The play’s the thing

September 26th, 2008



In 1925, members of Maple Grove Church presented a play at the church. The play was Friendly Helpers Class. It was a success and was taken on the road to the Linworth and King Avenue Methodist Churches. The left photo shows cast members Katherine Cooke (Barbee) and Lulu Browne (Ohsner), Dorothy Cooke (Hambleton) and a neighbor playacting for the camera in 1925. The photo on the right is the program for the June production. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner Family)

Crestview Presbyterian

September 26th, 2008


Crestview and Overbrook Presbyterian Churches were organized by the Reverends Walter Houston and Harry Barr, and both claim this “tin church” as their first home. In 1915 the Crestview congregation purchased five lots at Tulane and Esmond. They met in the tin church until 1918, when a more permanent structure was erected. In 1922 a larger church was built; the first brick structure was converted to a manse. (Photo courtesy of Overbrook Presbyterian Church)

Crestview Presbyterian grows

September 26th, 2008

This is the newer Crestview Presbyterian Church, built in 1922 at Tulane and Esmond. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

The Park

September 26th, 2008

Around 1880, Robert Turner founded the Olentangy Villa Tavern. It was a small picnic grounds and offered boating and swimming, perhaps a couple rides. By 1895 the park came to be owned by the Columbus Railway, Power and Light Company; enabling the electric company to earn money from both its electric streetcars and from electricity at the park, and ensuring streetcar traffic (with its use of electricity) not only during weekdays when commuters traveled to their jobs in the city, but also on weekends when residents traveled by streetcar to the park. In 1899, brothers Joe and Will Dusenbury purchased about 100 acres of the park and built it up into a state-of-the-art amusement park with nationally renowned entertainment in a lovely, picturesque setting. They offered rides, a pool, bowling alley, canoeing, an amphitheatre, even a Japanese Village purchased from the St. Louis Exposition. Many long-time residents recall happy and exciting days spent at the park.

Eventually the park began to decline, and was eventually sold, and then sold a couple more times. In 1937 L.L. Leveque purchased the park and in 1939, built the Olentangy Village Apartment Community in the park’s place. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

South Glen Bridge

September 26th, 2008

The streetcar came right to the entrance of the park, and from there attendees walked over a pedestrian bridge to get into the main park. This is a picture of the “South Glen Bridge.” (Photo courtesy of Chris Bourne)

Loop-the-loop

September 26th, 2008

Loop-the-loop and Shoot-the-Chutes were among the favorite rides at the park. Loop the Loop took riders on a 360-degree vertical loop. The unruffled gentleman appears unconcerned about gravity in this well-known image of the ride. The ride was said to be accident prone and was eventually torn down. (Photo courtesy of Galen Gonser)

Shoot the Chutes

September 26th, 2008

This photo shows, left to right, the Whirl Wind, Shoot-the-Chutes, and the Racer. Shoot-the-Chutes involved a long slow boat ride to the top, followed by a creaky turn, and then a steep descent, hitting water and wetting the riders to their unabashed delight. It was one of the favorite rides in the park. (Photo courtesy of Chris Bourne)

Fun at the Park

September 26th, 2008

Anyce Milam, a Columbus resident, shared these two postcards of the Olentangy Park with me for use on this web site. The first is a color picture of the ride, Loop-the-Loop, which had quite a few accidents and therefore did not last long in the park.

The second postcard image was taken on the river near the Park’s canoe livery. The postcard was dated 1917. (Courtesy of Anyce Milam)

Como Park…

September 26th, 2008

was originally called the American Legion Park Playground, presumably because Post 82 owned it or gave it as a gift to the community. Today there is a conical mound at the park. The mound was “built” sometime in the 1960s (tentative date) from the dirt displaced by sewer line construction.

Columbus Canoe Club

September 26th, 2008

The house that currently stands on the north side of Orchard Lane at the river was once the Columbus Canoe Club. It has had only 4 owners in its lifetime, and the present owner had to do considerable renovation on the building. The club originally had tennis courts; the space is now a swimming pool. Sadly I know of just one photo of the club, which is located at the Ohio Historical Society. The current home owner told me that Bill Arter, an artist who drew and researched Columbus buildings in a Dispatch column called “Columbus Vignettes,” was in the process of writing a column about the club when he passed away.

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