Sunday, April 9, 2017

Paul's Grove ─►Storybook Park ─►Storybook City USA, Addison, Illinois.

The land that Storybook City sat on was originally owned by Paul Werner and was known as Paul's Grove. It is unknown exactly when Werner began to operate Paul's Grove. It consisted of 24 acres and hosted a restaurant and a dance pavilion.

It was located at the northwest corner of Medinah Road and Lake Street in the Chicago suburb of unincorporated Bloomingdale, Illinois, but all advertisements and the mailing address read "Addison, Illinois."

The grove was purchased by John and Marie Spiezio in 1952 and they managed it until 1958.

C. Diane Bishop: "My first job was Cinderella here in 1959. That's Mike the coachman in the seat. My fondest memory is when the horses spooked one day and jackknifed the coach into a tree. Moms were not happy."

Sometime in 1958, the land was purchased by Richard Barrie who changed the parks name to Storybook Park, then later to Storybook City, USA. The City was geared to families with young children.
Barrie added some kiddie rides, built a fairy-tale castle and hired people to dress in costumes, thus bringing the storybook characters to life. After some financial problems, Barrie sold Storybook City USA to Durell Everding in 1961.
Notice the odd seating arrangement on the miniature train.  





 
Everding renamed it Adventureland and expanded the focus of the amusement park to include older children, teens and young adults. The original Storybook City structures remained and the kiddie rides were grouped together in a section Everding called the "Kiddie Korral". Adventureland grew and became the largest amusement park in Illinois after Chicago's Riverview Park closed in 1967. It would retain this title until Marriott's Great America opened in 1976 (now Six Flags Great America since 1984), and closed in 1977.
The Original "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" from Storybook Park (the toe was enclosed) can be seen at the miniature golf course at Green Valley Golf Range in Hanover Park, Illinois.

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