My name is Ron Frames, and I spent many summer days in the late 1950's and through the 60's at "Fountain" Ferry Park, as everybody used to pronounce it. I am sure you have received many e mails from people like me, who are old enough to have remembered the Park. I remember the Majestic Main Entrance to the Park off of the Parkway, and the side parking lot where The Rocket Carousel, the Skating Rink, and Gypsy Village all stood. There was a refreshment stand on the corner of this lot that had a Big 7UP sign on it. The Park grounds were covered in smooth river stone gravel. The swimming pool seemed so large and intimidating to me, especially the high dive. The Comet roller coaster, was terrifying. It had no restraints to hold you in your seat, and it seemed people who rode it were crazy, to do so. I was one of the crazies but not until I was well into my teens. The Pony Rides were a favorite. It was heaven to get onto a little Calico Pony and ride around the little oval without the attendants holding the reins. The Turnpike was by far my favorite ride. The little red, blue, green, yellow cars with finned rear quarter panels were terrific! The center stage had shows most everyday. The Carousel was so beautiful and created a wind as it spun around and around. The "Rock-O-Planes" were fun because you could lock the handle inside the cars and make your self go upside down. The Hilarity Hall with it's Devil's slide was really scary! The Angel Slide was fun, but the most fun thing in the hall was the Wheel of Joy. The Sugar Bowl made me ill to get into it and spin around stuck to the wall of the bowl. The Bumps just gave me headache. They used to have the Hilarity Hall wired so that a man in the main ticket booth in the center of the hall could jolt people who sat down on benches that were scattered around the hall. The Wheel of Joy was also wired so that the last person left on the spinning turn table would have to let go when he/she received a shock from the man in the elevated booth. Some of the kiddie rides were little wooden boats that floated around a circular tank. Little cars and fire trucks, little helicopters, and others I can't remember. The Dairy Del was just across the Parkway for ice cream on a hot summer night. The Dude Ranch on the northern end of the grounds offered trail rides on horses. There was a lot to do. I miss it and wished that it was still around. I kissed my first girl there. Her name was Valerie. You can tell I have many fond memories of this place. I am so happy that you chose Fontaine Ferry Park for you website.
If I can help you with any further research about the park please e-mail me.
Thanks for your wonderful website.
Sorry I would not have made such a fuss if I thought I could have been wrong. I guess you guys will at least know about the origins of the Turnpike cars. Thanks for your site its very interesting to hear about other parks. I would like to know when the cars were installed at your park.
Jen, A friend of mine sent this website to me because she had hear me speak about Fountain Ferry Park many times. I have read all of the pages of comments and memories of the park and they all sounded so happy, just like my own. My family and I spent many summer days at the park as I was growing up. I rode my first horse at the park and remember that day like it was yesterday. I was four or five at the time and the horse’s name was Snowball. It was a beautiful white horse. I didn’t see any mention of the pony rides or stables in any of the comments I read. My great-grandfather (Otto Langnehs) worked at the park for many years. I have a picture of him standing in the park. He and my great-grandmother lived not far from there on the Parkway. I believe that some of my father’s uncles also worked at the park. My parents actually met at the Fontaine Ferry Roller Rink when they were teenagers and were married shortly after. vAll of the memories I have of the park are like wonderful dreams. During the summer my mother, her sisters and my cousins would pack up the car and head for Fontaine Ferry for the day. I can remember swimming in the pool, riding the Tilt A Whirl, the Derby horses and the roller bumpers in the Hilarity Hall and also the little cars on the tracks that were powered by hand. The Merry Go Round was my favorite ride. I can remember my father holding on to me as I rode the horses because he was afraid that I would fall off. vIf I close my eyes I can still remember the smells of the park. When my dad was young he would stay on the roller coaster and ride over and over. My parents used to go to Gypsy Village and dance. My mom told me stories of celebrities that performed there. She said that Frank Sinatra actually performed there. Most of my father’s family is from the Portland/West End area. I can remember many family picnics at Shawnee Park near Fontaine Ferry. There used to be a fountain in the park where the kids would play for hours. I have memories of a pond with huge goldfish and lily pads at Shawnee and Persimmon trees everywhere. This trip down memory lane has been wonderful but I should go before I start crying. Thank you so much for all of your hard work on this website. I have the publication of Fontaine Ferry Park and also the video. I also have many more pictures if you need any to add to your website.
Loved the article on Fountain Ferry Park. I grew up in Southern Indiana and my parents took me there a
lot. Last time I was there I was about 18 years old and still went on the rides and enjoyed it. That was in
1952. I left Indiana so didn't know when the park closed but glad it was there when I was a kid.
My last visit was during the "Ghost Town" incarnation. My son was ~ 10, and my daughter was ~ 6. We decided to ride the "Comet" one more time, while it was still operating. My son declined, but my daughter went along. After we got off, we soon noticed that our daughter was being very quiet. When we looked at her a little closer, we realized that she was in shock, her lips were gray, and the rest of her face was very white! After a few minutes, she began to recover, but has never ridden a "Coaster" since!
Hello, I grew up around Shawnee Park--640 S. 44th Street--and I have fond memories of Fontaine Ferry. We all called it Fountain Ferry. In the
summer time, I used to go the every day. I had many ways of gaining free admittance. I remember when the Penny Arcade went to 2 cents. Some
of the rides would be flat out unsafe by today's standards. I remember a time when I was trying to get free ride tickets during some companies picnic. I
overheard another boy's statement that he was Mr. Brown's son, and watched as a lady gave him a handful of ride tickets. I waited as long as I could
stand it and approached another lady and said, "I'm Mr. Brown's boy." She looked at me and said, "No you're not. I'm Mrs. Brown." oops,
got snagged. Mrs. Brown asked what my real name was and where I lived. I told her. She pulled me to the side and gave me a bunch of free ride
tickets, and told me not to lie for the tickets again. I said I wouldn't and scampered off into the park. I would check the wall in front of the
boat ride every weekend to see when the park was going to open. I was always there opening day. The Fritos and Cheeze-its were high priced items at
10 cents each. I drooled over Pronto Pups an item I could never afford. My mother bought a swimming pass for me in the 5th grade and I didn't have to
sneak into the park anymore. The pool was great except when you slipped and fell you got a cement rash. There were stage shows in the middle of the
picnic area. I shoved a hot dog down some girl's throat and she won a badminton set. She never said thanks. The 4th of July fireworks were
the best I've ever seen. I worked once-in-a-while as a shill playing the games so no one else could win. Yep, they were rigged those pony races
were. I could walk through the Fun House with my eyes closed. There was a skating rink on the Shawnee Park side, and all the tough guys went there
on the weekends. I could go on forever...I loved that place and I wish I could go back to those days. I just remembered the donkey carts over by the
Turnpike. I'll return to your site again. Thanks for the memories.
Regards, James E. Lindorff
I am looking for photos of Fontaine's old "Ferris Wheel". I noticed you have one in your "Fan Section" but I couldn't copy it because it's protected. I am
particularly interested in any older ones. I work for Bell's Amusement Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma and we have Fontaine's old wheel here. Fontaine's owner sold
it to us after the park closed. It's actually an "Eli 16" by the Eli Bridge Company, I was told. Not a true "Ferris Wheel". George Ferris' wheels
were not too practical as they were very huge. Eli Bridge designed a wheel that was more portable. The wheel still looks great and runs great--considering
it's about 90 years old now. It sits at the north end of our park. If you saw the 1982 Walt Disney movie "TEX" starring Matt Dillon, the "Ferris Wheel"
scene between Dillon and Emilio Estevez were actually filmed on the Eli 16. We added new lights to it a couple years ago and retired the old ones into storage. It
could use a new paint job, but other than that, it's doing just fine.
Regards, Kyle in Tulsa
Thank you for all the work that you put into this
info. about memories of Fountaine park
i worked at the roller rink in the1950
Thanks for this wonderful site! I grew up at Fontaine Ferry during the early 60's, then worked at the reopened "Ghost Town on the River"
during college, operating the front break of the Comet. Today, My wife and I live in Florida and are active members of the American Coaster
enthusiasts, thanks to the Comet. I feel so lucky to have found other people who share my love of this park's memory. Thank you! Thank you!
My goodness, the memories this brings back. I can still smell the aroma of the pine park mulch that covered most of the
grounds. My first taste of cotton candy, enjoyed after watching it being spun in the machine. That marvelous penny arcade,
where you could play pinball for a nickel. And to find out that the marvelous carousel that I rode on so happily is now up
here at Six Flags brings almost unbearable nostalgia. Louisville was and is a town of incredible parks. Our family used
to enjoy weekend outings at Shawnee Park, with those towering walnut trees (I believe they were black walnut).
The owners name was Zingheizer. I believe what fun. I remember having with my sisters and parents at the park and the pool. My children never knew what a true family neighborhood was and now that I have a grandson I fear neither will he. I treasure each and every one of these memories from the fried chicken picnics in the park to our Sunday trips to Mile Finnegans's stand that was located on the parks property. You can't help but feel so totally blest for the family we were raised in and the tremendous feeling of belonging! Thanks so much for allowing me to remember! Susie
I can remember as a child growing up in the 60's saving the bottle caps from
Pepsi Cola waiting for the day to come that
we made our way to "Pepsi Cola Day" at Fontaine Ferry Park. Every summer when my father would take a week of vacation
from Bernheim Distillery, which was always the week when this day occurred, my mother would fry up some chicken for a picnic
lunch and we would make our way down Algonquin Parkway from Fust Avenue in Shively for a day of fun. I can still smell
the aroma of that chicken frying ,and to this day every time my mom fried chicken I would fondly remember those days. We
always parked on the Shawnee Park side entrance and I remember walking to the picnic area past all the trees with their
whitewashed trunks, and the skeeball games and shooting gallery to lay claim to our table for the day. After setting up
we would all, myself, 2 brothers and sister be armed with Pepsi caps and nickels to ride what we wanted. These are such
fond memories. I also remember anxiously waiting for the show in the stage area to begin because on Pepsi day the
headliners were two of the biggest names in Louisville television, Randy Atcher and "Cactus" Tom Brooks. I lived for
that day to come and recall Cactus always doing his dance and the end of the show, the "Cactus Shuffle" I believe it was
called. It's probably hard for kids nowadays to believe that in a world of video games and high tech "everything"
and the monster amusement parks we have today that kids from my day could be so thoroughly entertained by something called
"Mirror Maze", "Jungle Land", "The Caterpillar" or "Hilarity Hall", or to have as their heroes a singing cowboy who taught
us to "brush your teeth each morning"......AND his sidekick, a rodeo clown. Growing up in Louisville though, that
was reality and I couldn't think of any other way I would have wanted it because these memories are just as fresh in my
mind now as the day they happened. Funny...age will make you forget what you did yesterday but Fontaine Ferry memories
never dim and I hope it stays that way. Thanks for this wonderful site...I will visit again and again.
I love this site. I don't have any pictures or memorabilia for you, but I do have a Fountiane Farry Magazine with lots of picture as seen in you web site. I remember the same as all the others the fun I and my family had there. I took swimming lesson there, but I can't say I learn to swim as to this day at 64 yrs old I am afraid to put my head under water. I remember the many time the we went to the skating rink. I just had to have those cute little skating skirts. You just weren't cool unless you had one of those little short skirts. My dad worked for a furniture company call Mengel's and they always had their company picnic at the park and my brother and three sisters always got to use the ride tickets saving the last ticket for the Hilarity Hall for last at the end of the day. Mom and Dad got most of the food and drink tickets where they hung out in the cool beer garden, as they didn't care much for the rides. I do remember seeing a picture in my parents photo collection where dad was on stage being congratulated for winning a prize during a draw at the picnic. I believe it was a bedroom suite. Very 50's with a bookcase headboard and a gray finish. I use to love the tilt a whirl until one day I lost my hot dog lunch and ever since have not been able ride that type ride. would love to see picture of the old Dutch Shoe & the rock o planes. Thanks for the trip to memory lane. It was fun.
HELLO, ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO I HAD MY MEDAL DETECTOR OUT IN IROQUOIS PARK. I FOUND NUMEROUS V -NICKELS, INDIAN HEAD PENNIES, RAILWAY TOKENS,1933 DOG TAG ETC. BUT MY PRIZE FIND WAS A COPPER COIN ABOUT THE SIZE OF A HALF DOLLAR. IT READ , ADMIT ONE TO THE OVERLOOK PARK ZOO. IT IS IN MINT CONDITION. I DUG IT UP UNDER THE PLAY GROUND BLACKTOP THAT WAS PUT DOWN IN 1948 ,THE YEAR I WAS BORN. YOUR WEBSITE IS THE ONLY CLUE I HAVE FOUND ABOUT THE OLD AMUSEMENT PARK. I ALSO FOUND A BUNCH OF OLD RIFLE SHELLS USED FOR THE GAMES. THANK YOU RON RUDOLPH, LOUISVILLE KY.
I so enjoyed you web page. My name is Loretta Urevick I was born and raised in Louisville so very many years ago. Living in Florida for the past 25 years has been great, but I always reply to those who ask if this my home or are you a native Floridian reply, no Im from Louisville, Ky. I was so stirred with memories looking at the pictures of 4th St. We always dressed up to go down-- high heels and all when I was a teen. I attended Manual High School 1953_56. Wow what a beautiful time in my life. Going to Fountain Ferry Park was like going to Disneyland for me I remember the pool could not swim but was a good wader! The midway was full of noises. That of children Carnival type music smells of food although we never ate, we saved or appetite for White Castle on the way home. Im home sick now!!! Guess I will go book a flight--- Loretta Urevick
Wow just stumbled on your web site on fountain ferry park. I grew up on Shawnee terrace that was about three blocks east of the park. We moved there when I was 10 years old. We moved from around 34th and Broadway (Sandra court) to Shawnee terrace in 1958. What a wonderful area. You had fountain ferry park and also Shawnee park a beautiful public park.. one of my best friends Ronnie Amos happened to live on the corner of Herman and south western parkway right across from the skating rink. We would sit on his front and watch all the action, mostly all the pretty girls going into and out of the park all nite long. I spent many a day in the big pool at the corner of market You could get a season pass for 15 dollars. The park would mail every one a pass with in a half a mile radius that you could use over and over for free admission to the park. My friends and I would always go over to the park a few days before it would open for the summer season. If you could see one of the ride attendants and you were lucky they would let you in and let you ride a few rides free. My friend eventually got a job at the park when he turned 16. He operated the electric bumper cars. We would spend hours upon hours in the hilarity hall. I loved the rock –o – planes and the comet and the rockets that were behind the skating rink. I believe my whole family was assembled at the skating rink. Back in the late 40s skating was very very popular. My mother and father met there and both my uncles met there future wives there. Late at night I would lay in my bed on Shawnee terrace (no air conditioning) and I would hear the clank clank clank of the comet (roller coaster) going to the top and all of a sudden you could hear the screams of the people as they hurtled down the first incline. You could even here the song (happy organ) they must have wore that record out many times over. oh and the 4th of July fireworks. They were awesome. The west end was full of cars and people. There was a beer stand (Finnegan's) near the entrance and that stand did a booming business … I have nothing but the fondest memories of a wonderful place to spend the golden years of my childhood.