Playland Park (Indiana)

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Playland Park was an amusement park located in South Bend, Indiana. It was bounded by the St. Joseph River, Ironwood Drive, and Lincolnway East.

History[edit]

Playland Park started as a trolley park in 1880, originally called Springbook Park. By 1912 it had a Casino, an exhibition hall and a large roller coaster.

In 1916 a race track was added. In 1924 Pete Redden became manager of the park. He held a contest and the park was renamed "Playland Park" and the roller coaster was renamed the "Jack Rabbit".

Besides being a popular amusement park, the park also had a baseball field. The South Bend Blue Sox of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played most of their games there.

A NASCAR race was held on track July 20, 1952 including won by Tim Flock with Lee Petty second. Herb Thomas won the pole.

The grandstand was popular also for horse racing and fireworks. The park hosted the 4-H fair for many years.

The park had a dance hall that hosted many famous bands such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Ozzie Nelson drawing 2,000 to 3,000 people on the weekends.

Times changed and small amusement parks fell out of favor. In 1961 it closed and was turned into a lighted par-3 golf course. That closed after 40 years.

It is student housing for Indiana University South Bend. Only the cement from grandstands remain from the park.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°39′32″N 86°13′05″W / 41.659°N 86.218°W / 41.659; -86.218