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    The Mountain Park Fun Houses
  Written By Jay Ducharme  
  Written By Jay Ducharme  
   
  Techinal Director Bill Luca  
     
         

 Welcome to Mountain Park! You are about to take a wonderful journey through the past in what is  a sorely missed, defunct  Amusement Park that had a great legacy of outstanding  Dark Rides and Fun Houses. After reading the opening paragraph below, simply transverse the rides in order by  clicking on the page links, starting with number one, The "Mystery Ride" then move from left to right in order to travel back in correct order in time. We hope you enjoy your journey! Now......... kick back with your favorite beverage of choice and enjoy what was once a great Amusement Park, and beware, your Journey will be a long, long one, so get ready to go back in time to the past!

   

             ountain Park in Holyoke, Massachusetts began life in 1894 as a trolley stop at the halfway point up to Mount Tom. It was a simple place with gardens, a carousel, roller coaster and a few concessions. In 1952 John Collins, who owned Lincoln Park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, purchased Mountain Park from the Holyoke Street Railway. This was the beginning of the park's renaissance and would lead to its golden years. The dark rides and fun houses that were installed there were integral to the park's success. Between 1953 and the park's closing in 1987, the small midway featured no less than six different fun houses and dark rides! In the late 1970's through the early 1980's, there were two dark rides and a walk-thru fun house operating simultaneously. All of the rides were designed and themed by three individuals. One was Edward Leis of National (and later International) Amusement Devices. In the 1950's, Mountain Park needed new trains for their roller coaster and bought them from N.A.D. Leis went to the park many times and assisted with renovations for the coaster. He also lended his expertise on the construction of several buildings, including the pavilion and the "Out-Of-This-World" walk-thru. The man most responsible for the unique loom of not only the fun houses but also the entire park was Dominic Spadola. This energetic little man from Rhode Island has done work for that state's Rocky Point Park, Lincoln Park and Whalom Park in Fitchbugh Massachusetts. He created colorful and fantastical figures out of plywood, homosote. celastic and fiberglass. He helped develop the angular, twisted pastel facades of the parks buildings and signs. The stunts he designed for the Mountain Park rides had a nightmarish but cartoonish quality to them. It was a tricky balance to achieve: something that would thrill adults but not terrify children.                                                

     
   

Now Click on the links below starting from left, to right in order to enjoy all the Dark Rides and Fun Houses Mountain Park had to offer!

    
    LINK ONE     LINK TWO   LINK THREE    LINK FOUR     LINK FIVE
 CLICK HERE!  CLICK HERE!   CLICK HERE!   CLICK HERE!   CLICK HERE!
     
    Mountain Park Memories  
          CLICK HERE!  

 

   

 JAY DUCHARME  teaches Electronic Media at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. He's Loved amusement parks and dark rides in particular since he was a child. His fifth grade science project was a miniature dark ride. He got a "D" minus, but that didn't deter him. A couple of years later, he constructed a walk-thru fun house in his front yard and charged admission. In 1980 his father encouraged him to get a job at Mountain Park. He operated most of the park's rides, including those that his father also operated: "The Dinosaur Den", "Pirate's Den" and  "Out of This World". If the park hadn't closed in 1987, Jay would still be there. In the fall of 1993, he became the chief  operator of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, transplanted from Mountain Park to Heritage Park in downtown Holyoke where it still successfully operates. Jay has written many articles, including a popular history of roller coasters for the now defunct "World of Coasters" website. He is also a successful singer and songwriter and performs with his beautiful and talented wife Karen, a professional pianist. They have three terrific children who are involved in the amusement business.

 This article "C 2002" by  Jay Duchmare. Used with Permission by The Dark Ride and Fun House Historical Society, and Laff in The Dark.  Photos "C 2002" by Jay Ducharme and Laff In The Dark and used with permission. Special Thanks to Jay Ducharme, Edward Leis, Roger Fortin, Bret Malone, Bill Luca, George La Cross and special mention to the wonderful  past Dark Ride and Fun House creator: Dominic Spadola, one of  the best there ever was, and who is missed, yet not forgotten!  Entire article "C2002" by The Dark Ride and Fun House Historical Society. You may contact the author through the website. Laff in the Dark is not related in any way to the parks or rides mentioned within this website. Please ask for permission before using any of the photos contained within this article or website.  Mountain Park, you are missed!