Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Henry Amusement Park, Murphysboro, Illinois. (1905-1961)

The park was initially called "Diehl's Park" but was renamed "Henry Amusement Park" in 1912.

Henry Amusement Park was a popular amusement park in Murphysboro, Illinois. The park was located on the banks of the Big Muddy River and was named after its owner, Henry E. Diehl.

Diehl opened the park in 1905 with a few rides and attractions, but it quickly grew in popularity. By the 1920s, Henry Amusement Park was a popular amusement park in Southern Illinois. 

The park featured a variety of rides and attractions. The park's most popular ride was the "Henry Flyer" roller coaster, built in 1922. Other rides included a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a swimming pool with a water slide. The park also had a dance hall, a restaurant, a beer garden, a roller skating rink, and a midway with games and food vendors.
This photo is a visual aid.
The park also hosted several special events, including concerts, dances, and beauty pageants. Henry Amusement Park was a popular destination for Negroes, who were often excluded from other amusement parks, like Chicago's White City and Riverview Park in Illinois.

The park closed in 1961 after Henry Diehl died. The land was sold, and the park was eventually demolished. 

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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