8 Things I Remember about Fontaine Ferry Park
(I was fortunate to have parents who took me to Fontaine Ferry Park often and would take along my friends. In 1964 the park became desegregated and several of my friends who went with me often were no longer allowed to go there. We continued to go there until it closed in 1969 and I never returned to the park when it opened under another name.)
1. That it was in fact spelled Fontaine Ferry, but all Louisvillians called it Fountain Ferry.
2. The Turnpike- You had to stand up to a measuring chart on the wall to see if you were tall enough to drive, and the park closed shortly after I was finally tall enough. The cars had brakes and gas and there was a little turnpike to drive on. It had bumpers along the edges of the street and the cars had big bumpers so you couldn’t really get into too much trouble, but ohhhhh it felt so grown up!
3. Hilarity Hall- Again, the park was near closing before I was finally old enough to not be scared by the big garish moving mannequins that laughed incessantly in the front window, but oh the delights found inside. Big two story wooden sliding boards, boards that moved when you stepped on them and big wooden bowls you sat in and the force of gravity would push you against as they spun.
4. The House of Mirrors- Of course I loved all of the mirrors that made you look short or tall or wiggley, but I also loved the maze.
5. The Jungle Ride- You got into the cars outside, and entered into the hot darkness where your car jerked and lunged along and suddenly it would appear you were going headlong into a shrunken head lit up behind glass, and the car would dramatically turn just in time.
6. The wooden roller coaster that I never had the courage to ride- people died on that thing. I couldn’t even watch it- the big thing was to stand up and hold your hands up while riding.
7. Little carts that you hand pedaled along a track that included a tunnel with a western mural on the walls.
8. The TiltaWhirl and the Scrambler, two rides I never tired of , conveniently located next to the turnpike and in front of the pool.