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Home News Guest Speaker Around the Shores of Lake Ariel by Kurt Reed
Guest Speaker

Around the Shores of Lake Ariel by Kurt Reed


Local historian Kurt Reed was the featured speaker at the Greene-Dreher Historical Society on June 3. His talk centered on the history of the legendary Lake Ariel Amusement Park and was delivered to a standing room only crowd at Peggy Bancroft Hall in South Sterling. Kurt detailed the park’s timeline from its beginning in the late 1800s to its demise during the Flood of 1955. While there were many attractions at the park, including a merry-go-round and a penny arcade, one of the most memorable was The Cyclone, a massive wooden roller coaster with a 65-foot drop. At its height the park attracted tens of thousands of visitors from both near and far, and in the early days they arrived by horse and carriage and by train, vastly outpacing local accommodations. Kurt shared memorabilia from the park’s heyday, including arcade games, signs and souvenirs, a sketch he had made many years ago of one of the horses on the merry-go-round, and many dramatic and amusing anecdotes gleaned from newspapers and oral histories. Several of those in attendance had fond memories of the park in the 1940s and 50s.