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)