About Me

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Virginia Gardens Baby Grand Was a Family Heirloom

Charles Clinton (C.C.) Macdonald and wife, Grace, owners of Summit Park in Akron, Ohio, purchased Rock Springs Park in 1926. Macdonald upgraded the aging Victorian park adding the Cyclone, a small zoo, and the Virginia Gardens Ballroom. For two seasons the park saw record attendance and profits, but with the onset of the depression, Macdonald needed to diversify in order to keep Rock Springs Park going. To that end, he moved his family to Ligonier, Pennsylvania in 1931 to become partner to Richard B. Mellon and part owner of Idlewild Park.

Grace Macdonald went back and forth between Rock Springs and Idlewild for four years until turning the entire operation of Rock Springs Park over to her newly-wedded daughter, Virginia, and son-in-law, Robert L. Hand, in 1935. The Hands would spend the next thirty-five years in Rock Springs Park, raising two sons and sustaining a modest but profitable existence until the park was purchased, rides and all, by the state of West Virginia in 1974.

During their years of operation and ownership of Idlewild Park, the Macdonalds lived in this home directly across Route 30 from the park. The home still stands today.

According to Tish Hand, “The fancy living room with the baby grand piano was in Grace and CC’s mansion in Idlewild. The piano came to Virginia Gardens after Grace's death (October 24, 1964) and was there for many years before the park closed. I don't remember what became of it, but it was offered to us and we had no place for it.”

As the baby grand is not listed among items to be auctioned off in this advertisement from the Beaver County Times, June 19, 1974, perhaps it was donated to a local church or sold to a local buyer prior to the auction. Does anyone know what happened to it?

(Click on image to enlarge.)

No comments: