Ever wonder why Rock Springs Park was considered "The Showplace of the East"? Perhaps because it was "charmingly situated" and "devoid of clap-trap features." At least that is what the "Street Railway Journal” reported in 1906. The magazine also emphasized that the trolley line from East Liverpool not only provided easy access to the park from points west, but that the “ride (was) considered by many a special part of the day's outing.”
Read the excerpt below:
Rock Springs Park is located in Chester, W.Va., across the Ohio River from the city of East Liverpool, Ohio. The park is most charmingly situated, commanding a magnificent view of the Ohio River, and constitutes the chief pleasure resort of Eastern Ohio. Although devoid of the clap-trap features found at New York's Coney Island, it bears about the same relation to the territory tributary to the Ohio Valley as does this famous resort to the surrounding country. Rock Springs Park is served not only by several steam lines but also by the line of the East Liverpool Traction & Light Company, thus making it unusually easy to access to the population for miles around. The steam railroads find it advantageous to feature this park in their advertising literature, with the result that each season they carry from 80,000 to 100,000 excursionists to the resort, and not infrequently a dozen special excursion trains will be operated to the park in a single day, many of these coming from distant Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania Points.
The park line of the East Liverpool Traction & Light Company operates from the center of East Liverpool over its own steel suspension bridge, 1700 ft. long, crossing the Ohio River, and thence to through the city of Chester, W. Va., to Rock Springs. On this line a frequent service is given, and it serves the double purpose of carrying the people from East Liverpool and neighboring points to the park as well as affording means whereby many steam railroad excursionists who visit the park can cross into Ohio and reach all points touched by the comprehensive system of East Liverpool Traction & Light Company. A surprisingly large number of out-of-town patrons of the park take advantage of this ride, returning from Rock Springs Park in time to take the evening trains, this trolley ride being considered by many a special part of the day's outing in addition to the pleasures and attractions afforded by the park itself.
The natural and artificial attractions of Rock Springs Park have been handled with rare skill to obtain the best effects. The grounds cover forty-three acres of woodland, and include a ravine which has been partly cleared to give accommodations for picnic parties and strollers. Recognizing the drawing attractions of aquatic features, the management has at considerable expense damned a small stream which runs through the grounds, thereby creating a lake that may well be described as a gem of its kind. This artificial lake covers about five acres and is not over 40 ins. deep, but it possesses all the scenic attractions of a natural body of water and gives the fullest opportunities for rowing without the slightest danger. The company maintains about thirty first-class rowboats and several naphtha launches for use of patrons. The dam which holds back the water of the lake is about 175 ft. long, 21 ft. high, 8 ft. at the base, and is built of concrete and masonry.
(All images courtesy of Richard Bowker)