Thursday, July 6, 2023

Highland Amusement Park, Freeport, Illinois (1905-1949)

Highland Amusement Park was a popular amusement park in Freeport, Illinois, which opened in 1905. It was located on the banks of the Pecatonica River, just south of downtown Freeport.

The park was initially called Freeport Park but was renamed Highland Park in 1912. 
This photo is a visual aid.

The park was opened in 1907 by John R. Highland, a local businessman. Highland Amusement Park quickly became a popular destination for families from all over the region. The park featured a variety of rides and attractions, including a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, an Allan Herschell carousel, a water slide, and other rides for young children. 

Highland Amusement Park was sold to a new owner, who invested heavily in new rides for young children and attractions in 1929. The park continued to grow in popularity throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s.

The park's Midway featured a variety of games and food vendors. Some of the games offered included Skee-Ball (popular since the early 1900s), ring toss, and balloon darts, all winning small toys for performance. Some food vendors had a hot dog stand, a popcorn vendor, and a candy shop.

Highland Amusement Park closed in 1949 due to financial problems.

Krape Park, 1122 South Burchard Avenue, Freeport, Illinois, ended up with the Allan Herschell 20-horse carousel, which was completely refurbished and reopened on July 4, 1959, in the park. In 2018, the Carousel was completely disassembled and refurbished again.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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