Jerry Souder remembers alive as a pin setter at Menlo Esplanade in 1941 and addition advancing in adage Pearl Harbor had been bombed.
The organizers of “Memories of Menlo Park,” which will be on affectation from apex to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, at Sellersville Museum, appetite the affectation to jog added tales about the esplanade in Perkasie that opened in the backward 1800s and remained accepted through the mid-1900s.
“Hopefully, we’ll acquisition bodies advancing to see it that bethink actuality there or alive there and we’ll be able to acquisition out added about the park,” said Rick Doll, who with his wife, Louise, helped put calm the display. Other organizers accommodate Matt Lynch, Bob Behr, Heather Davis and Tim Craig.
The affectation starts with the artery signs appearance the access to the esplanade — 5th Artery and Arthur Avenue.
“When you appear in the door, it’s activity to be like a agenda activity from 1891, aback they aboriginal bought the acreage and formed the association, up to the present,” Doll said.
Similar to entering the park, attendees will get a ticket. Instead of anniversary admission accepting a altered number, as would about happen, though, the esplanade visitors at the affectation will all get the aforementioned admission number, based on the date of the accident — 6092012.
“They’ll advance through the altered stations, the history of the park,” Doll said.
In 1892, the aboriginal carousel, beneath a canvas roof, went into operation, according to a Menlo Esplanade history provided by affectation organizers. In 1894, the aboriginal “built on land” tobaggan ride in the United States was congenital at Menlo Park, application force to booty four-person cars bottomward the acropolis and forth the stream. The carousel’s beef agent winch pulled the cars aback to the top of the hill.
In 1900, trolley advance were congenital for appropriate circuit cars to Menlo for weekend picnics.
In 1907, the bank architecture was added, with a roller skating rink, four bowling alleys, an ice chrism parlor, soda bubbler and “moving picture” hall. The affectation includes a diagram of the bank layout, photos and a account of advisers aback the architecture opened.
An 1897 buzzer from Grier Sheetz, one of the esplanade founders, to a Mr. Fox about a esplanade circuit is one of the oldest items on display. Some of the best contempo genitalia of the history to be apparent will be the 2006 and 2007 photos of the architecture and aperture day for the Menlo Aquatic Center. Other items accommodate a album for the 1936 apology of Lake Lenape. The acreage and the rights to use the beck in what is now Lenape Esplanade were already allotment of Menlo Park, Doll said.
“You could hire boats. They had a beef boat, but I don’t apperceive how generally that ran,” Lynch said.
In 1910, a accouter chase clue was added to the park. From 1911 through 1916, crowds came for the Bucks County Fair, an agronomical fair at which association vied to be amid the connected account of award-winning winners.
In the 1920s, there were amphitheater shows and bandage concerts, roller skate racing, roller hockey, battle and a midway.
The esplanade didn’t aloof draw from the bounded community.
“People would appear up from Philadelphia on the train,” Doll said. “People would appear from Allentown and Philadelphia on the trolley.”
“They had academy picnics and bulb picnics,” Behr said.
During the summers, Behr said, wives and accouchement would break at the cabins in Perkasie Esplanade and Highland Esplanade all week, while husbands went aback to the burghal to assignment during the week, abiding to the bounded breadth for weekends.
In 1926, Henry Wilson became the aftermost clandestine buyer of the park.
“He endemic it from 1926 up until the time the apple bought it,” Doll said.
In 1939, the aboriginal basin was added, although there had beforehand been a bank and pond in the stream.
“He acclimated to let the kids booty bathe acquaint for free,” Lynch said.
In acknowledgment for the chargeless pond lessons, a annual “Mr. Wilson Day” was captivated by the accouchement and their families during which Wilson was accustomed gifts, Doll said.
Improvements and additions to the esplanade afterwards Wilson purchased it included a ball hall, 12-car whip, bandage shell, baptize accelerate and, in a Depression-era Works Progress Administration project, dredging of the stream. The ball anteroom austere in 1947, but that didn’t end the music and dancing, with almanac hops featuring Philadelphia recording stars captivated at the esplanade from 1956 through 1961.
In 1955, Perkasie voters gave a 5-1 approval in a election on whether the apple should buy Menlo Park. In 1956, the apple paid $115,000 to buy it, with accouterment architect and philanthropist Maurice Neinken accidental $25,000.
For the aboriginal few years afterwards purchasing it, Perkasie Apple connected to accomplish Menlo Park, again discontinued that, Doll said.
“In 1964, they started removing the amusements, befitting aloof the carousel and the pool,” he said.
The Samuel Pierce annex of Bucks County Chargeless Library is now area the bank architecture was located.
Menlo’s basin has been replaced by the newer aquatics center, but at atomic one allotment of the accomplished appears to remain.
“Those board benches they use at the pool, we’ve been told are Menlo Esplanade benches,” Doll said.
The carousel is now busy by the Perkasie Historical Society for $1 a year, which fabricated about $50,000 of improvements and aliment to the carousel and its architecture in the 1970s and 1980s. The carousel is accessible for rides eight to 10 times a year, best afresh on Memorial Day. The aing accessible date will be on Father’s Day.
The present carousel was bought in 1951 afterwards the aboriginal one was sold.
While there is memorabilia, such as photos and tickets, from Menlo Park’s past, not as abundant has been begin as ability be expected, the Dolls said.
“All in all, for as accepted a abode as it was and for the cardinal of bodies that went there, there’s not a lot,” Rick Doll said.
“We’re still attractive for a account of the aboriginal carousel,” Louise Doll said.
Admission to the Sellersville Building is free. The building is at 120 E. Church St., Sellersville.
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