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Robison Park, 1898
Fort Wayne Reader
While renovating the Hall’s/Takaoka restaurant downtown this past winter/spring (it’s open again, by the way), workers pulled a time capsule out of one of the walls. Deposited circa 1958, it contained these postcards of Robison Park in 1898. We wondered what the heck Robison Park was, and where it was located, and thanks to a few Fort Wayne-centric websites and blogs with a historical bent, it didn’t take us long to find out. Turns out, it was quite the place to be around the turn of the century. Located on the St. Joseph River about seven miles northeast of Fort Wayne, Robison Park was owned by the interurban trolley line Fort Wayne Consolidated Railway Company. The park was built in 1896, a featured the pavilion, rides, a “mechanical orchestra,” and all sorts of other attractions. Later on came the big rides — a roller coaster, ferris wheel, circle swing and many others. You could only get to the park via the interurban (it cost 20 cents), and admission to the park was free. But a few devastating floods and dwindling attendance eventually put an end to Robison Park in 1920. Practically nothing of the park remains today. Thanks to the blog Child of the Fort; Casey Drudge’s piece on the Heartland Valley site; and the Huntertown Historical Society site for the history. Those sites have much, much more detail on Robison Park, if you’re curious.
Photo courtesy of Jim Mount.