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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Impromptu Parking

Rock Springs Park was designed as a trolley park and to that end never truly established parking areas for customers arriving by automobile.   
As early as 1908 automobiles carried patrons to the park but parking was limited to found space. At first, as seen in this postcard image, that meant parking along the trolley loop near the lower entrance.

When the park was re-imagined by C.C. Macdonald in the mid to late 1920s an upper entrance was added under the third hill of his new Cyclone Roller Coaster. The aerial photograph below clearly illustrates that the trolley loop all the way back to the lake and bath house was used for parking, as was the area near the Chester High School to access the upper entrance gate.
Black Model Ts line the trolley loop and lower picnic park to the lake, as well as, near the high school to the west.

The series of photographs which follow shows that this trend continued into the late 1960s until the park closed in 1970. Most travelers from Pennsylvania parked near the lower entrance as it was the first one they encountered along Route 30. While those traveling from southern West Virginia along Route 2 or across the Chester Bridge from Ohio may have used the upper entrance more often.

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