Garden Will Soon Be Most Popular Amusement Resort
Formal opening Saturday night of Rainbow Garden mark the culmination of plans begun by Frank Buehler more than four years ago.
As early as 1922, Buehler began considering sites for the location of a big amusement park near Fremont. It was his desire to find a site big enough for a combined amusement park and athletic field for all sports that finally led him to obtain, under terms of a lease, ten acres of the farm owned by S. B. Snyder. Sites in Fremont, near Ballville, and others north and west of the city, before Buehler finally decided upon the Snyder farm on McPherson Highway east of town as the location for his big project.
Incorporation of the Rainbow Garden Co., at Columbus, during the winter was the next step toward realization of the completed plans. This also marked the first definite step toward the organization of the permanent amusement corporation, composed entirely of Fremont manufacturers and businessmen. The incorporators, as their names appeared on the articles authorized by Secretary of State Thad E. Brown were: D. W. Cushman, A. R. Christy, Charles Sherwood, LaMar Christy, Harry Gottron, and LeRoy White. Following the first business meeting of these directors, these officers were named: D. W. Cushman, president; A. R. Christy, vice president; Charles Sherwood, secretary treasurer; Frank Buehler, manager.
Mammoth Dance Hall
The Steinle-Wolfe Construction Co. of Fremont then was authorized to begin work on plans for the park. Preliminary plans were to include one of the biggest open-air dance halls in Ohio and the remodeling of the old farmhouse, one of the few buildings on the site, into a rectangular, one-story structure facing the highway. Other buildings were to be added later as business increased and, although everything was considered in readiness for the formal opening Saturday night, the buildings now completed represent only a fractional part of the entire plans for developing the park.
Plan Swimming Pool
Other buildings and probably a swimming pool will be built later, and it is Buehler's desire to lay out a big athletic field for all sports. The north half of the park site now is being reserved for this purpose, and aside from boxing bouts which he plans to stage in the dance hall next winter, the enterprising park manager will sponsor a professional football and probably pro basketball teams during the coming season. Baseball also is to play an important part in the development of athletics at the park, according to plans.
From two laborers who began work at the park early in March, the force of workmen increased during the last few weeks to more than 50, many of whom were skilled craftsmen, all eager to finish the structures for the opening Saturday night. How well the plans were timed and how these men fulfilled expectations of park officials is found in a survey of the developments of the last few weeks.
Fine Dining Hall
Aside from the dance hall, the former farmhouse has been remodeled into a fine rambling white structure, now the only other Park building. The dining room is in the west wing of this structure and walking east on the long porch which extends along the front of the building, there is a lunch counter, where sandwiches and short orders will be served and a private dining room for small parties. A lounging room, which will be tastefully furnished, is next; then the office of the manager.
Concessions occupy the east end of the porch. A ginger ale stand and another for candy, ice cream and other confections are here. Porch and stand will be electrically lighted, the Ohio Power Co. having installed a special high voltage line to furnish light for the entire park. The dance orchestra will occupy rooms on the second floor of the old farm home, these having been remodeled and decorated for this purpose.
Three giant pine trees protrude through the roof of the building, contrasting uniquely with the new, modernized structure.
Plenty of Dancing Space
Built at a cost estimate at between $12,000 and $14,000 the dance floor is one of the finest and probably the largest of its kind in Ohio. More than 200 couples can be accommodated on the floor at once, the dancing space being 100 feet by 100 feet. Dimensions of the entire dancing pavilion are 130 feet by 130 feet but 13 feet each on the four sides of the floor is reserved for spectators. Iron railings surround the floor while an attractive white fence encloses the dance hall. Flowers, shrubbery and grass will surround the pavilion, landscape artists already having been engaged to terrace the ground. A moat 20 feet wide will separate the dance hall from the other buildings in the park, but rustic bridges over the stream will add a thoroughly natural touch to the beauty of the scene and the approach to the pavilion.
A Costly Floor
Chief feature of the dance hall, however, is the terrazzo floor. Workmen were engaged for nearly three weeks laying this floor and it is one of the best that can be built and is certain to prove popular with dancers. An orchestra platform 14 feet by 24 feet occupies the center of the dance hall. A roof covers the platform, but the rest of the area is unenclosed. Plans, however, include roofing the pavilion during the fall.
Plans for Future
Driveways are being laid out with an eye for the future development of the park. Plenty of parking space for automobiles and other vehicles will be found in the park, and watchmen will be on duty at all hours to protect property of patrons and visitors. Fred Marvin, deputy sheriff, will be in charge of policing the park and no drunkenness or rowdyism of any kind will be tolerated. Company officials have issued strict orders against transporting liquor into the park and any found in automobiles or on the person of patrons or visitors will be confiscated and the violators arrested and summarily dealt with. The management will seek to conduct the place in the best possible manner at all times.
Tourists Will Enjoy Park
Tourist traffic on McPherson
highway will contribute largely to the success of the park, officials
predicted. Barbecue stands and a filling station will be installed near
the highway for the convenience of tourists and all will be privileged
to stop and inspect the park during the day or take advantage of the
rest rooms and concessions. At night the park will be brilliantly lighted
by a row of electric lights, mounted on ornamental posts facing the
highway. Lighted archways will mark the highway entrances and exits,
and autoists will have no trouble driving into the park. Signs advertising
Rainbow Garden also have been prepared and are being distributed in
this section of the state.
[Excerpted from: "Rainbow Garden Will Soon Be Most Popular Amusement Resort," Fremont Daily News, May 29, 1926]
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