Flint Park Amusement Park - Flint Michigan History #FlintParkAmusementPark #FlintHistory #FlintPark #FlintMIHistory

Flint Park Amusement Park opened on Flint's north side in 1921. 

These are a couple postcards showcasing the park. I found the images online and have no idea who to credit them to.

The park featured amusement rides such as The Whip, Dodgem (bumper cars), a Ferris Wheel, and a roller coaster (The Jack Rabbit). It also had a dance hall, playground, skating rink, sports fields, and an outdoor area for performances and concerts along with a beach and a lagoon on the lake for boating.

In 1953, what is locally known as the Beecher tornado, hit causing damage to the roller coaster. It was rebuilt bigger and better.

The park continued on through the 1950s and more rides were added and the ownership changed. 
This photo was on Pinterest but I recognize it from a Flint History book.

Eventually vandalism started to affect the park.

In March of 1961, the owners decided to close the amusement park and in the years following, the rides were dismantled and sold off. The amusement park was torn down in late 1963 or early 1964. My grandfather purchased the office building. 

And this is where my personal story begins. Oddly enough I have never visited the location where the park once stood. In my lifetime that area of Flint has always been pretty sketchy. 

No sign of the old amusement park remains anymore, just Flint Park Lake, nicknamed Devil's Lake, and a pavilion and picnic tables. Maybe a playground. I think those are all rather new. The Genesee County Parks have been trying to revitalize natural areas. 

For years it was just an overgrown area of cattails around the lake. A forgotten place to dispose of things you want to disappear like cars and bodies. 

I have lived in Flint my entire life, my mother who will be 81 this year, was also born in Flint.  So the amount of Flint historical things that might be lurking in our houses is immense. 

I inherited my grandmother's house, which has a unique history tied to the old Flint Park Amusement Park. 

Part of my house began life as the office building inside Flint Park Amusement Park. When it closed in the 6os they sold everything. My grandfather bought the building and had it moved to his land and put on top of the basement and foundation he built. He used that structure as the starting point of a house. My house. I inherited it when my grandma passed away. I don't know which part was the office. We've tore everything down to the studs and bare floors and it is all a mismatched bunch of stuff cobbled together. So who knows what was what. 

But I've always wondered about that old park. It closed over a decade before I was born, yet I still have ties to it through my home.

I have scoured the Internet for years looking for things from the old Flint Park Amusement Park but no luck. Historical documents and old newspaper archives are not digitized so I have to make appointments at the local museum to go through archives. I hope once I can finally get in to do research I'll find more detailed history, perhaps more photos of the park in its glory days.

Earlier this year (in February or March 2018) I found these signs. pictured below. After living in my house for 23 years I found them nestled on top of a block of my basement wall.  

I was shocked! The signs have been sitting under my nose all these years. I can't believe I never noticed them. 

I just happened to be standing by the washer and dryer chatting with my husband and I looked over and spotted a stack of something on the block. I don't know how I had never noticed them before. Upon seeing them I felt a strange energy. I was instantly excited. I knew they were something wonderful.

I had him grab them down from the wall and then I totally freaked (in a good way). I was like a kid on Christmas morning because as soon as I seen the lettering peak out from under layers of dust and dirt on the top sign I knew what they were and where they came from.  I have them stacked in a safe place now until I decide where I'm going to display them. 

I wonder what else might be lurking in my basement or attic. My grandfather (and the other men that have lived or worked in this house) seemed to like to hide stuff in the rafters and the basement walls. Jars of nails, old empty jars, jars full of who knows what (one smelled like turpentine , we were afraid to open the others they looked scary).

I cringe at the things I had to throw away after my basement flooded a few times. Boxes of old books and magazines, letters....things that were too ruined to save. I still have boxes down there that I have never went through, just put them aside to deal with later. They weren't wet so I stacked them up to save them. I feel tingles of energy just thinking about what I may find inside them. When I get the time to look through them *sigh*. 

These ticket/coupons above are from an 86 year old woman I connected with through a message board about Flint park. She had saved the tickets all these years and wanted them to go to someone who collected Flint Park memorabilia. They are going to be framed and put on display with the signs.

As I keep digging in my own home and in historical archives I hope to learn more about the old park and its history. I read a brief statement on Wikipedia that there were a couple deaths at the park. I wonder if that is where one of my resident household ghosts comes from. 

I have never seen her but my oldest son and husband both claim to see an older woman, probably in her 50s, in mid century business attire (1950-60s), her hair up in a bun (or something, men don't know hairstyle names), walking through the living room around 7am on Saturday mornings. Seems she's just on a loop and not a sentient spirit (like the others in my house- more on those later). I've often wondered if she worked in the office at the park. That's the most feasible explanation. 

But I collect things. I have generations of family heirlooms plus random stuff I have picked up at yard sales, flea markets and antique stores over the years. Maybe spirits came attached to an object.  It isn't unheard of though I tend to feel the energy of things when I am considering buying them. I've never felt anything negative. Not that my ghosts are negative. They seem pretty benign. Most of the time. There have been a few odd incidents over the years that scared the crap out of me and my family. 

Eventually I'll get around to writing more about my haunted house.

#FlintParkAmusementPark #FlintHistory #FlintPark #FlintMIHistory 

Haunted Flint
Haunted America Series
Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani 

Publisher: The History Press

Release Date: September 2, 2019

ISBN-10: 1467143049
ISBN-13: 978-1467143042

Book Description:

Sinister Secrets in Flint’s History

Home to ancient burial grounds, unsolved murders, economic depression, and a water crisis, Flint emits an unholy energy rife with ghostly encounters.

Colonel Thomas Stockton’s ever vigilant ghost keeps a watchful eye over his family home at Spring Grove, where guests occasionally hear the thump of his heavy boots.

Restless spirits long separated from their graves lurk among the ancient stones in Avondale Cemetery.

Carriage maker W.A. Paterson’s spirit continuously wanders the halls of the Dryden Building, and something sinister and unnamed resides in a Knob Hill mansion waiting to prey on impressionable young men.

Join authors Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani on a chilling tour of Flint’s most haunted locations.

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1 comment:

  1. I remember goiheng there whens i was a kid in the fifties. They used to have a fireworks show on the fourth. I remember they had a house of mirrors also