Photo by Inga Smith

Olentangy Amusement Park

In 1883, the Villa amusement park opened. This "Park" was on the edge of the Olentangy River, near Dodridge Street. It was represented by a tavern, boating, swimming and picnic grounds. In 1895, the Columbus Railway, Power and Light Company purchased the park. A few years later, the Dusenbury brothers secured title to the 100-acre part and added many attractions. In 1909, the Shoot-the-Chutes was added to the park. An occasional feature of the Shoot-the-Chutes was Tanda the elephant. She was routinely bathed in the pool of this attraction.

In 1926, admission to the Olentangy Amusement Park was $2.75. The park flourished. In 1938, the LeVeque family purchased the Park. The merry-go-round, Dodgem, airplane ride and rifle range were purchased by Gooding Amusement Company and were moved to the Columbus Zoo. The LeVeque family built the Georgian Style Olentangy Village Apartment Community. Raymond Snow was the architect for the development. LeVeque had worked with the government cleaning up the slums of Cincinnati. His experience at Olentangy Village was intended to test if such an endeavor might be a worthwhile pursuit for a private company.

Today, the area houses a Giant Eagle supermarket (formerly occupied by Big Bear).

More in-depth information in this blog.

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