Monday, August 24, 2009

Amusement Park Memories - Fontaine Ferry Park

Fontaine Ferry, or Fountain Ferry as we all called it (Didn't find out differently until a couple of years ago), was a blast! We'd load – and I do mean, LOAD – two or three cars and drive the 25 miles to Louisville's old theme park at least twice every summer. The designer of Palisades Park in New York conceived the idea for Fontaine Ferry. It opened in 1905 and closed in 1969. (Oops! Guess I just gave away my age.)

The excitement from walking into the impressive front entrance was second-to-none. We'd all run to the roller coaster first (I was reminded by friend, Pat, that it was called The Comet). Or rather, Pat and everyone else would run. I'd walk since it wasn't my favorite thing to ride, but to admit I got queasy going up and down...up and down...up and around the tracks, was not an option. Besides, a snow cone would usually settle my stomach. And, if that didn't work, cotton candy would do the trick.

The place I remember most is the Hilarity Hall, the funhouse. From the crazy mirrors that made you look short and squatty, tall as a beanpole, or just plain weird, to the spinning "Sugar Bowl," and the double slides. Simple attractions, but we loved them.

Rounding out my top faves were the Skooter Cars (bumper cars), the Ferris Wheel and the Ghost Train.

By 21st century theme park standards like Disney World, Universal, and even Six Flags, Fontaine Ferry was pretty tame, but it still holds some of my fondest memories. If you have special memories of this Kentuckiana park, let me know. Or comment on your favorite amusement park

Fontaine Ferry Park

WHAS Coverage and Memories

Cynthia's Attic, Book Four, "The Magician's Castle" will be out in DEC 2009 (Quake - Echelon Press).

Mary Cunningham Books

For a limited time: Buy Ghost Light and also receive a FREE copy of THE MISSING LOCKET, book one in the Cynthia's Attic Fantasy Adventure series with your download. (both stories are in the Ghost Light file.)


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Eileen Williams said...

I LOVED this post. Your memories bought back my own and my beloved "Playland at the Beach." It was in San Francisco and we lived in a suburb about twenty mies away so I didn't get to go there often.
But boy do I remember the rides, the crazy mirrors in the Fun House, and Laughing Sal. She was a great big, buxom red head that would chuckle, snort, and gaffaw until everyone was it stitches themselves. You can still catch her act if you google her.
Those were the good old days--for SURE!

Mary Cunningham said...

So funny, Eileen. An old friend from Louisville reminded me about the Funhouse and a picture of a big toothless woman who used to laugh hysterically, probably just like your Laughing Sal!

Thanks for commenting on your memories!



Anonymous said...

Hilarity Hall had a terrible prank for women. The operator could operate an air compressor under the floor. He caught me watching my boy friend go through the Barrel when he turned the air on me. Men were looking at my legs and underwear--yelling and whistleing--before I knew what was happening and could get my skirt down. That was when I was 20 years old, 50 years ago--but I remember it well. Sandra

Colleen Jeffries said...

Remember Sam and Sue, the statues that greeted you as you entered the park? They use to scare the crap out of me. Especially, the way Sue laughed. They were the ugliest things I have ever seen, and creepy. Of course, I was just a child in the sixties. Other memories of FFP were fond memories.

Mary Cunningham said...

Weren't those awful statues, Coleen?? I was in my teens then, but they were still scary!