1898 Season

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1898 Season
Manager(s) Columbus Street Railway Company
Opening Day May 29, 1898
Closing Day September 18, 1898
Band(s) Fred Neddermeyer's Famous Band

The Columbus Street Railway Company opened the park for the 1898 season on Sunday, May 29, 1898, after being postponed a day due to rain.[1] It was the third year in operation after being named Olentangy Park. Prior to opening, all the buildings were cleaned and painted and the boats were overhauled. Fred Neddermeyer's band played throughout the season.[2][3] The park closing day was Sunday, September 18, 1898.[4] Local sports teams practiced in the adjacent ball grounds after the park's closing. The bowling alleys remained open for league practices, bowling parties, and special matches.[5] Ice skating on the river was available during the winter months.


Forclosure Suit

H.T. Chittenden and his wife filed a foreclosure suit against the Columbus Street Railway Company in July 1898. The Columbus Street Railway Company leased the grounds of and near the park from the Chittendens. They originally agreed to let the railway company control the land for up to 20 years. The company was to have possession of the grounds from October 1, 1895, to February 28, 1901 (five years and five months) for a rental fee of $12,000 (about $422,600 in 2022) for the period made in monthly payments of $200 ($7,043) starting March 1, 1896. In case of a default payment for 30 days, the least would terminate and the Chittendens would assume control. The buildings that existed prior to the lease were a shed ($534), the western house ($750), the eastern house ($1,100), a barn ($700), and the mill property ($2,000). The agreement said the Chittendens would not pay more than $514,400 for buildings put upon the land afterward. The railway company could renew the lease upon written request if the first renewal is requested prior to 1900. Each renewal would be for five years lasting for 15 years after 1901. The lease was signed by Robert A. Lovell, Inzanne Freifien, P.V. Burington, secretary; E.K. Stewart, first vice president; and E.K. Stewart, Robert E. Sheldon, P.H. Bruck, and C.D. Firestone, the executive committee. The lessors were Mr. and Mrs. Chittenden. Land along the river on the west side was leased from Nora C. Ramlow and others for five years at a price of $150 per year. The company claimed the foreclosure suit only covered part of the grounds and did not include the mill, not affecting the lease or reaching north of the ravine.[6]

Rides and Attractions

Kinetoscope and Stereopticon

The first kinetoscope exhibition on June 16 showed views of Famous Battleships, Troops Embarking, "Old Glory," the Cuban Flag in Colors, and more.[7] In July, views of Camp Thomas at Chickamauga taken by S.W. Miller, assistant to the superintendent of motive power; and F.E.L. Schumuekle, Jr., clerk; and printed by W.W. Bowman, secretary; were displayed in High Street windows and the more popular ones were shown on the park's Stereopticon.[8]

List of Rides and Attractions

Music, Performances, and Exhibitions

Fred Neddermeyer's band played throughout the season with two concerts every Sunday.[3]

The Ohio State University Quartet performed a musical program during the Franklin County Boxwell commencement ceremony on June 14.[9]

Living Pictures

In August, an exhibit called "Living Pictures" by Mrs. Walruff [or Warroff] and her daughter Margaret was displayed. It involved lighting effects and drapery and the program changed nightly.[10]

From Fireside to Battlefield

The living pictures, kinetoscope views, and stereopticon lantern slides were combined with Neddermeyer's Band to create a musical performance called "From Fireside to Battlefield." It was performed free for audiences during the week of August 8, 1898.[11] The sixth and final presentation of the exhibit included a picture of President McKinley and one of James Calhoun, the French ambassador at the time, under the word "PEACE." The success led the park management to present it for an additional week.[12] It continued into September.[13] Music and new images were implemented on September 9.[14]

Stunts and Exhibitions

Balloon Ascensions

Albert Patenaude, known as the "Spider," ascended several thousand feet in a hot-air balloon and parachuted down with a Columbus bicycle during an Independence Day exhibition.[15][16] He performed this stunt again on July 8 and 10. Returning on July 26 and 28, he performed a trapeze act in the air and descended from the balloon via parachute and hanging by his teeth. Later, in August, he returned to jumping with his bicycle and the shows ended August 14.



Main Article: Boathouse

The park's Boating options included Naptha launches and safe and speedy clinker-built row boats. Boats would run north of the boat house. The rebuilt pontoon bridge connected the west and east parts of the park.[3]


Main Article: Bowling alleys

The four bowling alleys destroyed in the spring floods were rebuilt for the opening.[3]

List of Activities


  1. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 28 May 1898. Pg. 7.
  2. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 May 1898. Pg. 6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 May 1898. Pg. 11.
  4. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 15 September 1898. Pg. 9.
  5. "Olentangy Park Alleys." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 14 October 1898. Pg. 11.
  6. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 July 1898. Pg. 6.
  7. "First Kinetoscope Exhibition To-night." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 June 1898. Pg. 7.
  8. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 July 1898. Pg. 2.
  9. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 June 1898. Pg. 8.
  10. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 3 August 1898. Pg. 9.
  11. Ad. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 11 August 1898. Pg. 9.
  12. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 15 August 1898. Pg. 9.
  13. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 September 1898. Pg. 11.
  14. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 10 September 1898. Pg. 12.
  15. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 June 1898. Pg. 7.
  16. "Very Elaborate." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 July 1898. Pg. 5.