Temple of Mirth

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Temple of Mirth
Type Funhouse
Park Section Midway
Opened 1906
Closed 1911 (fire)
Fires July 1911
Frame Wood
Number of Stories 2

The Temple of Mirth was a funhouse attraction at Olentangy Park that opened in 1906 along the Midway, north of the first Ye Olde Mill.[1] It burned down in the Midway Fire of 1911.[2]. It was said to combine the elements of the Katzenjammer Castle, the House That Jack Built, the Haunted Swing, the Rocky Pass, the Collapsible Plateau, the Devil's Grotto, Kelly's Slide, Jacob's Ladder, the Bottomless Well, the Crazy Stairs, the Fountain of Youth, the Observatory, the Camera Obscura, the Magic Mirror, the Drunkard's Pathway, Dooley's Art Gallery, the Mysterious Elevator, and several other novelties in one large building.[3][4] Sometime after 1911, the Joy Mill replaced the Temple of Mirth as the Midway funhouse.[5]

Description of Some Aspects

Katzenjammer Castle - "Katzenjammer" is a German word for "hungover" or "confusion." It was often used to describe a general funhouse with rides like a rotating disk ride and a slide at the end.[6]

Haunted Swing - Visitors entered a swing suspended in a modern furnished room and the room appears to flip upside down.[7]


In July 1911, a fire that began in the Old Mill ride spread to other attractions, destroying a total of five buildings[2]. Manager J.W. Dusenbury said the buildings were uninsured.


  1. "Olentangy Park midway, postcard." Columbus Metropolitan Library Collection. Columbus Metropolitan Library: Columbus in Historic Photographs. 708O451916. Original Date: 1916. Date Modified: 23 December 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Local Coney Island is Also Visited by Fire." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 May 1911. Pg. 3. Retrieved from the Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.
  3. "Olentangy Park." The Democrat-Sentinel (Logan, OH). 14 June 1906. Pg. 2. Clip 1 | Clip 2
  4. Barret, Richard E. "More on Olentangy Park." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 3. May 1985. Pg. 39.
  5. "Joy Mill to Be Free Ride for Dispatch Picnickers." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 July 1929. Pg. 7.
  6. Michelson, Harry. "Katzenjammer Castle | 1907-1914." The Amusement Parkives. Published 10 may 2017. Accessed 3 July 2024. https://amusementparkives.com/2017/05/10/katzenjammer-castle-1907-1914/
  7. Erik. "Madhouses I: The Origin of the Haunted Swing." Dark Ride Database. Published 4 March 2022. Accessed 3 July 2024. https://darkridedatabase.com/madhouses-i-the-origin-of-the-haunted-swing