Thursday, December 15, 2016

KiddyTown Amusement Park (1950-1967) / FunTown Amusement Park (1967-1982), 95th and Stony Island, Chicago, Illinois.

Funtown Amusement Park at 95th and Stony Island in Chicago, Illinois, started life in 1950 as "KiddyTown." 
KiddyTown Amusement Park, like so many other "Kiddieland" Parks of that time, had a Fire Truck used to pick up kids from their homes and take them to the birthday parties at the park. The Fire Truck was also used as a ride, driving kids around the park.

New owners, Alllen and June Carvell bought KiddyTown Amusement Park in 1967 and ran that operation until they sold it in 1977. When the Carvell's bought KiddyTown in 1967 they changed the name of the park to Funtown Amusement Park.

KiddyTown originally charged a gate admission where all rides were free once inside. When the Carvell's bought the park they changed a single admission charge to the park to a ticket-per-ride system.
Funtown had some great rides like the Santa Fe miniature train, Mad Mouse roller coaster, the Trabant (Google it), the Moon Rocket, a Merry-Go-Round, a small Ferris wheel, the Rock-O-Planes, the Paratrooper, the Round Up, the Octopus, Swinging Gym, and hand-cranked rail cars. 
They claimed to have the fastest Go Carts in the Chicago area. 
In the summer of 1977, Jack Johnson bought the park. Jack was a carnival guy who attempted to run the park like a moving carnival. As stated by a park manager who worked there from 1975 to 1982, owner Jack Johnson pilfered what he could from the park and chased customers, employees and managers away by mistreating them.

When Great America in Gurnee, Illinois opening in 1976, it was a contributing factor to the parks slow death. Jack Johnson sold the park around 1980 to another carnival owner, Bob Johnson (Big 'J' Funtown). Finally, in the fall of 1982 the rides were auctioned off and the land sold. 
The Funtown Jingle went like this: "Funtown, Funtown for the kids and you, 95th and Stoney Island Av-e-nue, Funtown!" 
Note: There is a video on Youtube that is titled "FunTown (95th & StoneyIsland Ave.) DaMadMouseGroov" - This is NOT footage from Funtown. At the 2:42 minute mark, It states "Although we tried to find actual footage of FunTown Amusement Park... none could be found." 
THE CARVELL'S - OWNERS FROM 1967-77
Funtown Amusement Park at 95th and Stony Island was owned by Allan Carvell Jr. and his wife June Marie Carvell of Evanston, Illinois. In 1957, June Carvell and her husband opened the Rainbo Ice Skating Arena4812 N. Clark Streett, Chicago and the Rainbo Sports and Skate shop.

The rink became quite popular, drawing hundreds of people during open skate sessions. It also served as a practice arena for figure skaters and hockey players. Mrs. Carvell also helped manage tennis operations at the Lincoln Park Tennis Club, where her husband, a tennis professional, gave lessons.

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