The amusement park opened in 1926 by C.T. Snidow, who ran the park until its closing in1966. The site of the park is located atop of the Mitchell Clay family massacre, which occurred around 1781. There are several different stories as to what happened that fateful day, but we do know that two of the Clay children, Tabitha and Bartley, were killed by a local Indian tribe. Today, a memorial for the massacre stands on the park property.
In 1985, a man by the name of Gaylord White bought the property, and reopened the park. White had worked at the park as a young man in the 1950s. Unfortunately, due to insurance concerns, the park was closed three years later, and now only operates as a fishing lake and campground.
In 1988, a team of archaeologists from Marshall University excavated the area, and found evidence of two different Native American settlements. They uncovered several tools, artifacts, and at least two bodies, those of an infant and an adult male.
Aside from the Clay massacre, there have been several deaths associated with the park. When the park first opened, the property contained a saloon, complete with prostitution, illegal gambling, and a speak-easy. A man was allegedly murdered over a large sum of money.
|By Melissa Stanley, HPIR Founder|
In the 1950s, a little girl is said to have died on the swing ride when a soft drink truck accidentally parked too close to the ride, causing her to slam into the side of it. Mr. White has personally witnessed the apparition of this little girl, who he describes as wearing a pink dress with ruffled sleeves. People also say that you can witness a cold spot and see orbs floating above the swing seats. Unfortunately, another excellent group that researched this location talked to locals and law enforcement personnel, and could not verify this story.
The third death was that of a little boy who drowned in the lake. The lake has now been largely drained for "mud bogging," and what remains is a small pond that hosts catfish tournaments every Saturday night. A later witness once claimed that she almost drowned in the lake as well. She said she was swimming, and it felt as if something was trying to pull her under and hold her down.
Another possible death is from a man falling from the Ferris Wheel. While this may or may not be just legend, people have reported seeing a man in the seat located at the 9 o' clock position. The apparitions of Indians have also been seen, especially in the area of the concession stand.
Top Photo by Karen Stuebing
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