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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Former Morado Park, Beaver Falls, PA

A long time ago, Beaver Falls was a buzzing industrial hub. Now many of the remnants of that time period remain standing frozen in time. The jewel of this small city is Geneva College, a small Presbyterian Liberal Arts College that seems like it has a perfect little campus. Many other areas of the city appear to be frozen in time. Some small industry remains, but the bulk of it has not been reclaimed yet. Pollution still hampers the town as well, with drillers upstream dumping toxic chemicals into the Beaver River.

With Beaver Falls being the smoky and gritty city that it was, Morado Park offered a place for the townspeople to getaway to a quiet place. The park was opened in 1891 by the Beaver County Traction company. It was primarily a picnic ground that is said to have had a carousel and lots of groves. It is also said to have a swimming area in the Beaver River, which I cannot imagine the pollution that these people were taking in as they swam. As was the case with most of these turn of the century amusement parks, one of the primary attractions was a dance hall that was the site for nightlife during that time period. It seems as if the dance hall stayed open after the park closed and was turned into a skating rink. It is not standing anymore though.
Postcard image from Lawrence County Memoirs

The park closed in 1937, surprisingly longer than most of these old trolley parks. Everything I am finding shows that the only ride this park had was a carousel. The make is unknown and it is also unknown if the park had other rides. It would not be a surprise to me if the park had more rides than that, because the legendary Harry Traver came around and his Traver Engineering Company was founded in 1919 and located just down the street. I would imagine that Traver would find it convenient to have a nearby show park for his creations. The closest confirmed park to Traver Manufacturing was Cascade Park in New Castle, which once boasted a Tumblebug and a Circle Swing ride. No Circle Swing Rides remain, and only two Tumblebugs remain, one at Conneaut Lake Park and the other at Kennywood Park. It would not surprise me if one of these Traver contraptions was built at Morado. 

Here is a view looking towards the park. I am not sure where the boundary was, but this was either in the park, or looking towards the park.
 I am not sure if the park extended this far, but this sad little shopping center that seems to be completely vacant, sits on this spot. As I said, Beaver Falls feels like it is frozen in time.
Seeing these old theater signs with "Thank You" messages is always really depressing. 


Anyways...You would have no clue that an amusement park was once located around this spot. 

1 comment:

  1. Was just past there Saturday on my way down from New Castle right by here was located the trolley bridge where a young boy Raymond Robinson would suffer severe electrical burns which left him scarred and the walks he would take late at night along Koppel road would lead to the Green man / No face Charlie legends . The Beaver River sections above beaver falls you could safely swim in it even in 60's when I was a kid it the majority of pollution entered down stream at beaver falls proper so area where park was located did not have the heavy pollution problems .

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