Long Gone: Liberty Amusement Park, Battle Creek, Michigan: 1864-1932
The old Liberty Amusement Park on Goguac Lake in Battle Creek lasted a good sixty-eight years before it was shut down for good.
The park was opened in 1864 by R.W. Surby on the north shore of Goguac Lake.....and what a park it was! Some of the features:
Boat and Canoe Rental
Midway with Games
Paddle Boat Rides
Public Swimming Beach
Water Slide into the Lake
Wool Bathing Suit Rentals
Wresting-Boxing Arena with Seating for Up to 3,000
Every now and then the park employed a hot-air balloon, where a 'man on a flying trapeze' would do his aerial acrobatics. Surby was sole owner of the park for thirty years when he gave it up in 1894. In the early 1900s when World War I broke out, the park became a favorite retreat for the soldiers stationed at Camp Custer. The soldiers would head to the park every time they were given liberty, so in recognition the grounds were named 'Liberty Park'.
The park was so successful, in 1888 a trolley service began transporting customers to the park. So why did it close after only sixty-eight years?
In 1923 the park officials were having contract hassles with the park vendors and ended up closing. Shut down for four years, the park re-opened in 1927 and was given a new name: 'Lakeview Park'.
Once the 1929 Great depression spread over the country, that was the beginning of the end for Liberty Amusement Park. The number of visitors kept decreasing over the next three years, forcing Liberty Park to shut down for good in 1932.
Today, the old park location is still a cool place to visit. The gallery below shows a good handful of photos of the park from the early 1900s.
Liberty Amusement Park, Battle Creek: 1864-1932
MORE FORMER MICHIGAN AMUSEMENT PARKS: