Long Branch Park

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  • Long Branch Park, located at the northern end of Onondaga Lake Park, is made up of three reserved shelters/areas – Riverview, Glen and Knoll – and a 100 ft, sledding hill. Major annual events held here include the Great American Antiquefest, Scottish Games and more.

    A Brief History of Long Branch

    During Onondaga Lake’s heyday, many local residents would venture to Long Branch Park. In 1882, Ben and George Maurer purchased the land and developed Long Branch Amusement Park. Named for its famed chestnut trees, this park offered something for everyone. In 1925, Long Branch’s welcoming sign at the entrance to the park proudly boasted, New Long Branch Park- Let All Who Enter Here Leave Care Behind.” And that is just what people did. The park offered various attractions that were family oriented. These would include: picnic areas, baseball games, playgrounds, skating parties and fireworks for the 4th of July. For the sportsman, the park offered ice boating, row boating, bowling alleys, a billiards room and a shooting gallery.

    Other features of the park included: a dance pavilion, a restaurant, an arcade and various amusement rides including a carousel. In fact, the carousel was brought to Long Branch Park around 1926 where it remained for the next 15 years, even after the park closed in 1938. Roseland Park, an amusement park in Canandaigua, NY purchased the carousel in 1941, and held on to it for 43 years. The Pyramid Company later purchased it at an auction, and restored it to its original look. The carousel became the centerpiece of Syracuse’s Carousel Center shopping mall when it opened in the 1990’s. The carousel still operates daily at the mall, now known as Destiny USA, and people can still take a ride on it and enjoy its splendor.

    In 1912, Long Branch suffered extensive damage. Ben Maurer rebuilt the park which was to survive for another 26 years before its final demise in 1938. Growing pollution in the lake, trolley services being closed down and the increased popularity of the automobile all contributed to the downfall of the park. The automobile allowed people to go to the Adirondacks, the Thousand Islands and beyond for their leisure time. As a result, this park fell by the wayside and became a mere memory.

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