEMORIES

The decades have marched forward quickly since 1969, the year Euclid Beach Park closed after 74 seasons. Driving past the park on Cleveland's Lake Shore Boulevard and sighting the sign, "OPEN for the SEASON" is a long time ago. Hard to believe so many years have passed, but it is time for another milestone in the Park's rich history. 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Park's closure. From that day, September 28, 1969, the park stands frozen in time...no more rides on the Thriller, Over the Falls, Flying Turns or other rides. When we remember and reminisce, it's almost like we were back at the Park again, if only for a brief moment, maybe with that queasy feeling on our stomachs as the last three "bunny hops" on the Thriller pull us up out of our seats. . . .

. . . The memories of Euclid Beach Park have not only endured, but blossomed over the decades from generation to generation. This year Euclid Beach Park Now plans to celebrate fifty years of fond memories of the amusement park we all so dearly miss, and not just commiserate over its loss.

Click Here for a Printable Share Your Memories Form

Our son, Kevin F. Smith (@kefrith), had one of the most extensive collections of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia presented at the 2019 Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park event. This is the fifth consecutive year that Kevin and Julie have had a booth at the event. This year, Kevin's collection grew so much that it barely fit under the canopy covering his booth.

Kevin F. Smith's extensive collections of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia
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Kevin's love for the history of the Park grew from Julie sharing her family stories of the amusement park. Kevin personifies the part of the above quote that states -"... from generation to generation..." - from the Euclid Beach Park Now website.

Stuart participated this year in the Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park event, and shared the following photos/videos from the day, and information about the park, on the @sos_jr twitter feed:

Browns Won!

While at the park, we heard that the Browns won their game!

 

#Earworm - #TerryJacks #SeasonsInTheSun

The last song we heard on the @wixy1260online radio that day was #SeasonsInTheSun by #TerryJacks, so this sad song jumped into Stuart's head later that evening.

 

 

Euclid Beach Park Now

Euclid Beach Park Now supports the education of the public as to the history of Euclid Beach Park
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MISSION

Preserve the memories of Euclid Beach Park, an amusement park which operated in Cleveland, Ohio from 1895 thru 1969, through written documentation and media such as audio, video, computers, compact disc's, DVD's, microfilm, etc.

To support the education of the public as to the history of Euclid Beach Park through lectures, exhibits, displays, memorabilia shows, television and radio appearances and any other available form.

To support the preservation of physical items from Euclid Beach, within Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, that may be owned by other 501(c)3 organizations, private individuals, or any entity,

Julie and Kevin have been involved with Euclid Beach Park Now (EBPN) as members, and through participating in showing park memorabilia at the Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park event. This year, EBPN President John Frato reached out to ask them to take a leadership role within the organization as members of the Euclid Beach Park Now Board of Directors starting in January 2019.

Julie, as part of her role on the Board, has volunteered all this year at the Western Reserve Historical Society - Cleveland History Center (@CleStartsHere) as a Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel ride attendant. (Note that in addition to Euclid Beach Park Now there is also a Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society.)

In 1988, we made a point of riding the Carousel whcn it was located at the Palace Playland (@PalacePlayland) amusement park in Old Orchard Beach Maine. At that time we could not imagine that the Carousel would be returning to Cleveland, and that Julie would be playing a role in the Grand Carousel's operation!

A Brief History of the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel:

  • 1910: Philadelphia Toboggan Co. (PTC) creates a new, larger, grander carousel (known as PTC#19) for Euclid Beach Park, with 4 rows of horses, 3 inside rows of “jumpers” and an outside row of nearly life size stationary horses and 2 chariots.
  • 1969: Euclid Beach Park closes and the Carousel is sold to Palace Playland in Maine.
  • 1996: Palace Playland is sold. The Carousel is consigned to an auctioneer who moves the Carousel back to Cleveland. Purchased by The Trust for Public Land, the Carousel is sold to Cleveland Tomorrow.
  • 1998: Cleveland Tomorrow places the Carousel under the stewardship of the Western Reserve Historical Society. WRHS begins restoration of all horses and chariots to the 1910 period.
  • 1999-2000: Restoration of figures is completed.
  • 2004: Cleveland Tomorrow gifts the horses and chariots to WRHS, making WRHS the full and sole owners of the Carousel.
  • 2010: On the 100th Anniversary of the Carousel, WRHS partners with Cleveland’s Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society and Euclid Beach Park Now to return the Carousel to public use.
  • 2014: The Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel once again opens up to the public for rides

Here are some of our @sos_jr tweets that show our history with . . .

It is interesting to click on the links in these tweets to read articles about the Carousel coming back to Cleveland.

Most importantly, these tweets include our video of being on the FIRST PUBLIC RIDE on the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel in 2014!!!

November 23, 2014, we were on the FIRST public ride of the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel!!!

 

 

Video: Closed for the Season: 50 Years Without Euclid Beach Park

Some of the members of Euclid Beach Park Now Board of Directors were interviewed in this emotional video that was produced by IdeaStream (@IdeaStream):

 

 

Cleveland Metroparks Now Managing Euclid Beach Park

Euclid Beach (September 2019 draft) Plan Update
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Download Full Euclid Beach (September 2019 draft) Map PDF

After the amusement park closed in 1969, the Euclid Beach Park property was managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park Division (@OhioStateParks) until the Cleveland Metroparks (@CleveMetroparks - #TimeToExplore) system took over management in 2013.

Euclid Creek Reservation

On June 6, 2013 Cleveland Metroparks assumed management of certain Lakefront State properties which include Edgewater Park, E. 55th St. Marina, Gordon Park, Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela and Wildwood Park. While the City of Cleveland will continue to own the properties, Cleveland Metroparks holds a 99 year lease to manage and enhance the parks, with a commitment to outstanding stewardship. Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela Park and Wildwood Park join Euclid Creek Reservation, . . .

. . . Once the site of the famous Euclid Beach Amusement Park, Euclid Beach Park now features a 650’ beach with shaded picnic areas, a scenic observation pier and a reservable pavilion. Though it closed in 1969, signs of the amusement park including the shuffleboard area, remnants of the beachside fountain and concrete footers of the Flying Turns roller coaster are still visible. . . .

In 2014, we met Strategic Park Planner Kelly Bassett Coffman (@kbcoff), and learned about the great plans being made by the Cleveland Metroparks for Euclid Beach Park.

We have included here the PDF files with the results of the 2014 survey we participated in, and the 2015 master plan:

These and more can be found online at: ClevelandMetroparks.com/LakefrontPlanning

 

 

Euclid Beach Pier Opening!

Thank you, Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace Endowment Fund, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources
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Thanks to the support of The Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation), the Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace Endowment Fund (@CleveMetroparks), and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (@OhioDNR), one of the great memories of the park has been brought back to life in a greatly improved form! In 2019, one of the biggest planned developments was completed with the opening of the Euclid Beach Pier. Free access to the pier, when the amusement park was open, was one of the items that made the park unique. The newly opened pier honors the past with beautiful decorative arches depicting park history!

The new pier is 315-feet long and 16 to 24 feet wide, extending 150 feet over Lake Erie. The newest park amenity was designed to improve accessibility and offers guests clear views of the downtown skyline and historic Euclid Beach shoreline that can be enjoyed from permanent benches and Adirondack chairs. The pier features three custom archways that pay homage to the historic park and former Euclid Beach Amusement Park. Silhouettes by local artist Brinsley Tyrrell are incorporated in the ironwork and feature images of dancers, carousel horses, steamships, the Thriller Car, Rocket Ship Car, Laughing Sal, and more.

Stuart was on a 600+ mile backpacking adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail (@PCTAssociation), and was not able to attend the Euclid Beach Pier grand opening, but Julie and Kevin attended as Board members of Euclid Beach Park Now.

Dan Hanson (@DanHanson) is a long-time friend and Cleveland community blogger (both Dan and Stuart used to serve on the Board of Directors for the Greater Cleveland PC Users Group). He attended the Euclid Beach Pier opening and created the following video and two blog posts:

Learn more on these Cleveland Metroparks web pages:

 

Related Blog Posts

We write our blog posts as our way to thank the great organizations in Cleveland and Akron that bring joy to our lives. If you read our posts, you will see that we are very fortunate! sosAssociates.com/Blog

There are many blog posts that we have written about both the Cleveland Metroparks (read here) and the Cleveland Foundation (read here). If you are interested to learn more about the Western Reserve Historical Society - Cleveland History Center (read here). Our blog posts about all the museums in University Circle can be read here.

 

Now that you have read this blog post, please read more about the other events I attended during the same weekend as Celebrating 50 Years of Fond Memories of Euclid Beach Park: