Former Amusement Park Torn Down

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HARVEYS LAKE -- A piece of history was torn down in Luzerne County Saturday.

Parts of the former Hanson's Amusement Park in Harveys Lake were reduced to rubble to make way for homes.

Even though what remained of the park was an eyesore, it still had people thinking back to all the fun they had as kids.

As heavy machinery ripped into the pile of rubble across from Harveys Lake, a piece of local history was fading into just memories.

Hanson's Amusement Park, a popular spot some 50 years ago, was left empty.

People could only watch as the big building came down, and with it pieces of a bygone era for summer vacationers and residents.

"It was starting to fall down before they demolished it. You could see some of the buildings start to fall in and everything. It'll be nice to see some homes go in," said Chris Cave of Shavertown.

The park was sold off piece by piece in the 1990s. And over time fell more and more into disrepair.

A local group is still trying to return a cherished carousel from Hanson's to the area. And the new owners of the property say they plan to save the roller rink, renovating the place into a home.

"Although I was not able to see the amusement park when it was open, I've always loved the pictures and videos I've seen of it. [It's] really a shame to see it go," said Brian Orbin of Harveys Lake.

Orbin probably wasn't even alive when Hanson's was a bustling place, a place where families would have fun. Now without all that fun, and a plan to build homes here in its place, the ending for the bingo hall is a bittersweet one.

"I'm sure they'll be glad to see the area's going to look better with houses instead of old dilapidated buildings. It really is sad, no other way to describe it," Orbin said.

Others, however, do remember the amusement park and will have two fewer ways to remember it by, once the bingo hall and the amphitheater are gone.

"I used to come Hanson's years ago when I was a kid. I have a place about a half mile away from here on the water. It was always nice to see the park here. [It] kind of brought memories back from when I was a kid," Cave said.

Once those two buildings are torn down, the owners say there will be enough room for four homes in their place.

1 Comment

  • Lorraine

    I remember sitting in the back of the Ranch Wagon station wagon with the back window rolled down as we went home from Hanson’s Park. I could hear the roller coaster clicking and rumbling past us as we drove away. The car would bounce over a dip in the road, with the illumination from the taillights bouncing up and down also. Cricket’s were chirping and Katydids too. Peeper frogs were singing in the distance, as I watched the weeds on the side of the road wave and sway as we drove by. I knew even then it was a special moment in my life. : )

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