Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Alexander Amusement Park, Princeton, Illinois. (1922-1953)

Alexander Park dates back to 1922. Alexander Park was a privately owned area built by Alex Anderson and his two sons, Lester and Robert. At the time, it was the first outdoor pool with a re-circulating water system in this part of the country. The pool was originally 100 feet long and 75 feet wide.

The park had a dance hall that accommodated up to 1,000 people. The "Alexander Park Ballroom" hosted various events, including dances, concerts, and community meetings. The park also had a children's roller coaster, a merry-go-round, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and other kiddie amusement rides.

The pool was managed by Robert Anderson, son of Alexander. In 1937 management was taken over by William (Bill) Howard. In 1951, Robert Anderson and Bill Howard could see a need for remodeling and expanding the facilities at the pool. Extensive research was done over 2 years to build a new pool house.

In the spring of 1953, the Anderson Family generously donated the Alexander Pool with 11 acres of park to the Princeton Park District. The park was renamed Alexander Park and Pool.

In June 1954, the new bathhouse was opened. It was determined that the traffic coming through the entrance at the Park Tavern was hazardous due to all of the children that could be in that area. A blacktop road was constructed to go into the park from the East, and a new road was built from Park Avenue West, fittingly named Anderson Street.

In October 1977, a bid was accepted from Charles H. Eichelkraut & Son of Ottawa, Illinois, to construct the new swimming pool. In June 1978, the current Alexander Pool was opened. The park is used for community events like the Princeton Family Fun Fest.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ is RATED PG-13. Please comment accordingly. Advertisements, spammers and scammers will be removed.