1900 Season

From Olentangy Park Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1900 Season
Manager(s) Joseph W. Dusenbury
The Olentangy Park Company
Frank Burt
Opening Day May 20, 1900
Closing Day September 16, 1900
New Attractions Bathing Pavilion
Water Toboggan
Theater Manager A.C. Lacy
Band(s) Fred Neddermeyer's Famous Band and Orchestra

Olentangy Park opened for the 1900 season on the afternoon of Sunday, May 20, 1900.[1][2] Fred Neddermeyer's Famous Band and Orchestra provided music throughout the season.[1][3] Frank Burt, general manager of The Olentangy Park Co., booked the performances and stunts and A.C. Lacy managed the theater.[4][5][6][7] The park closed relatively early on September 16, 1900.[8]

Joseph W. Dusenbury managed both Olentangy as well as Minerva park. The operating company, The Olentangy Park Co., was a private company and was not connected to the Columbus Railway Company. The park grounds were leased by the park company and all the buildings, bridges, electric lighting plant, and other structures were the property of the park company. Performing artists' and musicians' wages increased 25 to 100 percent from the previous year. Due to these rising costs, the cost of admission was set at 5 cents ($1.76 in 2022) per person, except children, and included the whole park as well as the gallery in the theater.[3][9] Fans were sold to help keep air circulating in the theater.[10]

Park Improvements

This season, a new bathhouse called the Bathing Pavilion was erected[11] with a toboggan slide, called the Water Toboggan and more lights were added.[1][12] Stunts became a staple this season as well.[3]

For ride and attraction changes, see the Rides and Attractions section.

Notable Events

Violent Storm Causes Fire

A major storm that rolled through on the night of June 29 caused a fire at the switch house at the entrance twice.[13]

Employees Caught Stealing

In late August, the special detective for the park, Fred Stuebe, uncovered a gang of employees who were systematically robbing the slot machines all around the park all season. There were reports the machines were "gutted" about twice a week. Suspicious that it was an employee, security watched different machines and caught two men, C.L. Krouse and B.H. Hartman, in the act of prying them apart and stealing the money. When confronted with the evidence in front of Manager Dusenbury, one of the men fainted. Since the men had families, originally Dusenbury did not want to prosecute and instead, have the men work off the theft of $40 ($1,410 in 2022) they admitted to.[14] However, the men pleaded not guilty two days later.[15]


Electric Sign Lawsuit

W.B. Flynn sued W.J. Dusenbury in May for unpaid work after being hired to design and construct an electric sign for Olentangy and Minerva parks at High and Broad streets for $75 ($2,650 in 2023). Dusenbury claimed to not know Flynn and said that another party entirely designed and built the sign at No. 7 South High Street.[16]

Furniture Company Sues Park

The American School Furniture Company sued Eli M. West, Joseph W. Dusenbury, and the Olentangy Park Company for $928.88 ($32,750 in 2022). The furniture company was a trust of the park company, comprised of West and Dusenbury. On April 5, 1899, the Grand Rapids School Furniture Company contracted to sell the park company 1,800 opera chairs of certain styles and on May 16, contracted them to furnish 1,613 more chairs of certain styles. The contract price was $2,679.25 ($94,466) and was to be paid 60 days after the delivery plus another $92.82 ($3,272) for freight and $241.55 ($8,516) for setting up the chairs. Olentangy Park Company paid only $1,500 ($52,887).[17] Dusenbury and West filed a demurrer to the petition a month later claiming the facts weren't sufficient for action.[18]

Rides and Attractions

New Bathing Pavilion and Water Toboggan

Main Articles: Bathing Pavilion and Water Toboggan

Built in the ravine, across from the boat dock, the bathing pavilion had the amenities of a beach, such as dressing rooms separated by gender along the Olentangy River. It was 100 feet by 13 feet and 9 feet tall. Up-to-date bathing suits were supplied to patrons.[12] In the center of the structure stood a toboggan slide, named the water toboggan. Invented by J.W. Pickens, the amusement manager for the Columbus Railway Company since 1899, the slide was 50 feet wide, coming off a tower that was 12 feet by 13 feet, with the platform 30 feet above the bathhouse roof, making the length around 100 feet long. Riders using standard ice slide toboggans faced a 40-foot drop followed by a second 15-foot drop, ending in water 2 feet deep at the end of the slide and 10 feet deep 30 feet away.[19]

Dancing Pavilion

Main article: Dancing Pavilion

Dancing in the park's dance pavilion was a popular activity. The Legretta Club held hops monthly.[20]

List of Rides and Attractions

Theater, Vaudeville, and Stunt Performances

Main Article: Olentangy Park Casino and Theater

Originally, George L. Chennell, was rumored to return to manage the theater for a second season.[6] Instead, A.C. Lacy became the new manager.[7] The shows were mostly vaudeville acts.[11] Although the push by local religious organizations to lower the number of Sunday amusements continued, the Methodist Ministers' Association said they would not try to stop the theater performances at Olentangy and Minerva parks.[21]

Starting July 8, the theater started trying to institute two intermissions during the evening performances instead of one, most likely to allow people to buy refreshments, but most audience members stayed seated during both intermissions. There was a worry the audience would not like returning home later.[22]

There was a complaint in the Columbus Evening Dispatch about the poor plumbing in the ladies' retiring room and the drinking water at the park.[23]

Week of May 20 (Opening Week)

Acts and performances:[24]

  • Edna Bassett Marshall and company (feature)[1]
  • "Dare Devil" Charles Ellis, outdoor high bicycle dive stunt.[3]
  • Faust Family of seven acrobats
  • Professor Coin's dog circus
  • DeHollis and Velora, comedic juggling act
  • Kittie Wolf, known as the "Queen of the Summer Girls," popular songs and dancing
  • Morphet and Stevenson, prestidigitation and musical comedy act

This was the second year Professor Coin's Dog Circus performed. It was a big troupe of dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors performed stunts such as punching a bag, standing on their hind legs on a swinging trapeze, turning several somersaults without stopping, bareback riding, rolling in baskets, dancing a ho-down, and a couple waltzing. Ellis rode his bike down an incline and dove off a 50-foot tower into the river below.[12]

Week of May 27

Acts and performances:[25][26][27]

  • "Plays and Players" - Performers included Walsch, Edith Wells, and Smith and Fuller. W.J. McDermott, imitated Sousa (feature)
  • Kinedrome Pictures featuring scenes of the Columbus Fire Department runs and more
  • W.J. Summer, balloon ascensions and parachute dives.

Week of June 3

Acts and performances:[28]

  • Hilda Thomas and Company performed "Miss Ambition" (feature)
  • The Solkes, novelty dancing act of seven people
  • Ameta DeVries, the Dancing Queen, electric dances called the Dance of Fire and Parisian Illusions
  • The Lamb Children
  • Pierce and Eghert, illustrated songs
  • Charleton and Terre, singing comedians
  • Darmody, comedy juggler

Kinodrome Pictures showed "High Street at Its Busiest Time," shot from the front of a streetcar.

Week of June 10

Acts and performances:[29]

  • Katherine Osterman in a performance of "The Editor" (feature)
  • Ameta DeVries, the Dancing Queen, electric dances (re-engaged for a second week)
  • Joseph Adelman, the world-famous xylophone virtuoso
  • Pusey and St. John, eccentric comedians
  • John and Maude Allison in a comedy sketch called, "How Foolish"
  • Stella Reinhart, champion clog and soft shoe dancer

Kinodrome Pictures included "A Practical Joke on a Cabby," "The Miller and the Sheep," "Admiral Dewey Receiving the Reception Committee on the Olympia," "A Visit to a Spiritualist," and "The Filipinos' Retreat"

Week of June 17

Acts and performances:[30]

  • Rosa Naynon and her trained troupe of tropical birds, assisted by Clyde Philips (feature)
  • Murphy and Mack, Irish comedy duo in their original character creation, "Skeezie on the Fence"
  • Frank R. Hoy's Society Entertainers
  • H.S. Vickers, singing comedian
  • LeClaire and Hayes, two girls who sang and danced
  • Kasten, Duey, and Kasten, a comedy trio in songs and mannerisms of the south

The Kinodrome Pictures showed new views.

Naynon, a gymnast, brought birds composed of Australian and East Indian cockatoos, African and South African macaws, and a flock of imported racer fantail pigeons. This was Kasten, Duey, and Kasten's second year at the park. This year, they performed "Christmas Festivities of the South" with duets and character changes. Frank R. Hoy's Society Entertainers introduced the "marionette minstrels," seven life-like puppets with a banjo, violin, flute, cornet, and tambourine. The final act was a pantomime in which a clown, horse, cow, balloon, etc. took active parts. [31] Ollie Young, the Columbus ambidextrous club swinger, was added to the bill later in the week.[32]

Week of June 24

Acts and performances:[33]

  • Frederick Hallen and Mollie Fuller performed the one-act comedy play, "A Desperate Pair" by Herbert Hall Winslow (feature)
  • Arthur Deming, the "Emperor of Minstrelsy"
  • Harry C. Stanley and Doris Wilson, returning for their second year, in their sketch "Before the Ball"
  • Webb and Hassen, premiere acrobats and sensational head balancers
  • Beatrice Gambles, soprano singer
  • Udell and Pierce, comedians, performed their sketch, "Kelly's Night Off"
  • Maude Beale Price

The Kinodrome Pictures showed "Ching-a Ling-Foo Outdone," a panorama of the Modder river in South Africa; "The Impersonator," a troop train carrying Seaforth Highlanders over a temporary bridge in place of one torn down by the Boers; "A Wringing Good Joke," the trenches at Candaba; and "The Man with the Four Heads."[34]

Week of July 1

Acts and performances:[35]

  • Ezra Kendall performed his original monologue (feature)
  • The Knight Brothers, a refined singing and dancing act
  • Holmes and Waldron, comedy musical artists
  • Pete Baker, German comedian, and yodeler, returning for the second year at the park
  • Murphy and Andrews, in their sketch, "Opera in a Nutshell"
  • The Ivey Comedy Four
  • Harry C. Stanley and Doris Wilson stayed on for another week

Kindall was well known and wrote his own songs and jokes and even wrote a book of his comedic thoughts. Kinodrome pictures showed a "beautifully colored spectacular production of the English Pantomime, "Cinderella" or "The Silver Slipper."[36] The audience packed the theater so much on opening day that temporary chairs had to be cleared from blocking the exits during intermission. The same crowd barely fit on trolley cars home.[37]

Week of July 8

Acts and performances:[38]

  • The Great Dilworth Family [also billed as "The Great Delworth Troupe"], the "premier acrobats of the world" (feature)
  • Oscar P. Sisson and Esther Wallace, in the comedy sketch "Love Finds a Way"
  • Richard and Collin, in their Irish travesty, "The Cook Lady and the Opera Professor," the instrumental Williards
  • The Sermon Children
  • The Marvelous Werntz Family, outdoor gymnasts, performed an exhibition of the flying trapeze near the Olentangy Ball Grounds

Kinodrome Pictures showed new views, including "A Washerwoman's Mistake," "The Breadwinner," "An Up-to-date Conjour," "The Columbia and the Shamrock Passing," "Jones' Return From a Sleigh Ride," "Panorama of Brooklyn Bridge to New York," "The Folly of Being Cautious," and "Bull Fight Taken at Madrid."

The Dilworth Family was made of four women and four men, dressed in evening wear, performing difficult and dangerous feats. They previously performed with the Ringling Brothers Circus. The instrumental Williards represented five nations on their instruments: America, aluminum chimes; England, musical whirls; Turkey, mellow pipes; Guatemala, mammoth octophone; and Japan, bamboo calliope. The Sermon Children were two children 5 and 9 years old who danced and sang and were billed as "juvenile wonders."[39]

Week of July 15

Acts and performances:[40]

  • C.F. Galletti's Monkey Comedians (feature)
  • McPhee and Hill, novelty gymnasts on the triple bars, returning for their second year at the park
  • James H. Cullen performing his original monologue and songs
  • Howard and Bland in "The Rube and the Kid"
  • Craig and Ardell, musical comedians

The Kinodrome Pictures showed new views.

C.F. Galletti's Monkey Comedians consisted of three monkeys who performed racing bicycles, running a barbershop, eating and drinking in a restaurant, prancing on rotating globes, etc.[41] This was Howard and Bland's second time performing at the park.

Week of July 22

Acts and performances:[42]

  • Ezra Kendall returned with "The Half-Way House" performed by a small cast (feature)
  • Leo Carle, called "The American Fregoli," expert violinist, lightning change artist, and impersonator
  • Lizzie M. Wilson, a German dialect comedienne, in songs and impersonations
  • Eddie Moore, Irish [or German] character comedian and dancer
  • Harry A. Brown, monologue and rapid crayon artist
  • The Lucados, a novelty balancing and acrobatic act
  • The Four Nelson Sisters, acrobats

"The Half-Way House" featured character actor Perkins D. Fisher, who played Silas Older, a former minstrel man turned farmer and keeper of a country inn. Fisher's wife played Belle Younger, an actress who registers at the inn. Carle played a one-man skit called "The Betrayed Professor," which had eight characters of different genders. He played all the roles: the hero, villain, leading lady, servant girl, policeman, butler, professor, and betrayed wife.

Week of July 29

Acts and performances:[43][44][45]

  • Milton and Dolly Nobles in "Why Walker Reformed" (feature)
  • Lizzie M. Wilson continued to perform new songs
  • Frey and Fields, comedy, buck and wing dancing in "A Tramp's Reception"
  • Zavo and Mlle Hilda, contortionists
  • Baby Lund, "The Cherub"
  • Le Roys, Dutch comedy
  • Silver and Sparks, a musical act with novel instruments

Week of August 5

Acts and performances:[46]

  • Pauline Hall, the "Queen of Light Opera," and Francis Wilson (feature)
  • Blake and Bishop's Dog and Monkey Circus
  • Baker and Lynn in a musical comedy sketch
  • Olvio, "The Human Dragon" contortionist
  • Julian Rose, the "delineator of Hebrew character" and comedian
  • The Carmen Sisters playing banjos
  • Keno, Welsh, and Melrose, grotesque comedy acrobats

Blake and Bishop's circus performed at Minerva Park the week prior and performed in the former casino. Hall was not able to make the opening.[47]

Week of August 12

Acts and performances:[48]

  • Miss Rose Coghlan and Company performed "Twix Matinee and Night" (feature)
  • Eddie McDonald, an acrobatic comedian
  • Carter and Ross, musical comedy
  • The La Monts, society acrobats
  • Blanche Fayne, comedienne
  • Irene La Marr, eccentric dancer

Week of August 19

Acts and performances:[49]

  • Miss Isabelle Urquhart and Company in a comedy skit, "Even Steven" (feature)
  • M. Francois, drawing room entertainer
  • Vernon, ventriloquist
  • The Three Poiriers, Roman ring and bar acrobats
  • Lotta Gladstone in "That Quaint Country Girl"
  • The Four Silvinis, acrobats and contortionists

Week of August 26

Acts and performances:[50][51]

  • Actor Maurice Barrymore recited a variety of stories by notable authors such as "Told to the Missionary" by G.R. Sims, "Etiquette" by W.S. Gilbert, "A Tale of Cloudland" by Miss Alice Carey, "The Story of the Faithful Soul" by Adelaide Procter, and others (feature)
  • Moreland, Thompson, and Roberts with comedy, singing, and dancing
  • Merritt and Murdock, in a comedy sketch called "A Friend in Need"
  • M. and Mme. Nelsonia, mnemonics
  • Martinetti and Sutherland, acrobatic comedy
  • Hayes and Bandy, eccentric dancing comedians
  • Sardonia, novel character change act on swinging wire
  • Lotta Gladstone stayed on another week with new songs

M. and Mme. Nelsonia "read the contents of sealed packages, [told] numbers of checks, bank notes, and wonderful things in general."[52]

Week of September 2

Acts and performances:[53]

  • The Six Sennetts [also billed as the "Six Senetees" and "Six Senetts"] appeared in a "Scene in a Zoological Garden," an acrobatic act (feature)
  • Georgia Gardner and Joseph Madden in their one-act comedy, "A Wife's Stratagem"
  • The Rexos' acrobatic skating involving roller skates and foot cycles
  • Belmont and Weston, travesty artists
  • King and Crag, novelty acrobats
  • Carson and Willard's German comedy act

The Six Sennettes also performed at the park's closing week the past year. The Rexos were at Minerva the week before. Lotta Gladstone and her assistant performed for their third week this season, partially because some of the billed acts could not perform.[54]

Week of September 9 (Closing Week)

Acts and performances:[55]

  • The Six Sennetts performed for an additional week in a "Scene in a Zoological Garden" (feature)
  • Georgia Gardner and Joseph Madden returned for a second week in "A Cure for Jealousy"
  • King and Crag, acrobats
  • Raymond and Bryant, acrobats and dancers
  • Fish and Quigg, comedians and knockabout specialists
  • Azdmed, Hindoo fakir

Many of the acts continued for a second week during Closing Week. A special band concert was given on the closing day, September 16, consisting of 25 union musicians under the direction of Professor Fred Neddermeyer.


Fred Neddermeyer's Famous Band and Orchestra provided music twice per day throughout the season.[1] The band's cost increased by over $800 ($28,200 in 2022) more than the previous year and the total spent on music prior to opening was $4,000 (over $141,000).[3]


Off-Season Activities

During winter, bowling and trap shooting were available at the park.[56]

List of Activities


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 13 May 1900. Pg. 21.
  2. "Olentangy Park: Opening of the Season." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 May 1900. Pg. 11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Olentangy Features." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 18 May 1900. Pg. 7.
  4. "Short Items." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 March 1900. Pg. 7.
  5. "Chennell Out of It." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 March 1900. Pg. 8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Chennell and Lacy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 28 April 1900. Pg. 7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Scribes Entertained." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 May 1900. Pg. 6.
  8. "The Drama." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 2 September 1900. Pg. 18.
  9. "The Week." The Lantern. 7 February 1900. Pg. 3.
  10. Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 18 July 1900. Pg. 4.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Park Improvements." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 11 May 1900. Pg. 7.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 20 May 1900. Pg. 18.
  13. "It Was Fierce." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 30 June 1900. Pg. 5.
  14. "Robbed the Machines." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 23 August 1900. Pg. 10.
  15. "They Pleaded Not Guilty." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 August 1900. Pg. 6.
  16. "Dusenbury's Answer." Columbus Dispatch. 24 May 1900. Pg. 9.
  17. "Furniture Company Brings Suit Against Dusenbury, West and Olentangy Park Co." "The Columbus Sunday Dispatch." 9 September 1900. Pg. 6.
  18. "Olentangy Theater Decision." "Saturday Columbus Dispatch." 6 October 1900. Pg. 6.
  19. "Toboggan Slide for Pleasure Parks." The Street Railway Review. Vol. 11. 1901. Published by Chicago: Street Railway Review Pub. Co. Pg. 89.
  20. "Society." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 6 May 1900. Pg. 24.
  21. "Against Sunday Shows." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 June 1900. Pg. 6.
  22. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 8 July 1900. Pg. 4.
  23. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 July 1900. Pg. 4.
  24. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 May 1900. Pg. 9.
  25. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 May 1900. Pg. 11.
  26. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 30 May 1900. Pg. 9.
  27. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 31 May 1900. Pg. 11.
  28. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 2 June 1900. Pg. 9.
  29. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 10 June 1900. Pg. 18.
  30. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 16 June 1900. Pg. 9.
  31. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 17 June 1900. Pg. 18.
  32. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 19 June 1900. Pg. 11.
  33. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 23 June 1900. Pg. 9.
  34. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 24 June 1900. Pg. 18.
  35. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 2 July 1900. Pg. 11.
  36. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 1 July 1900. Pg. 18.
  37. "Scenes at Olentangy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 July 1900. Pg. 5.
  38. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 July 1900. Pg. 9.
  39. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 8 July 1900. Pg. 18.
  40. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 15 July 1900. Pg. 17.
  41. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 16 July 1900. Pg. 9.
  42. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 22 July 1900. Pg. 17.
  43. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Amusements. 29 July 1900. Pg. 17.
  44. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 1 August 1900. Pg. 9.
  45. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 2 August 1900. Pg. 9.
  46. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. The Drama. 5 August 1900. Pg. 17.
  47. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 6 August 1900. Pg. 9.
  48. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. The Drama. 12 August 1900. Pg. 15.
  49. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. The Drama. 19 August 1900. Pg. 17.
  50. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. The Drama. 26 August 1900. Pg. 19.
  51. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 30 August 1900. Pg. 11.
  52. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 31 August 1900. Pg. 11.
  53. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. The Drama. 2 September 1900. Pg. 18.
  54. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 3 September 1900. Pg. 9.
  55. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. Amusements. 15 September 1900. Pg. 9.
  56. "The Traps: Cresents Annual Shoot." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 March 1900. Pg. 9.