Monday, May 29, 2017

The Lakeside Room

Continuing my mini-tour of the Salem Museum in Salem, VA, I present to you an entire room dedicated to Lakeside Amusement Park.

The park began in 1920 with a segregated swimming pool. Within a few years, the land owners added rides. The swimming pool use ended in 1967 but the rides remained. The pool was filled in so that the new roller coaster, The Shooting Star, could be constructed.

Lakeside was a summer destination for many families in our area until it closed in 1986. The park was flooded in 1985, and while it reopened briefly after repairs, it was not able to survive the flood and then a lawsuit that resulted from the death of a grounds worker after the reopening.

I visited Lakeside numerous times as a child, with my parents and also without them, and as a teenager I ventured to the park to listen to entertainers who played at the Pavilion there. I seem to recall hearing Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn ( maybe?) and a few other country singers there, including Juice Newton who was popular at the time. 

I remember bumper cars, cotton candy, throwing up from the Tilt-a-Whirl (I wasn't the only one), the Sky Lift, which went over the parking lot and gave an intriguing view of the area, a miniature train, a super slide (which would burn your legs if you wore shorts and slide down it in the summer), the Ferris wheel, a carousel, and an arcade area of some type.

The Lakeside Room at the museum has a huge miniature of the roller coaster along with lots of photos and other memorabilia.

The model of The Shooting Star roller coaster.

Not only did this bring back memories, I was also fascinated by the detail and design of this model.

A horse from the carousel.

Pennants, postcards, photos and other items about Lakeside Amusement Park. 

A close of the Sky Lift (my favorite ride) and the Shooting Star.
This link takes you to a video from WDBJ7 showing the construction of The Shooting Star. It is five minutes long and includes footage of the flooding of the facility and the aftermath.

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