Filed Under Entertainment

Puritas Springs Park

Puritas Springs Park was the first amusement park on the west side of Cleveland. It stood next to a deep ravine overlooking the Rocky River valley. This created a wooded picturesque setting. While being unique because of its location, the amusement park was similar to all other parks in one way in that it was situated along the streetcar lines that connected Cleveland to its suburbs.

Puritas Park's story is one that can best be described as a labor of love. Early steam carousel operator John Gooding decided to install one of his carousels at Puritas Springs Park in 1898. At the time, he leased the land from the Cleveland Electric Railway Company. By 1901, he had leased the entire park and was free to pursue his dreams. He built a house on the land and began the arduous task of creating his amusement park.

With little advertising, the park began to rise in popularity. The one truly outstanding attraction was the Cyclone roller coaster. The Cyclone was higher and faster than any other coaster in the Cleveland area at the time. Also of fame was Jungle Larry who performed daily shows featuring exotic animals. Locals know him from his days at Cedar Point but he actually got his start at Puritas Park.

The park was closed in 1958 for financial reasons. The land was turned into a residential development.

Images

Aerial View The aerial view of Puritas Springs shows the layout of the 75 acre park. Note the rollercoaster that enters the wooded areas. Source: Western Reserve Historical Society
Billboard The roadside billboard one mile from the entrance to Puritas Springs Park. The sign highlighted the midway and rollercoaster. Source: Western Reserve Historical Society
Cyclone Rollercoaster The Cyclone rollercoaster was the main attraction at the park. It was higher and faster then any other coaster in the Cleveland area and would ascend 85 feet before plunging 90 feet into the ravine. It made for a truly exciting ride, especially at night. Source: Western Reserve Historical Society
Main Gate Shown in this picture is the main gate of Puritas Springs Park. This photograph was taken during the winter while the park was closed. Source: Western Reserve Historical Society

Location

Metadata

“Puritas Springs Park,” Cleveland Historical, accessed December 8, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/261.