Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC - CHAPTER 30 - SUBURBAN AMUSEMENT PARK, MANLIUS (UPDATED))

Built in 1898 by the Syracuse & Suburban Railroads who made their money back by selling train travel tickets to and from Suburban Park. Just three months later a dance pavilion was added. This amusement park was located on Route 92 in the Village of Manlius, NY. The park flurished and Rex's Animal Circus was added in 1934. During the 1940's & 1950's held weekly barn dances hosted by Wayne Schram and the Ozark Mountain Boys. In 1925 the parks first roller coaster was added (coming from Lakeside Park in Owasco). In 1960 the park was purchased and operated by George Van Legen and Russ Pace,

Suburban Park's amusement included a large wooden roller coaster called "The Comet", a  Tilt- A-Whirl (added in 1952), Bumper Cars, Merry-Go- Round, Ferris Wheel (added in 1952),  Rollo Planes (in 1940), Merry Mixer, Laff in the Dark Funhouse, Wild Mouse (in 1959), a miniature train ride, picnic area and various kiddy amusements rides (boats and pony rides), Games of Chance included- Ski Ball, Duck Pond, Dart Throw, Shooting Gallery, Baseball toss at weighted milk bottles, Archery Shoot, Hammer-Ring the Bell and Ski Ball.

One bit of excitement happened in 1964 as WOLF Radio dee jay Windy "The Weird Beard" Craig set the world roller coaster riding record.

The park also included a 2,000 car parking lot, a picnic area and large stage were many local and national bands performed along side circus entertainers. It also had a large dance pavilion (later renamed the Campus Inn) that showcases local and national musical entertainment such

1930-40's- Jack Teagarden Orchestra,  Ted Florto Orchestra, Dick Kowell Orch Mario DeSantis Orch, Jackie Kren Orch, Jimmy Jay Orch, Davisons Commodores, Vagabonds, Curtis Johnson Orch, Blanch Calloway Orch, Ken Norman Orch, Mike Lowell Orch, Freddie Laxton Orch, Jimmy Richardson Orch

1950's- Woody Herman Orchestra, Jim Deline Orchestra, Stan Kenton Orch, Wayne Schram & Ozark Mounatin Boys, Duke Dixon's Swingbillies, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams Jr, Carter Family (Maybelle & June), Grandpa Jones, Claude King, Marvin Rainwater, Fred Lewis,  Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Connie Smith, LeRoy Van Dyke," Little Jimmy" Dickens, Stonewall Jackson, Tom Thumb the miniature horse.

1960's- Avengers, Bigtree Sisters, Brass Buttons, Campus Walkers, Freddie Cannon, Carnage, Johnny Cash, Caz Cats, Coachmen  (Mike Davis), The Crests (Johnny Maestro), Baron Daemon,   Ronnie Dio and the Prophets, Electric Brass, Eternals,  Ides of March, Impressions, Jam Factory, Jennie Lee Lambert, Little Bernie (Milton) & The Cavalieres, Livin Ennd,  The Monterays, Nightcaps, Rogues, Rustix, Sabers (Ron Lauback), Sam and the Twisters, Bob Seger,  Sermon, The Seven, The Shangr-las, Red Sovine, The Vikings, Wilmer and the Dukes to name a few

The Comet Roller Coaster was closed down in 1969 when the wooden structure became to dangerous to ride. Suburban park closed after the 1973 season. The Campus Inn Dance Pavilion burned to the ground on July 26, 1975. The parks land was eventually developed into a  apartment complex and offices and remains that way to this day.

Quote- Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon " Hi Palisades Park if great, but when I'm in Syracuse I go to Suburban Park"

3 comments:

  1. GOOD TIMES!!! GREAT MEMORIES!!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!

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  3. I left Syracuse in 1963 but have great memories of the park. What stuck out in my mind was standing in line with my Dad in front of the Pizza Venue - there you could watch the pizza makers throw those huge, wonderful and delicious pies into the air; as a kid it was amazing to see. NY pizza still the best in the world, and I know from traveling through USA alot.

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