About Me

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rock Springs Park Map

(Click on all images to enlarge)
I hoped to find a map of Rock Springs Park while researching the book, but never came across one in any of the collections folks shared with me. Based on photographic evidence, personal recollections and aerial photos, I was able to map out the park in my mind and used that information to basically take the reader on a guided tour. You may be familiar with the aerial photograph (below) taken around the time the park closed in 1970, but perhaps, like me, you wondered what was housed in each of the buildings. I have created the map above to explain just that.

My son, Christian, drew the map of the park below when I was trying to figure out what was what.

Tish Hand, using the aerial photograph explained what was in each building when she lived above the park’s office building with her husband, Richard Hand, in the late 1960s. Here are some of her notes:

VIRGINIA GARDENS - By the time I got there the KENO hall in Virginia Gardens had become quite popular and filled the park on the nights it ran.

ROCK SPRINGS - The springs were at the back of a mountain and were directly under the fancy building on the midway. They had professional stairs leading to them and were thought to be medicinal way back when.

THE OFFICE - Virginia (Mom and Bammie as the kids knew her) was usually in the office and took care of the medicine room. I still have the moose leg table where the children sat in the medicine room to have their skinned elbows patched up. I lived above the office when Robert C. Hand (my first son) was 2. The roller coaster's curve was only ten foot from my window and roared by on the week-ends.

THE GARAGE - The building closest to the office going down the midway was the garage and storage building. That was a real wonderland. Beside the tractor and the cutter bar that it pulled, there were heaps and stacks of old park and arcade machines. There were pennylodians that you peaked into and turned the handle to see naked ladies dancing about. Lots of others. I'm sure these were resurrected when the park was sold but were just stored back then.

THE LADIES REST HOUSE - The ladies restroom was closed back then and you had to climb up the hill to get there. (That’s probably where the cabin was moved.) The old chain pull toilets were still there with the bowl nearly to the ceiling. Mom used this to store unwanted things and sent me there with Dick to see if there was anything I would like to keep. I still have the items I took. A brass candlestick holder with the handle on the side and a old copper frame which I later put an antique picture into of a little girl praying. I also have a large copper pot that was used to melt candy in for the candied apples. I love it and use it in my living room to collect all of the dog toys.

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