Parks From the Past

As some of you may already know, I didn’t grow up in the Finger Lakes region. Originally, I am from a small town named Lehman in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. There are favorite places of mine that I grew up with that I like to reminisce about, like amusement parks. Many people living in the Finger Lakes remember one special place in particular – Roseland Park in Canandaigua.

One of the parks I lived near was called Hansons Amusement Park. It was located on Harveys Lake, which is actually the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t shaped like any of our Finger Lakes, but had several arms like an octopus. You could view the wooden roller coaster of Hansons from many vantage points across the lake. It was quite a landmark. Since then, the rides have all been dismantled. No longer can you see the wonderful structure of the roller coaster.

I’m sure many people have similar sentiments about Roseland. It was a fixture at the northern end of Canan­daigua Lake and was the highlight of summer for fans of the park. Young adults had summer jobs there, and in turn, their children followed in their footsteps, probably op­erating the same rides and scooping ice cream at the same stand. Cottage dwellers on the lake fell asleep to the familiar sounds of Roseland, and the sight of the roller coaster and other rides loomed familiar on the horizon.

In this issue, Joy Underhill presents her thoughts about Roseland Park, especially the famous carousel. The park was a special place for Joy. I hope her memories spark pleasant ones that you have. Maybe you’ll even get out your photo albums and reminisce a little bit on your own.

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