1903 Season

From Olentangy Park Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1903 Season
Manager(s) Joseph W. Dusenbury
The Olentangy Park Company
Opening Day May 17, 1903
Closing Day September 20, 1903
New Attractions Zoological Garden
Museum of Ornithology
Laughing Gallery
Ferris Wheel
Cave of the Winds
House of Trouble
Stock Company Olentangy Park Stock Company
Band(s) Herman Bellstedt's Famous Cincinnati Military and Concert Band
Wendell S. Powell's Olentangy Band

The Olentangy Park, Theater, and Zoological Garden opened for the 1903 season on Sunday, May 17, 1903.[1] The opening saw an attendance of 15,000 patrons.[2] Herman Bellstedt's Famous Cincinnati Military and Concert Band played music for the park in the afternoons and evenings until July[3][4], when Wendell S. Powell's Olentangy Band took for the rest of the season.[5][6] Five cents ($1.69 in 2022 dollars) gave patrons access to the band performances, attractions, rides, picnic areas, and zoo.

Most Sundays saw an attendance of 10,000-12,000 visitors throughout the season.[7] The park closed for the season on September 20, 1903.[8][9]Over 16,000 parkgoers attended the closing day. Dusenbury planned to radically change the park and remodel the casino for the next year.[7]

Park Improvements

The Columbus Railway Company leased 5 acres south of the park, extending it as far south as Dodridge Street, affording new walks and picnic grounds.[10] As part of the remodeling of all the buildings, calcium light effects were added to the theater and 1,000 additional lights to the park this season.[2]

The Ball Grounds were improved, and the Modern Woodmen baseball team changed its name to the Olentangy Athletic Club.[11]

Harry Crockett served as the park's electrician during the summer and spent the following winter in New York to join the Ben Hur Company before returning to Olentangy Park for the next season.[12]

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

Injuries & Missing People

Myrtle Comer, 8, fell 40 feet down the bank of the Olentangy River and broke her jaw on June 18, 1903.[13]

Bessie Egan, 16, went missing during a picnic at Olentangy Park on Wednesday, June 17.[14]

Lawsuits

Hays-Mackey Fence Dispute Continues

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

In June, the Men's Association of North Columbus discussed opening North Street. Councilman Burr said J.W. Dusenbury prepared a plat of the street and also a vacating ordinance for part of the street and an alley, claiming North Street had never been a street and the alley never dedicated. The association members said there had been a road to the ford there for 80 years. Dusenbury built a fence on the line of an old road and would be willing to change it, if necessary.[15]

The Dusenbury brothers returned to court on October 22, 1903, over Hays and Mackey's claim that they enclosed a 30-ft. and 50-ft. roadway within the park. They were ordered to remove the fences but were slow to do so Hayes and Mackey wanted a punishment. Judge G.H. Stewart ordered them to remove the fences, the restaurant, and dancing pavilion on the east side of the park. Some electric light poles were also ordered to be removed. The Dusenburys said the Edison Company would need to remove the poles and wires due to their high voltage but promised to comply.[16]

The Dusenburys removed the fences and sawed the old dining hall in half as well as part of the Dancing Pavilion by November 2. A row of posts leading from High Street to the park grounds were removed, and the holes were filled in.[17]

Rides and Attractions

New Cave of the Winds

Main Article: Cave of the Winds

Opening in June,[18] the Cave of the Winds was an attraction at many parks at the time and usually were spaces where large gusts of wind would blow the hats off the parkgoers.[19]

New Ferris Wheel

Main Article: Ferris Wheel

A Ferris wheel was first mentioned being a ride at the park in 1903.[4]

New House of Trouble

Main Article: House of Trouble

Also opening in June,[18] the House of Trouble was an attraction made of intricate mazes throughout.[20]

New Laughing Gallery

Main Article: Laughing Gallery

The "Laughing Gallery" opened in a new building.[3][4]

New Zoo

Main Article: Zoological Garden

Park manager J.W. Dusenbury was purchasing animals for a new park zoo as early as January 1903. He traveled to Cincinnati to purchase yaks, camels, foxes, badgers, bears, raccoons, eagles, and pheasants from their zoological garden.[21] He also purchased animals from Philadelphia.[22] The animal garden and housing were originally planned to be located east of the bowling alleys and boathouse and just west of High Street. The "bear pits" were dug at another part of the grounds for the "bruin" part of the collection of animals. The Dusenbury Brothers also considered putting the animals on the new ground just south of the park grounds.[21] Later, the brothers opened the zoo in the extreme southwestern part of the park when the Columbus Railway Company leased them 5 acres south of the park. Two carloads of animals were brought in from New York and included tigers (including a royal Bengal tiger), elephants, a lion, a sun bear from Borneo, and other animals.

The zoo was described in a 1903 publication as "an entirely new and important feature of Olentangy Park, and will attract the thousands who love to see and study animal life. The collection consists of buffalo, dromedaries, elk, deer, lions, leopards, bear, wild hogs, wild cats, foxes, fowls, and a large variety of other rare and interesting specimens of wild animals, together with the finest taxidermist collection of birds to be found in the country."[23] This taxidermist collection became part of the new Museum of Ornithology. The carnivores were displayed in cages while herbivores were allowed to roam the nearby hillsides.[2] The zoological sheds extended as south as Dodridge Street.[10] The zoo was free to park patrons.[3]

In June, a disgruntled fired employee allegedly poisoned two elks with arsenic. On more significant days, the elk were closely picketed, but they were otherwise allowed to roam freely. The same month, a spotted fawn, as well as a lioness from New York, were added to the zoo.[24]

"Billy Wolf," the West Virginia wolf sent to Detective John Dorgan, was given to Olentangy Park Zoo in July. The wolf was described as being where the "police can not arrest him for running a game," "very tame," and would "make a hit with the children who go there."[25]

New Museum of Ornithology

Main Article: Museum of Ornithology

Naturalist Oliver Davie moved an extensive collection of mounted birds and animals from Minerva Park to Olentangy Park. It was thought that Olentangy Park would be more accessible to local university students. There were over 1,500 specimens brought from Minerva Park, bringing the total to over 3,000 by opening.[3] An aquarium was built in the center of the building - the first of its kind in Columbus.[26]

Dancing Pavilion

Main Article: Dancing Pavilion

In October, the Dusenburys sawed off part of the Dancing Pavilion to comply with a court order.[17]

Figure Eight Toboggan

Main Article: Figure Eight Toboggan

The Figure Eight was described as a "three-way figure eight toboggan slide." This described how the riders go around the loops three times.[4]

List of Rides and Attractions

Theater, Vaudeville, and Stunt Performances

Olentangy Park Theater

Main Article: Olentangy Park Casino and Theater

Olentangy Park Stock

Members

The Olentangy stock company included: [27]

  • Kate Blancke (resigned in July)[28]
  • Frederic L. Power [or Powers], stage director
  • Vail De Vernon (resigned in June)
  • Virginia Howell
  • Beulah Watson
  • Helen Wilton (resigned in July)
  • Lawrence Grattan (resigned in July)
  • Benjamin Horning
  • William Webb
  • George Neiswander
  • Charles Flemming
  • Harry L. Dunkinson (resigned in August)
  • William Allen
  • Guy Van Tress
  • Edwin Tanner
  • Mildred Hale
  • Meta Maynard (joined in June)
  • Algernon Tassin (joined in June)
  • Loretta Wells (joined in July)
  • Clarice Hall (minor roles)
  • Elmer Sprague (scenic artist)

In June, Vail De Vernon resigned after marrying Lawrence Grattan. Meta Maynard took over her in the stock company.[29]

Helen Wilton left the company in July to join the "Wizard of Oz" in New York City.[30]

Harry Dunkinson left in August to become the stage manager of "At the Old Cross Roads" in New York City.[31]

The stock season ended on August 15, and Benjamin Horning and his wife, Virginia Howell, left to prepare for their winter's work[32] where they were with the Ferris Clock Company in Minneapolis.[33] The stock company performed Frederic L. Power's "Miss Tennessee" for the closing week.[34] The play had been originally performed at Omaha. After the close of the season, he left for New York City to work with Kathryn Osterman in "Miss Petticoats."[31] Vaudeville was performed beginning August 16 until the park's closing.[35]

Stock Performances

Dates Performance Writer Notes
May 17-23, 1903 "Nancy and Company" Augustin Daly [27][36]
May 17-23, 1903 "The Open Gate" Played in conjunction with Nancy & Co.[37]
May 24-30, 1903 "The Silver King" [37]
May 31-June 6, 1903 "Jim the Penman" Sir Charles Young [38]
June 7-13, 1903 "Saints and Sinners" Henry Arthur Jones [39]
June 14-21, 1903 "Christopher Jr." Madeline Lucette Ryley [18]
June 22-27, 1903 "The Senator" Sydney Rosenfeld [40][41]
June 28-July 4, 1903 "Resurrection" [42]
July 7-11, 1903 "Camille" [43]
July 13-18, 1903 "Niobe" [44]
July 20-25, 1903 "The Jilt" Dion Boucicault [45]
July 27-August 1, 1903 "Baby" Translated by Hennequin and DeNarjac [46]
August 3-8, 1903 "The Silent System" [47]
August 3-8, 1903 "Truth" Bronson Howard Played in conjunction with The Silent System[47]
August 10-15, 1903 "Miss Tennessee" Frederic L. Power [35]

Vaudeville

Week of August 16

Acts and performances:[48][49]

  • Adele Purvis Onri, spherical serpentine dancing
  • James W. Teed and Miss Mollie Lazell, German comedy, "A Scandalous Affair"
  • Nancy Rice, from Kentucky, a musical act involving the harp, mandolin, guitar, and songs
  • The Gilbert Sisters, known as the American Nightingales
  • The O'Rourke and Burnette Trio, eccentric dancers
  • The Apollo Quartet
  • Tsude Kitchi, balancing stunts
Week of August 23

Acts and performances:[50][51]

  • Bimm, Bomm, Brrr Trio, a musical act involving xylophones and a revolving electric wheel
  • The Great Koster, acrobat
  • Dick and Effie Guis, Blackface sketch
  • The Four Bakers, Blackface sketch
  • Mlle Clio, dancing, singing, and monologue
  • Tim Healy and Ella Farnum, singing and dancing (starting August 24)
  • Professor Fink, trained mules, "Little Julie" and "Slap Bang"
  • The Meiers Family, high divers
Week of August 30

Acts and performances:[52][53][54][55]

  • Soto Sunetaro, "The Japanese Wonder Worker," paper tricks, musical tricks, juggling, and more
  • The O'Rourke and Burnette Trio, song and dance
  • Mayme Childress and John C. Robisch, presenting "A Night in Paradise"
  • The Three Troubadours, made of Casper Zarnes, Charles H. Van, and Hi Briggs, singing and comedy called "A Mix-Up"
  • The Sisters Millar, banjos, song and dance
  • Tom Hardle, comedy acrobatic tramp act
  • The Marvelous Orton, high wire act
  • Al Lawson and Frances Namon, comedy cycling and artistic bag punching
  • Charles C. Kraft, high wire act
  • C.C. Doughty, entertainer (starting August 31)
  • Bimm, Bomm, Brrr Trio, a musical act involving xylophones and a revolving electric wheel
  • Tim Healy and Ella Farnum, singing and dancing
Week of September 6

Acts and performances:[56]

  • Frannie Donivan, song and monologue
  • Weston Raymond Company, "Heart of Maryland" satirical sketch
  • Rinaldo, hoops and juggling act - from Columbus and employed with the David C. Boggs Co.[57]
  • Earl Taylor, baritone singer
  • Renzetta and sister, acrobatic act
  • Albert C. Waltz, unicycle and skates
  • Misses Delmore [or Delmont], a musical act
  • Al Lawson and Frances Namon, comedy cycling and artistic bag punching
  • Tim Healy and Ella Farnum, singing and dancing
  • Dicton, juggling
Week of September 13

Acts and performances:[9]

  • Jennie Calef and Andy Waldron, "Harriet's German Husband"
  • Maude Beale Price, monologue
  • The Buckeye Trio, comedy grotesque acrobats and contortionists, performing "A Tramp's Dream"
  • Ethel H. Carter, pianist, singer, and storyteller
  • The Freeze Brothers, tambourine spinners, spun 32 tambourines at one time
  • The Howard Sisters, entertainers
  • The Zamora Family, Mexican acrobats, performing their "Trapezio Trio Alquitner"

Outdoor Performances and Stunts

On June 17, Professor Fred Rapp, of Springfield, Ohio, performed a parachute jump from a balloon at the Columbus Retail Grocers' Association picnic.[58]

Music

Thirty musicians played in Herman Bellstedt's Famous Cincinnati Military and Concert Band during the afternoons and evenings.[3] The public normally would have to pay $1 to $2 ($34 to $63 in 2022) to listen to the band, but the park performances were included in admission.[59] Wendell S. Powell's Olentangy Band took over on July 12 and performed for the rest of the season[5][6] with George W. Bope as the general manager.[46]

For the Fourth of July, a special concert called "Dewey at Manilla" was performed.[60]

Activities

New Billiard Parlor

Main Article: Billiards

A billiard parlor was added to the park in 1903.[4]

Changes to Old Dining Hall

The Dusenburys sawed the old dining hall in half in October to comply with a court order.[17]

List of Activities

References

  1. "Olentangy Park Opening." Saturday Columbus Dispatch. 28 February 1903. Pg. 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Beautiful Olentangy." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 18 May 1903. Pg. 12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 3 May 1903. Pg. 8-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 10 May 1903. Pg. 6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Bellstedt Leaves Olentangy." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 8 June 1903. Pg. 14.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 13 June 1903. Pg. 4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Olentangy Closes." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 21 September 1903. Pg. 8.
  8. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Saturday Columbus Dispatch. 12 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 13 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Olentangy Park." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 1 April 1903. Pg. 9.
  11. "Amature Notes." Friday Columbus Dispatch. 12 June 1903. Pg. 11.
  12. "Brevities." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 19 August 1903. Pg. 6.
  13. "Broke Her Jaw." Thursday Columbus Dispatch. 18 June 1903. Pg. 8.
  14. "Missing People." Thursday Columbus Dispatch. 18 June 1903. Pg. 9.
  15. "Gas, Water, and Weeds." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 24 June 1903. Pg. 5.
  16. "Ten More Days In Which to Move the Park Fence and Buildings." Thursday Columbus Dispatch. 22 October 1903. Pg. 6.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Roadways Cleared Up." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 2 November 1903. Pg. 7.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "At the Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 14 June 1903. Pg. 5.
  19. Stanton, Jeffrey. "Chutes & Luna Park - Los Angeles - 1900 - 1912." Venice History Site. 4 February 2013. https://www.westland.net/venicehistory/articles/Chutes&LunaPark-LA.html.
  20. "Amusements: Olentangy Park." 'Thursday Columbus Dispatch.' 10 September 1903. Pg. 4.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Olentangy 'Zoo.'" Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 24 January 1903. Pg. 6.
  22. "Animals for 'Zoo.'" Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 25 January 1903. Pg. 9.
  23. Barret, Richard E. "Olentangy Park: Four Decades of Fun." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 1. April 1984. Pg. 8.
  24. "On His Trail.'" Monday Columbus Dispatch. 22 June 1903. Pg. 5.
  25. "Now in the Zoo.'" Tuesday Columbus Dispatch. 21 July 1903. Pg. 6.
  26. "Birds and Fish." Saturday Columbus Dispatch. 28 February 1903. Pg. 11.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Notes." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 10 May 1903. Pg. 7.
  28. "Notes." Tuesday Columbus Dispatch. 23 June 1903. Pg. 4.
  29. "At the Theaters" Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 21 June 1903. Pg. 5.
  30. "Notes." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 5 July 1903. Pg. 5.
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Notes." Thursday Columbus Dispatch. 30 July 1903. Pg. 4.
  32. "Notes." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 29 July 1903. Pg. 4.
  33. "Notes." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 23 August 1903. Pg. 9.
  34. The Billboard. 5 September 1903. Vol. 15. Issue 36. Pg. 2.
  35. 35.0 35.1 "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 9 August 1903. Pg. 9.
  36. "The Summer Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 16 May 1903. Pg. 6.
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Saturday Columbus Dispatch. 23 May 1903. Pg. 4.
  38. "The Summer Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 30 May 1903. Pg. 8.
  39. "At the Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 7 June 1903. Pg. 8.
  40. "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Saturday Columbus Dispatch. 20 June 1903. Pg. 4.
  41. "At the Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 21 June 1903. Pg. 5.
  42. "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 29 June 1903. Pg. 4.
  43. "At the Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 5 July 1903. Pg. 5.
  44. "Notes." Wednesday Columbus Dispatch. 8 July 1903. Pg. 4.
  45. "At the Theaters: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 19 July 1903. Pg. 2.
  46. 46.0 46.1 "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 26 July 1903. Pg. 9.
  47. 47.0 47.1 "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 3 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  48. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 16 August 1903. Pg. 9.
  49. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Tuesday Columbus Dispatch. 18 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  50. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 24 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  51. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." TuesdayColumbus Dispatch. 25 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  52. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 30 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  53. "Notes." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 30 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  54. "Notice to the Public." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 31 August 1903. Pg. 6.
  55. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Monday Columbus Dispatch. 31 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  56. "Olentangy Park: Vaudeville." Tuesday Columbus Dispatch. 8 August 1903. Pg. 4.
  57. "Ability." The Newark Advocate. 15 September 1903. Pg. 7.
  58. "Grocers' Picnic." Friday Columbus Dispatch. 12 June 1903. Pg. 13.
  59. "Olentangy Park." Tuesday Columbus Dispatch. 5 May 1903. Pg. 4.
  60. "Amusements: Olentangy Park." Friday Columbus Dispatch. 3 June 1903. Pg. 4.