Old Indiana Fun Park

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Old Indiana Fun Park
Oldindianalogo95.jpg
The most recent park logo found on a 1995 park brochure
Location Thorntown, Indiana, USA
Opened August 1983 (1983-08)
Closed 1996 (1996)

The Old Indiana Fun Park was an amusement park located near Thorntown, Indiana off I-65 at 7230N 350W. It is now a privately owned hops farm and processing facility.[1]

Early years (1983-1987)[edit]

Old Indiana Fun Park opened under the name "Middle Country Renaissance Festival" during August 1983. It ran for six weekends until the end of the first weekend of October 1983. Construction of a ride park started in 1984 and it opened on June 9, 1985 as “Middle Country USA”. They gradually added rides until 1986, but remained mostly a picnic area and campground with a few attractions. In the spring of 1987 the park filed Chapter 11 because attendance was not sufficient to meet expenses and further development costs. It opened for that season under bankruptcy court supervision

Later years and closure (1988-1997)[edit]

The park logo found on a 1988 park brochure

On Sunday, August 11, 1996, 4-year-old Emily Hunt was paralyzed from the chest down and her 57-year-old grandmother, Nancy Jones, was killed after a miniature train ride derailed and overturned as it approached a curve. The two victims were crushed under the weight of the cars. Upon investigation, the train was traveling much faster than its design speed of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h).

The ride operator claimed to have applied the brakes as the train neared the curve, but it was discovered that many of the ride's brakes were either broken, missing, or not connected, and that most of the anti-derailment devices were missing. The speedometer was broken, along with the governor, which limits the speed of the train. The track was littered with broken ride parts.

The ride passed two state inspections in the 3-month period prior to the accident, before the safety inspector admitted that he was not qualified to inspect amusement rides. A state review of the park's own records showed that the train had derailed 79 times in the 2 months prior to the accident, and as many as 15 times in a single day. The owners of Old Indiana Fun Park admitted negligence, but denied knowing anything about the condition of the ride prior to the accident. They later declared bankruptcy, and most of the rides at the park were auctioned on February 22, 1997.

Six Flags years (1997-2002)[edit]

Premier Parks was planning to redevelop the park and open it in 1999, but after acquiring Six Flags in 1998, the refocused Premier Parks (which had by then adopted the Six Flags name) eventually canceled the project.

Prior to the project cancellation, the company purchased four roller coasters from the closed Opryland USA park in Nashville, TN, including the Chaos, and transported them to the site, planning to construct them at Old Indiana. During the year 2000, two more roller coasters from the former Riverside Amusement Park in Massachusetts (now Six Flags New England) arrived at the park and were placed in the old parking lot along with the other four and, again, the park sat with no activity.

In July 2002, Six Flags sold the 330-acre (1.3 km2) Old Indiana property to Trevor Gray, former owner of Sunshine Holdings (containing a tanning bed company, ETS, and a lotion company, Australian Gold) and now of Sunshine Properties, which planned to turn the property into a nature preserve.

Sunshine Properties years (2002-Present)[edit]

Six roller coasters were still on site when Six Flags sold the property.

When Six Flags sold the property, it included provisions for Six Flags to keep the rides there for a period of four years. This period ended on April 1, 2006 and some rides were still on site as of that time. By June 11, 2006, all of the rides were gone.

The property now is the site of Sugar Creek Farms, LLC, which is a family-owned hops farm for craft breweries.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°08′41″N 86°32′12″W / 40.144764°N 86.536678°W / 40.144764; -86.536678