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Friday, April 17, 2015

The Former Willow Park, Butztown/Bethlehem Township, PA

On a quiet street in Bethlehem Township, PA/Butztown, a park once stood. Willow Park was a small park that served as a community hangout. The most popular attraction at the park was a swimming pool movies were also shown at the park, and clambakes were held. This seems to have really been an open community gathering place as opposed to the typical gated theme parks of today, and especially in that region. This place seemed to have more of a community gathering element that you do not see in today's amusement parks. Here is a great article about a reunion for people who worked at and enjoyed the park. Documented are some great memories, including the swing and doo wop dance eras.

The following images are from Joel Styer's Defunct Parks website.
A carousel, some kids rides, an arcade, and a Schiff Wild Mouse once stood at this park. This park seemed like it was very similar to the standing but not operating Bushkill Park, only a few miles northeast of the park. Uncharacteristic of many parks, it actually opened in 1931, at the height of the Great Depression. It was purchased in 1959 and more rides were added. The park only lived on until 1970 when it was purchased by a local construction company. 



A series of small ruins remain, including footers, what looks to be a gate, and some more various ruins. It is hard to tell anything was at this place since it is so overgrown and wooded. 
As usual, with the closing of this park, the community lost a great gathering place. Fortunately Bethlehem Township, a burgeoning suburb in the Lehigh Valley region, has created a great community park area and community center for similar gatherings.

2 comments:

  1. to bad its gone growing up in the park was a real treet 1953 until closing many great memories

    ReplyDelete
  2. to bad its gone growing up in the park was a real treet 1953 until closing many great memories

    ReplyDelete