1920 Season

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1920 Season
Manager(s) J.D. Cleary (manager)
Park Amusement Company
Joseph W. and Will J. Dusenbury
a.k.a. Dusenbury Brothers
The Olentangy Park Co. (owners)
Opening Day April 4, 1920 (Sundays)
May 30, 1920 (Daily)

Olentangy Park opened its 1920 season on Sunday, April 4, 1920,[1] earlier than the original plan for Easter weekend.[2][3] Operated by the Park Amusement Company, J.D. Cleary was the manager. Joseph Katona served as the park florist. The opening day featured Sammy Stewart's famous orchestra in the Dancing Pavilion and free band concerts in the afternoon and evening by the Fourth Regiment band, directed by Frank Carbone.[1] Almost 7,000 patrons visited opening day.[4] The park was only open on Sundays until Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) on Monday, May 30, 1920, when it opened for daily operation.[5] The swimming pool opened on June 5th.[6][7] The Winter Garden Jazz Orchestra of Piqua began performing in the Dancing Pavilion in late June.[8]

The Retail Grocers' Association decided to change the location of the annual Grocers' Outing to Indianola Park because the receivers of Olentangy Park did not want them to do a "Country Store" stunt which is a raffle for goods like flour, sugar, etc., but was seen as some as a form of gambling.[9]

Legal Case Updates

While the case in which the Park Amusement Company lost its lease to the Olentangy Park because of gambling was pending appeal, Judge C.M. Rodgers of the county courts appointed receivers for the park. The park was returned to J.W. and W.J. Dusenbury, Jacob D. Luft, and Joseph D. Cleary. The bonds were fixed at $10,000 (around $144,555 in 2022) each.[10] In June, it was planned that a resolution will be presented authorizing the director of service to transfer to receivers for the park a claim of $1,116.91 ($16,145 in 2021) against the Park Amusement Co. and Will D. Harris for water furnished the park after the payment was made by the receivers.[11]

Rides and Attractions

New Band Shell

Main Article: Swimming Pool Band Shell

A large Band Shell was built at the end of the Swimming Pool featuring free performances[12] and more swimsuits were purchased to be offered to up to 10,000 swimmers.[13]

Dancing Pavilion Enlarged

Main Article: Dancing Pavilion (Second)

The Dancing Pavilion dance floor was enlarged for the 1920 season, making it the largest dance floor in the State of Ohio. Other additions to the building included a new check room and a lunch room with a fountain where soft drinks were available for purchase.[14]

List of Rides and Attractions

Theater, Vaudeville, and Stunt Performances

On Saturday, May 22, 1920, Navy Post No. 276 staged its Sea-Going Cabaret dance featuring a 10-piece jazz orchestra and many vaudeville acts.[15]

Lottie Mayer and her female diving team performed twice a day at the park in June.[16][12][13] Diving for 13 years, she was hired by the park to teach diving to women and children.[17]

Chicago-based Flying Wards, a group of six trapeze artists who also traveled with the Ringling and Barnum and Bailey circuses, succeeded Lottie Mayer's group to feature two free performances per day on a 40-foot trapeze.[18][19][8]


List of Activities


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Park to Open Today." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 4 April 1920. Pg. 79.
  2. "Olentangy Opens Easter." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 April 1920. Pg. 4.
  3. "Olentangy Open Tomorrow." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 15 April 1920. Pg. 11.
  4. "At the Park Opening." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 April 1920. Pg. 20.
  5. "Park's Formal Opening." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 May 1920. Pg. 12.
  6. "Pool to Open Saturday." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 June 1920. Pg. 42.
  7. "Motto is Safety First." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 5 June 1920. Pg. 12.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "On Forty-Foot Trapeze." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 June 1920. Pg. 31.
  9. "Grocers Will Hold Outing at Indianola." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 June 1920. Pg. 19.
  10. "Name Park Receivers." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 April 1920. Pg. 21.
  11. "Council May Consider Employing Engineers." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 June 2910. Pg. 1.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Diving Beauties at Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 13 June 1920. Pg. 40.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "For Swimmers and Spectators." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 17 June 1920. Pg. 30.
  14. "At the Dance Pavilion." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 June 1920. Pg. 28.
  15. Columbus Evening Dispatch. 22 May 1920. Pg. 2.
  16. "Grand Stand at Park Pool." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 12 June 1920. Pg. 12.
  17. "Diving Girl at Park Pool." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 20 June 1920. Pg. 26.
  18. "Free Act is Booked." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 June 1920. Pg. 40.
  19. "An Act From Circus Rings." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 June 1920. Pg. 52.