Click on thumbnails for view full-size version.
contributed by Barbara Chronister
now located at
AstroWorld in Texas.
Eichelberger Park was established around the turn of the last century on a piece of land located at the current location of the South Hanover Maul donated by Capt. A. W. Eichelberger. We believe that this park was created in part to support a trolley line partly owned by Capt. Eichelberger. (Read more about Capt. Eichelberger and the History of Eichelberger High School, which is not the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center.) Eichelberger Park became Forest Park prior to 1920 when the York Traction Company purchased the facility.
A Dentzel Carousel was located at Forest Park and is now located at AstroWorld in Huston, Texas. We reported earlier that it was sold in 1968. We suspect now that that is not true. Included below are two articles concerning the Carousel. The first by Kent Maulsby, Director of Maintenance at Six Flags AstroWorld in Houston, Texas. The second appeared in the Evening Sun in 1971. It is our intention to create a journal on these pages of information and pictures about the Dentzel Carousel and Forest Park. The community is encouraged to send us information and pictures stored in personal archives about Forest Park and specifically pictures of the Carousel. The Hanover Area Historical Society will be adding parts of its collection to these pages in the near future.
Here is what I suspect is the story of the Carousel.
Forest Park owned a Carousel, which was either built or refurbished by Philadelphia Toboggan Company as #77R in 1927. The Carousel has Dentzel horses and is a typical Dentzel design, so it was either originally built by Dentzel, or it was constructed by PTC from parts the obtained after they bought the Dentzel Carousel Company in the early 1920's.
The one and only picture of the Forest Park Carousel I have shows what appears to be our Carousel, but with different horses on the outside row. I assume that these were the original Dentzel standers.
Pen Mar Park had a famously beautiful Carousel made by D.C. Muller and Bros., which William Libby and August Karst brought to that Park in 1907. That Carousel, being of an older style, had no jumpers, only standers. In 1943, Pen Mar effectively stopped being an Amusement Park, and August Karst bought the Carousel. ("the Pen Mar Story: 1877-1977" by J. Schlotterbeck, 1978)
I have been told that Karst's son worked at that time at Forest Park. Karst sold the Pen Mar machine in 1945 to a man who moved it to the Greatlander resort in Willits, Alaska. (according to Schlotterbeck). Two of our current outside row animals show in a photo in the Schlotterbeck book of the Pen Mar Carousel.
I suspect Karst or his son swapped many of the outside row animals from the Forest Park and Pen Mar Carousels before he sold it in 1945. What I need to see is if the outside animals changed on the Forest Park machine from 1943 to 1946...
These horses have all had an interesting journey - they have outlived their creators, owners, keepers, and even the Parks they once served...
The Dentzel Carousel at AstroWorld
Information about Dentzel Carousels located in the United States.
Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, Maryland
High Land Park, Meridan, Mississippi
Castle Park, Riverside, California
Libertyland Amusement Park, Memphis, Tennessee
For younger readers, click on the merry-go-round.
1971 Evening Sun Article"
"...Forest Park came into being largely because of the backing of the then York Traction Company, which operated trolleys to carry people to not only the amusement parks, but to popular picnic groves such as Brookside Park near Dover and Cold Springs Park near Manchester.
The late Edward M. Grumbine managed Forest Park in its early days, when it was known as Eichelberger Park after a Hanover postmaster who had earlier donated the land for the park, according to memory of Mrs. Millard Yost, Grumbine's daughter, who now lives in York.
"I believe it opened in 1906," says Mrs. Grumbine, "I remember best the summer theatre and the dance floor. I can recall looking at the actors and actresses and thinking 'aren't they wonderful!"
"But to me the dance floor was the outstanding place. We had good orchestras in those days, a regular band weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on special occasions bands like the Selack Orchestra from York, which was very good, would come to play."
Mrs. Yost recalls that in the early days the park had a ball diamond, horseshoe pits, picnic tables, and a restaurant. When the • theatre closed after several years, her father put in the skating rink, and the park eventually added a shooting gallery and other ' skill games,
"People would pack lunches and spend : the day at the park. The biggest day of the year was the Merchants' Picnic. That day the stores would close and everyone would go to it for the afternoon and evening."
August Karst, the last owner and operator of the park, still resides on a portion of • the old tract he did not sell. Karst's father first came to the park, he says, to install a merry-go-round in the mid-20's. The elder Karst first leased the park from the "trolley" company near the end of the decade . and then after the Edison Power and Light Company acquired the York Traction Company interests, purchased the park from Edison, '•
The father had long been an amusement park operator, running parks in such areas as Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe; Pa.); Old Orchard. Maine; Mahonoy City, and Rehoboth Beach, Del., among others. He brought sons August and Howard, and daughters Marie and Dorothy to Hanover to help him run the park.
The Karsts turned Forest Park into a true amusement park by erecting the roller coaster, and installing such rides as The Whip, the Scooter (some of which were acquired from the bankrupt White Rose Park). and other rides and skill games.
"We had many outings such as the Merchants' Picnic and other community groups," says the younger August Karst, whose father died in 1948. "There were featured entertainers such as aerialists, high wire acts, and for a few years, the old cowboy star. Ken Maynard, ran the Forest Park Free Fair."
The park held dance and card parties, ballroom dances and Charleston contests, "Mardi Gras" weeks, and featured such bands as Cab Calloway and the Black Diamond Orchestra to attract visitors
When trolley rides ended, Karst said, people used to come to the park by the busload. "One July 4th, we had 100 busloads from Baltimore, and in the last 15 to 20 years, the bulk of our business came from there and not from local people."
The park closed operations in 1967, he said, partly a victim of increasing use of the automobile, but "also because we couldn't compete with parks such as Hershey and others in Maryland. Operating costs for help, liability insurance and other factors also helped make it impossible to continue."
Some of the rides are still in existence, Karst said, with the merry-go-round going to the Disney people's AstroWorld in Houston, Texas; the Penny Arcade to Wall's Drugs "Badlands'' in Walls, South Dakota, and the Pretzel Ride and Fun House to Fantasyland in Gettysburg..."
The Dentzel Carousel located at Forest Park was purchased by AstroWorld in Houston, Texas.
Click on the thumbnail picture to enlarge.
Contributed by Barbara
Pearl Linder from Hanover riding Carousel at AstroWorld
Contributed by Kent Maulsby,
Maintenance at Six Flags
in Houston, Texas - 2005
These photos are extremely large to aid community collectors in identification of specific carvings.
Contributed by Kent Maulsby.
He notes: Dentzel animals were often very similar in appearance. They
often had identical poses, but each animal had unique trappings and
saddles... We also know that our horses are not in their original
positions on the Carousel. That is one of the things old photos could
help us with...
Local collectors willing to
allow the Hanover Area Historical Society or the District Archives to
scan their items should contact,