1901 Season

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1901 Season
Manager(s) Joseph W. Dusenbury
The Olentangy Park Company
Opening Day May 19, 1901
Closing Day September 22, 1901
New Attractions Dining Hall
Band(s) The Fourth Regiment Band

Olentangy Park opened for the 1901 season on Sunday, May 19, 1901. The Fourth Regiment Band, made of 30 musicians, played during the afternoon and evening.[1] In mid-August, Manager Joseph W. Dusenbury reported record attendance for the same week since the park's opening under his management in 1898.[2] The closing date for the park was set for September 22, 1901, but could have closed earlier due to the assassination of President William McKinley.[3]

The lease for the land above the Bathhouse and east of the Olentangy River under the Columbus Railway Company expired, so the owner, Nora H. Ramlow, rented it to the amusement park for five years starting June 1, 1901. It was leased for $150 annually ($5,238 in 2022).[4]

Improvements to the Park

The Columbus Street Railway Company started its plans to construct a new steel trestle bridge to replace the wooden one that went from High Street to Olentangy Park, which had been there since the park was opened. It was to be "the finest in size of any in the state" with two tracks instead of one.[5] The bond was filed on June 13.[6] A deed from Edward J. Farley and others to the Columbus Railway Company was filed in early July. The company paid $5,500 (around $192,000 in 2022) for the land.[7][8]

A new dining hall and restaurant were added for the 1901 season opening.[1]

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


Central Union Telephone Company

The Olentangy Park Company was sued for $155.19 ($5,419 in 2022) by the Central Union Telephone Company for operating a line during the 1899 and 1900 seasons.[9] The phone company said the phone line was operated from September 1, 1899, through May 1, 1900. The park company said it was only operated at the park during the summer of 1899, and then it was placed in the home of John Beck, one of the park's tenants. They continued to dispute what was owed to the phone company over the line's use in the winter.[10]

Hays-Mackey Fence Dispute Begins

Main Article: Hays-Mackey v. The Olentangy Park Co.

Otho L. Hays and Daniel H. Mackey, owners of the ball grounds, sued the Olentangy Park Company over relocating fences on the east and south sides to cut through public streets. The fight was said to be over a disagreement over Hays and Mackey wanting to raise the rent of the ball grounds by $1,400 ($48,886 in 2022), and the park refused.[11][12] the old fences were removed two days later. Dusenbury said the fences were put in place two years ago and went up the Hays-Mackey property line.[13] Robert Turner, owner of "The Villa" prior to the park being built, was brought into the suit with Dusenbury claiming the new fences marked where Turner planned to open a saloon next to the park. Judge Badger granted a restraining order on May 13, 1901, against any interference with the fence until the true lot line could be determined.[14]

Unpaid Ticket Printing

The Globe Ticket Company, based in Pennsylvania, which supplied tickets for theaters across the country, filed a lawsuit against the Olentangy Park Company in August 1901 for $258.80 ($9,037 in 2022) with interest in unpaid bills from May 27, 1901. The first item was for 405,000 wide strip tickets for Olentangy Park, 335,000 of which were for the gate, 50,000 for the balcony, and 10,000 for children. Also included in the amount were 95,000 tickets for Minerva Park, which Joseph W. Dusenbury was also the manager of.[15]

Notable Events


On June 30, Frank E. Grove and Frank Roddy were injured on the Water Toboggan. The slide broke in two while they were halfway down. Grove's right foot was caught in the rollers, and three of his toes were broken. His leg was wrenched, and the right side of his body was bruised. Roddy was thrown off the ride and received bruises.[16]


In July, cloudbursts flooded the Olentangy River enough for the pontoon bridge to be swept away.[17]

Rides and Attractions

List of Rides and Attractions

Theater, Vaudeville, and Stunt Performances

Main Article: Olentangy Park Casino and Theater

Week of May 19 (Opening Week)

Acts and performances:[1]

  • Edward M. Favor and Edith Sinclair (feature)
  • Professor Coin's comedy dog act
  • The McCann Family
  • Al Lawson and Frances Namon
  • Kelly and Mason
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • Melrosas, an outdoor high-wire bicycle act performed on ropes 60 feet in the air.

Week of May 26

Acts and performances:[18]

  • Kita Mura's troupe of 14 "Japs" in "characteristic and daring feats" (feature)
  • Patti Rosa, singer
  • May Wentworth, monologue
  • May Wentworth and Company performing "A Woman's Dilemma"
  • The Clipper Quartet, blackface singing and comedy act
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views

Week of June 2

Acts and performances:[19]

  • Bartholomew's Famous Trained Horses (feature)
  • Francelli and Lewis, "lyric novelties"
  • Maddox and Wayne in "The Bellboy and Thespian"
  • Koppe, comedy club juggler
  • Frank Jones and Lillian Walton, presenting "Our Country Cousins"
  • Brothers La Nole, comedy gymnasts
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • Prince Schuman, outdoor steel high wire act

Week of June 9

Acts and performances:"[20]

  • George W. Monroe, original monologist and character actor (feature)
  • Joseph Adelman, xylophone soloist
  • The Knight Brothers, dancing comedians
  • Merritt and Murdock, presenting "A Little Game of Tag"
  • Little Elsie, "The American Cissy Loftus"
  • Edison Kinetoscope - showed "Kippy, the Tramp Juggler
  • Hilton, marvelous outdoor feats on a swinging ladder
  • The Two Cleos on the outdoor trapeze, twice per day

Week of June 16

Acts and performances:[21]

  • Stuart Barnes and Mabel Sisson presented "A Mysterious Pill" (feature)
  • Joseph Adelman, xylophonist (second week)
  • Beatrice Golden, the singing comedienne
  • The Martelles, Harry and Emma, bicycle experts
  • Girdelier, aerial act
  • Dr. Swindler, the "Silent Sorcerer"
  • Bunth and Rudd Company, famous comedy acrobats (special feature)
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • Little Elsie - performed Sunday afternoon and evening

Week of June 23

Acts and performances:[22]

  • Harry Ward's Minstrels performed with a troupe including:
    • Ward and Walter Wilson, comedians;
    • Harry Sylvester and Will Frank, singers
    • La Rose, European contortionist
    • The Harmonic Four
    • Monroe and Doyle
    • Bobby Gaylor in "Peck's Bad Boy"
    • Hoyt in a "Bunch of Keys"
  • Miss Sadie Hart, in acrobatic song and dance
  • James St. Belmo, the "Man Fly," in a balancing and quick change act
  • St. Belmos also performed a double trapeze and "leap for life" outdoors

Week of June 30

Acts and performances:[23]

  • Charles E. Grapewine, assisted by Miss Anna Chance and Company, presented "Above the Limit" (feature)
  • Calahan and Mack, Irish comedians
  • Humes and Lewis, the Clown and the Circus Girl
  • John J. Welch, singing dancing comedian
  • Ricci and Chandler, presented the lyric comedy "O'Brady's Election"
  • Tom Hardy, acrobatic tramp
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • Three original Watson Sisters, assisted by Juan De Zemora, in an outdoor aerial act

Week of July 7

Acts and performances:[24]

  • Miss Flo Irwin and Walker Howley presented the sketch, "The Gay Miss Con" (feature)
  • "Dion-Cato," singing electrical novelty act with Miss Rita Redmond as a soloist - the act used lighting and stereopticon slides to create effects on and around Redmond
  • Harris and Walters in "A Dark-Eyed Widow," introducing "The Lampost Inspector," "The Dutch Detective," and "Miss Kolum from Kolumbus"
  • Lozelle, gymnast
  • John Donahue and Mattie Nichols, acrobatic singing and dancing comedy duo
  • Harvey, chin balancer
  • K.R. Moore, called the "Monarch of the Swinging Wire"
  • Samuel E. Morris and Burt Cutler directed bands, offering concerts in the afternoon and evenings

Week of July 14

Acts and performances:[25]

  • Tom and Hattie Nawn presented an Irish comedy sketch called "One Touch of Nature" (feature)
  • Larry Dooley and Charles Kent, comedians and singers
  • Lester and Curtin, comedy acrobatic act
  • Zavo and M'lle Hilda, novelty contortionists
  • Maxwell and Dudley in a singing comedy called "The Trial Lesson"
  • Costello and Frederick in "Just Two Plain Irishmen"
  • Laura Adeline, lightning dancer artist, assisted by "Rubber," the cake-walking dog

Week of July 21

Acts and performances:[26]

  • The Great Everhart, hoop-rolling (feature)
  • Carleton and Terre, singers and comedians
  • Rowen Brothers, aerial artists
  • Gerald Griffin and Olive White, assisted by Harry Mack, in "Silence is Golden"
  • Bob Keys and Eddie McDonald, acrobatic comedians
  • Frayne and Evans, singing and dancing comediennes
  • Soto Sunetara and Company, "Japanese wonder-working"
  • Sardonia (or Sidonia or Cidonia) performing feats on an outdoor slackwire

Week of July 28

Acts and performances:[27]

  • Lillian Burkhart and Company presented Grant Stewart's playlet, "A Passing Fancy"
  • Instrumental Willards, musical artists
  • The Three Millettes, acrobats
  • Russell Bassett, baritone singer
  • Maud Beal Price, impersonator and soprano singer
  • La Getta, aerial novelty
  • Edison Kinetoscope showed new views at 8 p.m.
  • The Four Nelson Comiques, grotesque acrobats and comedians presented Thomas Nelson's original idea, "Frolics at the Zoo" (outdoor)

Week of August 4

Acts and performances:[28]

  • Harrison J. Wolfe and his wife Lydia (nee Sinclair) of Columbus in "The Wishing Stone," about an old actor and actress discussing changes in the industry and a wish that sends them back 30 years to the past (feature)
  • Ray L. Royce, character actor and monologue artist
  • Lynch and Jewell, singing and dancing sketch called "O'Brien's Rehearsal"
  • Spalding, tramp equilibrist
  • Russell and Dunbar presented their sketch, "Miss Hanah Lady"
  • The Three Hills, comedy acrobats, introducing Baby Hill, the youngest hand-balancer in the world
  • Roberts, Hayes, and Roberts, singing and dancing comedy sketch, "The Infant," written by Edmond Day

Week of August 11

Acts and performances: [29]

  • Julia Kingsley, assisted by Nelson Lewis, presented "Her Uncle's Niece" (feature)
  • Edwin Keough and Dorothy Ballard, who presented "The Legitimate vs. the Variety"
  • Charles Kenna, monologist and entertainer
  • Fannie Trumbull, in songs, dances, and musical specialties
  • Roger and Carrie Imhof, who presented character acting in a sketch titled "Clancy's Mistakes"
  • Anna Kenwick, singer of "coon songs" and eccentric dancing
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • The Three Millettes, acrobats, returned for another week of outdoor performances.

Week of August 18

Acts and performances: [30]

  • Francesca Redding and Company presented a one-act comedy act called "My Friend from Texas" (feature)
  • Blanche King, vocalist
  • Dancing Dawsons, assisted by Baby Mae Dawson
  • Frank Pirrung [or Pirring], foot equilibrist
  • Skating Rexos, "Great Skatorial Novelty"
  • Mrs. Ward and Baby Lester, "The Von Leipunspicher Kids," dancing and singing act
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • George Evans, "The Honey Boy," blackface comedian

Week of August 25

Acts and performances: [31]

  • Famous Barlow Brothers Minstrels
  • The Asheys, illustrators
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views

Week of September 1

Acts and performances: [32]

  • Lizzie Evans and Company, in a sketch titled "Two Girls and One Man" (featured)
  • Marsh and Sartella, singing, eccentric and novelty dancing
  • John C. Leach, humorous entertainer
  • Twin Sisters Gebest, "The Waifs"
  • John Donahue and Mattie Nichols, singing, dancing, and acrobatic comedy duo
  • Harvey, chin balancer
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • Bright Brothers, outdoor athletes

Week of September 8

Acts and performances: [33]

  • Georgia Gardner and Joseph Madden in "Too Many Darlings" by George E. Emrick (feature)
  • Forrester and Floyd, character and conversational comedians
  • Lucy Monroe, assisted by George Sinclair in a comedy of errors called "Jags"
  • Millington, hand balancer and equilibrist
  • Castellat and Hall, offering George M. Cohan's sketch, "A Friend from Wall Street"
  • Powers and Theobald, in song, dance, and story
  • Edison Kinetoscope Views
  • The Marvelous Rixfords, gentleman acrobats and equilibrists


The Fourth Regiment Band, made of 30 musicians, played during the afternoon and evening during the park's opening.[1]

On May 26, Liberati and his famous military band performed an outdoor evening performance.[34]

Samuel E. Morris and Burt Cutler directed bands, offering afternoon and evening concerts in early July.[24]


List of Activities


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Olentangy Park: Opening of the Season." Columbus Evening Dispatch. The Drama Section. 19 May 1901. Pg. 12.
  2. "Our Observation Car." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 August 1901. Pg. 4.
  3. "Notes." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 1 September 1901. Pg. 12.
  4. "Steel Trestle." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 April 1901. Pg. 8.
  5. "Steel Trestle." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 28 May 1901. Pg. 7.
  6. "Bond was Filed." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 June 1901. Pg. 12.
  7. "The New Loop." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 10 July 1901. Pg. 7.
  8. "Real Estate Transfers." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 10 July 1901. Pg. 10.
  9. "Brevities." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 January 1901. Pg. 7.
  10. "Scrap Over Olentangy Telephone." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 June 1901. Pg. 10.
  11. "Beat the Injunction." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 April 1901. Pg. 7.
  12. "Olentangy Park Fences." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 11 May 1901. Pg. 6.
  13. "Short Items." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 May 1901. Pg. 7.
  14. "Olentangy Park Fence." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 May 1901. Pg. 6.
  15. "Olentangy Company Sued for Tickets Furnished for Use at Olentangy and Minerva Parks." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 August 1901. Pg. 5.
  16. "Hurt on Toboggan." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 July 1901. Pg. 10.
  17. "Olentangy on a Rampage." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 July 1909. Pg. 8.
  18. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 May 1901. Pg. 9.
  19. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 2 June 1901. Pg. 12.
  20. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 9 June 1901. Pg. 12.
  21. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 16 June 1901. Pg. 12.
  22. "Olentangy Park" The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 23 June 1901. Pg. 12.
  23. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 July 1901. Pg. 9.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 7 July 1901. Pg. 16.
  25. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 14 July 1901. Pg. 12.
  26. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 July 1901. Pg. 12.
  27. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 28 July 1901. Pg. 12.
  28. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 4 August 1901. Pg. 12.
  29. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 11 August 1901. Pg. 12.
  30. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 August 1901. Pg. 9.
  31. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 25 August 1901. Pg. 12.
  32. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 1 September 1901. Pg. 12.
  33. Ad. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 8 September 1901. Pg. 12.
  34. "Amusements: Olentangy and Minerva Parks - Liberati's Band." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 May 1901. Pg. 9.