Williams Grove Amusement Park
Williams Grove Amusement Park was a family-oriented amusement park near Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The park operated from 1850 until 2005.
The Williams family began hosting picnics in 1850 in a small grove located in the village of Williams Grove outside Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The grove would within a few years grow into a park. Within two decades the park had grown into the Mechanicsburg Fairgrounds. After World War I, the park's ownership changed hands several times. In 1928, the first rides appeared at the park. The adjacent Williams Grove Speedway half-mile track opened in 1938.
Morgan Hughes purchased the park in 1972 for $1.2 million. Many of the rides were relocated to Williams Grove from the defunct New Jersey's Palisades Amusement Park, which closed in 1972. Williams Grove Park was nearly destroyed in the summer of the same year due to Hurricane Agnes and the subsequent flooding from nearby Yellow Breeches Creek. The park was rebuilt and operated until the end of the 2005 season, when the Hughes family decided to focus all of their energies on Williams Grove Speedway. Morgan Hughes, who was in his mid-80s when the park closed, attempted to sell the property in 2006 to a prospective owner who would keep the park intact and operational, but was unable to find a buyer. The rides were auctioned off the same year. Hughes died in his sleep at his Pennsylvania home on April 12, 2008 at age 88.
The park's other coaster was The Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster erected in 1933, a revolutionary coaster of its time, It is 65 feet high with a 60 foot drop reaching up to speeds of 45 mph . The fate of the Cyclone is unclear as of November 2007.
As of November 2012, The Cyclone remains at the park in disrepair with the train parked at the loading station.
The cars of the Cyclone are recycled from the Palisades Amusement Park.
The park had two other coasters, Kiddie Coaster, 1992 until closing, and the Little Dipper, 1950 until 1963.