"A land of thrills. A land of excitement. Lincoln Land
offers entertainment the whole family will enjoy."
THE HISTORY BEFORE LINCOLN LAND AMUSEMENT PARK
Gene helped expand Effingham's landscape on the south side of town. He bought 30 acres of farmland and built the Village Square Mall.
Initially, Gene started many businesses in the mall, including the Carousel Ice Cream Parlor, Computer Village, Keyboard Music Company, the Playland Arcade, Radio Shack, the Village Cinemas, and the Village Snack Bar.
When Gene reached 26 stores, he purchased 50 acres for expansion. JCPenney and an additional 14 new businesses opened at the mall, anticipating a massive boost in foot traffic from the draw of a new indoor amusement park in 1977.
THE HISTORY OF LINCOLN LAND AMUSEMENT PARK
Gene Mayhood, the man with a lot of "get up and go," was the genius behind building the indoor Lincoln Land Amusement Park in 1977, right next door to the Village Square Mall.
The amusement park was open seven days a week between May 23rd and September 1st and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the rest of the year. The park was billed as the "World's largest indoor amusement park," with 100,000 square feet of entertainment.
There was a giant stairway in the middle of the park. On the 2nd floor was the Skate Land roller rink with a huge skating floor, the Country Club Miniature Golf Course with 18 holes, and a game arcade.
Toddlers and young children could enjoy themselves in their own Kiddie Land, a specially created playland giving kids the amusement park excitement they wanted and the safety parents demanded.
In the early 1980s, the building had 15 major rides. Lincoln Land is the main reason why there are hundreds of parking spaces at Village Square Mall today, as the lot was packed nightly back in the 1970s and '80s.
Gene sold the mall to New York-based Elart Corporation in 1988. The amusement park building is now an office/retail center.
Jim Mayhood says the main reason Lincoln Land Amusement Park closed was the drastic drop in guests and the yearly increase in operating expenses.
Jim has kindly permitted me to recreate the Lincoln Land Amusement Park logo. I offer some great items. Thank you, Jim.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.