About Me

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Ghostly Image

At the top of page 111 in the book, under a photograph of the old arcade building, I wrote, “The arcade, in need of a good paint job during the final years of Rock Springs Park, looks spooky in this photograph taken in 1974. Many amusement parks today extend their season by offering Halloween-related activities during the fall. Based on these photographs, Rock Springs Park would have made for a terrific fright night.” But I did not discover until this week that there actually was a ghost in the photograph given to me courtesy of Mike West, or a ghostly image at least.

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the arcade building and how it was used as a beer garden in the 1940s and originally constructed as a Fun House. Last summer Sayre Graham shared the image below with me from his father’s collection. The photograph is not a postcard, but one of a series from The Finley Brothers Construction Company demonstrating various projects they built in the park and the Chester Area.

This is the only image I have ever seen showing the arcade with murals freshly painted on the façade. If one compares this picture with ones of the arcade in later years, including Mike’s photo (see previous blog post), it becomes clear that certain changes were made over the years. For one, the second floor center balcony window was boarded up and below on either side of the front door two small diamond windows were added. In addition, it seems that between the original mural painting in the late 1920s and the rustic look in 1970, the arcade most likely did not get repainted, or if it did, one ghostly image, that of the sun on the left tower remained visible, even if just barely so. See it?