1907 Season

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1907 Season
Manager(s) Joseph W. Dusenbury, president
Will J. Dusenbury, secretary
The Olentangy Park Company
Opening Day April 28, 1907
Closing Day September 16, 1907 (Theater)
October 13, 1907 (Park)
New Attractions Second Dancing Pavilion
Igorrote Village
Gypsy Camp
Theater Manager Harry Demuth
J.J. Rosenthal
Band(s) Powell's Military Band

The Olentangy Park, Theater, and Zoological Garden opened for the 1907 season on Sunday, April 28, 1907.[1] Powell's Military Band performed free concerts twice daily.[2] The Olentangy Park Theater closed for the season on September 16, 1907, and the park closed on October 13.[3]

Land Sold

Landowner Otho L. Hays, ex-banker, went bankrupt in 1907, and the land was sold at auction.[4] Olentangy Park Company secretary, W.J. Dusenbury, got into a bidding war with R.W. Johnson, a Gallion attorney representing creditors. The park company won the land they were leasing, paying $6,525 ($213,122 in 2023), although it was appraised at $5,000 ($163,312). Johnson won an adjacent property, paying $31,425 ($1,026,414) after being appraised for $43,500 ($1,420,812). The Bank of Westerville held a mortgage for $14,000 ($457,273) at the time.[5]

Park Land Expansion

Charles S. Charrington deeded three acres of land to the Olentangy Park Company in August for $2,300 ($75,123 in 2023).[6] The streetcar entrance was enlarged to two tracks by this season.[7]

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

July 4 Fire

Three buildings were damaged by a fire started by a firework on July 4, 1907. The fire started around 7 p.m. in the "Theatorium" motion picture building and spread to the Hale's Tours of the World exhibit, destroying it completely. It then spread to the Photographic Gallery, rendering it useless.[8] The firefighters couldn't cross the bridge due to safety concerns but were able to save other structures, including the Dancing Pavilion, Figure Eight ride, and Cromwell Dixon's sky-cycle,[9] once around the ravine with the water from the Old Mill ride. The damage cost more than $5,000 ($163,312 in 2023) - $2,500 ($81,656) for the motion picture building, $3,000 ($97,987) for the Tours of the World building, and $200 ($6,532) for the Photographic Gallery - and was one of the many fires that night and the largest. Three children, Carrie, 15, Annie, 11, and Joe, 8, children of John Moulliett and wife, were watching a film when the fire started. Joe led his sisters to safety in pure darkness and suffocating smoke. An unknown man took them home after a frantic search by their mother. The fire was started by a firecracker thrown onto the tar roof. High-voltage power lines snapped and dropped to the ground, threatening parkgoers and shutting down power throughout the park. By 9 p.m., the park was back up and running.[10] [11]

Accidents and Injuries

In May, Amy Wright, 22, was found unconscious while riding the Circle Swing. She was taken to her home on North 18th Street by Fisher's ambulance, where she fully recovered.[12]

On June 18, Animal keeper Tom Dean discussed with President Theodore Roosevelt whether a caged wolf in the Zoo would attack a human being. Believing it would not, Dean taunted the wolf, and it attacked him.[13]

On July 2, zoo keeper Harry Myers fell from a ladder inside a tiger's cage and was attacked by the largest one. The animal scratched his right hand and had to be tamed later with blank shots from a revolver.[14] This led the tiger to attack and tear off his left arm, crushing his left hand. The doctors had to remove it.[15]

Ralph McLaughlin lost consciousness while generating hydrogen gas for Cromwell Dixon's sky-cycle gas bag. Hydrogen gas was created by combining iron fillings with sulphuric acid, and strong fumes overtook McLaughlin. He was moved to a more ventilated space and recovered fully several hours later.[16]


Actress Edna Wilson, 16, of the Kiralfy Ballet Company was found dead in the bathtub at the Bryden Hotel on the morning of Sunday, May 26, 1907. It was unknown if it was from suicide or from passing out from heart trouble, something she had suffered in the past. She and her husband, George L. Wilson, eloped in March of that year after having known each other for four months. His father, J. F. Wilson, was the company's stage director. The couple performed a sketch, and she also performed in the chorus. The husband was charged with embezzlement for stealing money from another engagement and was to go to trial in June. The members of the company said the actress threatened suicide often, but her mother believes her death was the result of foul play. The company canceled its Sunday night performance at the theater, disbanded, and returned to Pittsburgh.[17][18] A woman visited Columbus the following Wednesday looking for her daughter, who ran away with the company. The woman and daughter's name is unknown.[19]

Religious Pushback

The Pastors' Union of between 30 and 35 ministers wanted to shut down aspects they did not agree with in the city, such as baseball on Sundays. They also wanted to restrict Olentangy Park, its theater, and the new Dancing Pavilion.[20]


James Bailey, a waiter at the park restaurant, was arrested in May for stealing small sums of money and storing it in his socks. He had been stealing money for a month. The arrest was made by John K. Good.[21]

In May, ride managers John H. Leonard and William Manning were arrested for embezzlement. They were charged with embezzling about $15-$20 ($490-$653 in 2023) by taking the riders' tickets and then selling them back to the cashier, who divided the money. The cashier, an unnamed woman, provided witness testimony and avoided prosecution. The arrest was made by John K. Good.[22]. Manning pleaded guilty to embezzling $10 ($327) and was fined $25 ($817) and court costs. Leonard pleaded not guilty and was given a bond fixed at $15 ($490)[23].

In June, Colonnade restaurant waiter William Brisler cursed and punched another employee from the lunch counter named James Zornes in the face with a glass. Special officer John K. Good arrested Brisler for assault.[24].


The Warren Paint Company sued the Olentangy Park Company to recover a check dated June 18 for $52.52 ($1,715 in 2023) given by J.W. Dusenbury for supplies furnished by the paint company.[25]. The company later sued Dusenbury for $550 ($17,964) to recover 11 notes given to him.[26]

Rides and Attractions

New Dancing Pavilion

Main Article: Dancing Pavilion (Second)

The new Dancing Pavilion opened for the 1907 season on June 22nd with a band of 20 pieces. It was the largest dancing pavilion in the state at the time.[1][27]

Igorrote Village

Main Article: Igorrote Village

The Igorrote Village featured performers who "[represented] customs and manner of life, together with their houses,"[28] "real savages from the Philipines." They performed at the park after their time in St. Louis, Mo., and Portland, Oregon, August 24-September 7, 1907. The exhibit included straw-thatched huts, bamboo shelters, weaving, pottery, and pipe making. The shows included climbing trees, singing rebellious songs, and giving sham battles. [29] A lecturer explained to visitors the phases of the Bantoc Igorrote life.[30] Cho-Mag-Yai was called the "big chief of the wild head hunting, dog-eating people of the Igorrote Village." He said he was 62 and the village's best spear thrower. The Columbus Evening Dispatch reported, "he [saw] the advantage of an American occupation he lent his influence to the Americans and has since remained their staunch friend."[31] The publication also said the Igorrote Village "is...highly educational, illustrating the life of a people 4,000 years backward in the scale of civilization." The Ohio State Fair was unsure where to house them, so the Village set up along the Olentangy River, bringing 2,000 attendees on its opening Sunday.[32] On September 10, a "villager" gave birth to a baby boy, and the parents married as part of the show.[33]

List of Rides and Attractions

Theater, Vaudeville, and Stunt Performances

Olentangy Park Theater

Main Article: Olentangy Park Casino and Theater

Harry Demuth was originally the theater manager for the 1907 season. He was the theater manager when the company controlled both Minerva and Olentangy parks.[1] Later, J.J. Rosenthal of Toledo became the theater manager.[34] For the week of August 26, the acts were booked by William Morris, the Klaw and Erlanger vaudeville agent in New York City.[35]

Tickets cost (2023 equivalent in parentheses):[36]

  • Matinee, reserved, lower floor: 25 cents ($8.17)
  • Matinee, gallery: 15 cents ($4.90)
  • Night, lower floor: 50 cents ($16.33)
  • Night, balcony: 25 cents ($8.17)
  • Night, gallery: 15 cents ($4.90)
  • Sundays and Holidays are the same as night prices

Prices were reduced starting the week of August 5 to:[37]

  • Matinee, reserved, lower floor: 20 cents ($6.53)
  • Matinee, gallery: 10 cents ($3.27)
  • Night, lower floor: 30 cents ($9.80)
  • Night, balcony: 20 cents ($6.53)
  • Night, gallery: 10 cents ($3.27)

The Olentangy Park Theater closed for the season on September 16, 1907.


Week of June 16

  • "Shooting the Chutes," by George Emerick, a "genuine farce comedy, with all its well-known familiar surroundings of pretty girls, jingling songs, eccentric character sketches, clever dances, and mirth-provoking situations."[34]
  • The Murray & Mack Musical Comedy

Week of June 23

  • "The Climbers" performed by Amelia Bingham and Company.[27]

Week of June 30

  • "The Belle of New York" performed by Elizabeth Brice and Company.[38]

July 7-August 4

Vaughan Glaser and Company performed starting July 8 for 4 weeks.[39]

July 8-14: Leah Kleschna[40]

July 15-20: When Knighthood was in Flower[41]

July 21-27: All on Account of Eliza[42][43]

July 28-August 4: The Cowboy and the Lady[44]

Week of August 5

  • Carney and Wagner, singers and dancers[37]
  • Mason and Bart, comedy acrobats
  • Frosini, accordion soloist
  • Cartmele and Harris, singing and dancing
  • Chummie LaMara, English comedienne
  • Healy and Vance, a little person performer, and her husband, Elmer
  • Hilda Thomas and Lou Hall, comedy sketch
  • Darrell, bassoon soloist
  • W. S. Powell and W. W. Powers in a cornet duet

Week of August 12

  • Billy Clifford, comedian and singer[45]
  • O'Kabe's Troupe of Japanese acrobats
  • Frosini, accordion soloist
  • Earl and Curtis, comedy skit[46]
  • The Great Miltair, known as the "Drummer Boy of Shiloh," musical acts
  • Harry Lester, monologue and imitations

Week of August 19

  • Billy Clifford, monologist and comedian[47]
  • Ryan and White, singing and dancing
  • Maude Lambert, singing
  • Griff Brothers, novelty gymnasts
  • Nibble and Bordeaux, comedy act
  • Vane and DeClairville, aerial acrobats
  • Frosini, accordion soloist
  • Callon and Smith, singers and dancers
  • Van Brothers, musical comedy act

Week of August 26

  • Jack Grossman and Eva Prout, singing[48]
  • Billy Clifford, monologist and comedian[49]
  • "The Mighty Dollar," comedy sketch
  • Maude Lambert, singing
  • Vane and DeClairville, aerial acrobats
  • Billy Broad, "The Wandering Minstrel"

Week of September 2

  • Miles and Raymond, comedy sketch[50]
  • Musical Lowe
  • Bush and Elliott, comedy acrobats
  • John F. Clarke, comedian
  • Harry Walton, Chinese imitator
  • Klein and Klein, eccentric pantomime comedy clown act
  • Matzeno and Thomas, international dances
  • Christopher the Magician
  • Billy Broad, "The Wandering Minstrel"
  • "Mice Will Play" by Arthur Van, Margaret Webb, and Jack Connelly[51]

September 9-16

Don Philippini, a Spanish bandmaster, with a band of 50 pieces[52]

Stunts and Outdoor Shows

Rigg's Rough Riders gave an open-air Wild West show with portrayals of 75 native Americans, cowboys, and ranch girls and over 50 horses and presented life on the plains.[53]

Cromwell Dixon, 14, "The Greatest Boy Aeronaut in the World," rode his sky-cycle around 5 p.m. every day from July 4-7 and July 21-August 4.[54][55][43] He was re-engaged for August 10-11.[56] His sky-cycle was damaged by fire at the park[9] and he reconstructed a new machine with a 6 x 8 ft. rudder and 40 x 17-ft. silk gas bag holding 5,000 feet of gas for the July 25th engagement.[57] He successfully had a 20-minute test flight from Olentangy Park to a hayfield near Minerva Park.[58] He continued to perform into August wearing a gold-braided suit given to him by the park company.[59]

"Prodigious Porthos" (played by G. F. Matthiessen) performed "Leaping the Gap" where he rode a unicycle down an incline to a ramp taking him back up where he soars through the air to the other side. He performed on the longest incline and leaped the longest gap he ever attempted from July 23-August 4.[57][59][43]

Madam Etoille's Six Society Circus Horses and Vinella's Boxing Stallions performed August 4-18.[37][45][46]

Homer W. White performed the "Loop-the-Loop" bicycle stunt sometime in August. The bicycle, a special-made 85-pound bronze contraption, was stolen from a barn south of the park owned by a Mr. Haines.[60]

The Great Duffin and Redgay Troupe (also billed as "Great Duffin and Redcay Troupe"), acrobats, performed outdoors the weeks of August 12[45] and September 2.[50]


The Columbus local of the American Federation of Musicians signed a contract to furnish a big band for the 1907 season. The contract said if an insufficient amount of members can be found, it can be an international search. Traveling bands were also sought for short engagements.[61]

Powell's Military Band performed free concerts twice daily.[62]

Don Philippini, a Spanish bandmaster, brought his famous band of 50 pieces to perform September 9-16, 1907.[52]


List of Activities


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Olentangy Park to Be Opened April 28." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 March 1907. Pg. 16.
  2. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 June 1907. Pg. 16.
  3. "Olentangy Park and Zoo." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 October 1907. Pg. 4.
  4. "Notice of Sale." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 June 1907. Pg. 9.
  5. "Ex-banker Hayes's Property Sold." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 June 1907. Pg. 2.
  6. "More Park Land." Columbus Evening Dispatch.8 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  7. Barret, Richard E. "Olentangy Park: Four Decades of Fun." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 1. April 1984. Pg. 10.
  8. "Olentangy Park Fire Not Destructive." The Marion Daily Mirror (Marion, Ohio). 29 July 1907. Pg. 8.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "An Airship Will Sail From Tuscora Park, Next Week Cromwell Dixon to Make Three Flights." The Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio). 8 August 1907. Pg. 2.
  10. "Fire Department Kept on the Run." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 June 1907. Pg. 15.
  11. "Boy Leads His Two Sisters Out of a Fire at Park." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 June 1907. Pg. 13.
  12. "Young Woman is Made Unconscious by Circle Swing." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 31 May 1907. Pg. 2. Retrieved by the Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.
  13. "Wolf Sides with Long." The Boston Globe. 18 June 1907. Pg. 4.
  14. "Tiger Attacks Trainer in Cage." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 3 July 1907. Pg. 7.
  15. "Trainer at Olentangy Park is in a Very Serious Condition." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 July 1907. Pg. 2.
  16. "Is Overcome By Hydrogen Fumes." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 August 1907. Pg. 2.
  17. "Coroner Making Investigation of Actress' Death." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 May 1907. Pg. 1, 6.
  18. "Mt. Washington Girl Actress Found Dead." The Pittsburgh Press. 27 May 1907. Pg. 1.
  19. "Mother Searching for Her Daughter." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 May 1907. Pg. 7.
  20. "Ministers Union Prepares to Stop Sunday Baseball." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 April 1907. Pg. 6.
  21. "Used His Socks for Money Bank." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 26 May 1907. Pg. 18.
  22. "Managers of 'Old Mill' Arrested." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 May 1907. Pg. 9. Retrieved from Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.
  23. "Makes a Confession." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 May 1907. Pg. 6. Retrieved from the Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.
  24. "Throws Glass When Twitted on Appetite." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 30 June 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 8.
  25. "Sues Park for Paint." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 July 1907. Pg. 8.
  26. "Dusenbury is Sued." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 August 1907. Pg. 12.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 June 1907. Pg. 4.
  28. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  29. "Wild People." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  30. "Olentangy Park and Attractions." The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio). 31 August 1907. Pg. 6.
  31. "Cho-Mag-Yai: Chief of Dog Eaters." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 24 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  32. "The Igorrotes." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  33. "Baby Arrives at Igorrote Village Amid Rejoicing." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 10 September 1907. Pg. 2.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Olentangy Park: Shooting the Chutes." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 15 June 1907. Pg. 4.
  35. "Olentangy Park" The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 25 August 1907. Pg. 5.
  36. Ad. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 July 1907. Pg. 4.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 4 August 1907. Pg. 5.
  38. "The Belle of New York." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 June 1907. Pg. 4.
  39. "Vaughan Glaser & Company." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 30 June 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 7.
  40. "Olentangy Park: 'Leah Kleschna'." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 July 1907. Pg. 4.
  41. "Olentangy Park: 'When Knighthood was in Flower'." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 14 July 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 5.
  42. "Olentangy Park: 'All on Account of Eliza'." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 14 July 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 5.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 "Olentangy Park." The Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio). 27 July 1907. Pg. 3.
  44. "Olentangy Park: 'The Cowboy and the Lady'." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 27 July 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 5.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 11 August 1907. Second Edition. Pg. 5.
  46. 46.0 46.1 "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 14 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  47. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  48. "Olentangy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  49. "Olentangy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 28 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 1 September 1907. Pg. 5.
  51. "Olentangy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 September 1907. Pg. 4.
  52. 52.0 52.1 "King Alfonzo's Band Leader." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 September 1907. Pg. 4.
  53. "Olentangy Park." Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio). 4 June 1907. Pg. 8.
  54. Ad. The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 July 1907. Pg. 6.
  55. Ad. The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 17 July 1907. Pg. 4.
  56. "Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  57. 57.0 57.1 "Other Attractions." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 23 July 1907. Pg. 4.
  58. "Dixon Has Twenty Minute Flight." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 July 1907. Pg. 2.
  59. 59.0 59.1 "Other Attractions." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 August 1907. Pg. 4.
  60. "Loop-the-Loop Bicycle Stolen." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 23 August 1907. Pg. 8.
  61. "Union Musicians for Olentangy." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 March 1907. Pg. 3.
  62. "Olentangy Park." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 June 1907. Pg. 16.