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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bushkill Park, Easton, PA, April 2015

I did not want to hang around the perimeter of the park for too long, but here are some pictures of the closed and dying Bushkill Park outside of Easton in Palmer Township, PA. This little park operated from 1902 to 2004 when a devastating flood hit the park from Hurricane Ivan. The region suffered immensely after the extreme downpours during this storm. Much of downtown Easton was inundated with flood waters, making this one of the worst storms of all time to hit the region. Valiant efforts to reopen the park took place, and it was finally able to reopen in 2006. Another devastating flood hit and ended that season and seemingly ended the life of this century old park. 

 This park was home to multiple rides, including a carousel, a fun house, whip, and bumper cars. It is my understanding that all of these things have been destroyed or taken from the park. Fourteen of the park's seventeen rides have been sold off. 
 There are rumblings that the owners of the park are working to open the park for the 2016 season. We'll see.

 There does appear to be some care taken with the property. There is some fresh paint around.
 Additionally, the building that once housed the carousel collapsed and they removed the rubble, which is a good sign that the carousel is cared for. 
The park's biggest problem is something that did not exist for the majority of the lifespan of the park,  which is the extreme suburban sprawl around the park. What was once woods and farmland has become a center of suburban sprawl. Due to no considerations in rainwater management, the park, which lies in a flood plain, now floods much more frequently than before. The park was in business for over a hundred years without problems, and now the park is constantly flooded out. When the lands were woods and farm land, the rainwater would seep into the ground water. Now with storm drains and non-porous surfaces like pavement and roofing areas, the rainwater flows through the storm drains and into the creek, causing the low lying area of Bushkill Park to flood. The community needs to work together to implement responsible rainwater management methods. 
 I wish the best to those trying to revive the park. They have a monumental task on their hands.
Here are some looks at some better times at the park:

Here is a zippy old coaster, the Comet, that lasted from 1923 to 1967. This opened the same year as Dorney's Thunderhawk and you can really see the similarities in profile and maneuvers between these two coasters. At some point after this, a Schiff Wild Mouse was purchased from Dorney Park.

2 comments:

  1. I grew up very near Bushkill Park and spent a LOT of time there as a kid, including roller skating Sunday nights. I would love to see it reopen. Got my hopes up when I saw it on American Pickers a while back! Thanks for the memories and the update.

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  2. 10 of the 14 sold rides have been repurchased and are in dry storage less than a mile from the park being refurbished.

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