The History of Lakeside Amusement Park in Photos
Since 1908, Denverites have been flocking to Lakeside Amusement Park in the town (yes, town! Population: 8 persons) of Lakeside, Colorado.
Lakeside Amusement Park (sometimes referred to as "White City," as in this Colorado Transcript newspaper article) opened on May 30, 1908, to a crowd of 50,000. Amazingly, the park has only changed ownership twice during its long history. The Lakeside Realty and Amusement Company, originally led by brewery magnate Adolph Zang, sold the park to Benjamin Krasner in 1935. Mr. Krasner's daughter, Rhoda, owns the park today.
Why was Lakeside Amusement Park once referred to as "White City?" During the early part of the 20th century, there were several White City amusement parks scattered throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. The name "White City" originated at Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893, which featured amusement rides nestled among the exposition's neoclassical buildings awash in white Plaster of Paris.
Today, a trip to Lakeside is a stroll through a bygone era. Although the swimming beach, casino, theatre, race track, and public pool are no longer in operation, many classic rides survive, including the Cyclone coaster, the Wild Chipmunk, and the miniature train that circles Lake Rhoda.
Click HERE to view a gallery of historic Lakeside Amusement Park images from our photo collection. Be sure to view this gallery the next time you visit Lakeside—and prepare to be amazed by how many of the park's 20th-century buildings and rides live on.
[Want to learn more? We recommend David Forsyth's Denver's Lakeside Amusement Park: From the White City Beautiful to a Century of Fun]
I went many times to lakeside .My Father drove one of the two boats that went out on the lake in a circle.
Both boats were chriscraft, finest boat ever made.
The laighing lady at the fun house and the tumbler just behind.
My oh my, and the rock-o- plane which I rode with my older sister until she got sick. I couldnt get enough of it.
So many memories.
Sounds like wonderful summertime memories! Thanks for sharing, Loren!
I took my Grandkids to Lakeside last weekend and was saddened by how run down it was! Most of the lights and rides were not working. A lot of the bathrooms were out of commission. It's a favorite of ours! I wish the historical society could get involved and help preserve.
Thanks for your comment, Beth. You may want to check out History Colorado's Historic Preservation page as well as Historic Denver, Inc.'s site.
I worked there as an employee back in the. 1980's. And Everything was working good then...also remember the fun house and all the fun times I enjoyed working with the owners then. A long time ago...
Thanks for reading and sharing, George!
As a current employee of the park is like to add this, yes there is a state of disrepair, however I must say the maintenance department of this park is second to no one. The safety requirements at exceeded, some rides yes at not manned, it is not because of safety issues its a matter of finding dedicated people to work them. This park is a place where time has literally stood still, I he remains of rides now gone are a reminder of what was. There is a history here very few places anywhere can match. Im proud to work here and very proud of the park.
Fun house a total blast my brother and I could ride the pancake and never slide off. The slides were awesome.
The pool, slide and platform dives most fun as well.
Did not swim in Rhoda Lake, but did swim in Berkeley Lake until polio epidemic -- 80 now and love the memories
I just came across an original 1912 postcard of the amusement park back then. I found it on the ground.. Would you like me to send it to you?
Thanks for commenting, Donna! If you are interested in donating the postcard, please proceed by following the steps outlined in our Donor Packet:
Thank you, Donna!
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