Before there was Knoebels in Elysburg, there was Rolling Green in Hummels Wharf.
In 1907 the trolley line from Selinsgrove to Sunbury was brand new, but lacking a destination to encourage people to ride it. In 1908, 46 acres of land was purchased for "The People's Playground." People would spend most of the day at the park, taking advantage of the lake and shade.
Amusements included rides, a pool, a lake, a theater, games, bands, dances, concerts, and more. Bingo was held regularly.
A few years after the park opened, a contest was held to give the park a new name. Mrs Charles Kissinger of Lewistown won $25 for her suggestion, Rolling Green Park.
Originally power for the park was supplied by Middle Creek Electric Co, but in 1910 a Power House, the brick building shown here, was built on site. The building also served as the trolley barn. The white building was the park office.
Although attendance had been on the decline from the late 1930's on, it was the flood of 1972 that ended Rolling Green. It was deemed not worth rebuilding, and the land was sold to a developer, who created the Rolling Green Development.
Aerial View Of Rolling Green Park showing the Crystal Pool, Lake, and Ferris Wheel
Aerial View of Rolling Green Park. Pool to the left, Lake in the middle, Ferris Wheel and "Fun House" (formerly the theater) on the right.
Having been in operation for more than 60 years, there are a tremendous number of photos and post cards available. I've separated them into sections by themes, below:
The Trolley Station at Rolling Green was turned into a penny arcade, and bus stop by 1937.
The Sunbury Selinsgrove Electric Railway (Trolley) went out of business in 1934.
View From The Pavilions
Enjoying the shade at Rolling Green - possibly watching a softball game?
Softball field to the right
Pavilions & Picnic Areas
"In The Picnic Grove" at Rolling Green Park
Seven Little Lakes, Rolling Green Park
The Lake & Swimming Pool
In August of 1955, a 10 year old girl "narrowly escaped death in a freak accident" at the Rolling Green Park Swimming Pool. Eunice Weiser and some friends were watching employees clean the pool when she was pushed into the pool and swept 40 feet through a 12 inch pipe. The girl suffered two fractured legs and numerous cuts and lacerations, but was expected to make a full recovery, in Packer hospital.
In July of 1925, 26 year old Charles Derk had been climbing a ladder leading to the top of the diving tower when he lost his grip, and fell twenty feet, landing on the concrete walk below.
He was unconscious for half an hour.
In August of 1921, Miss Louise Boyer took her 16 month old niece to Rolling Green. While walking along the lake, Miss Boyer left the perambulator (stroller) "unguarded" for a moment, and it rolled into the lake. The metal frame and wheels sunk into the lake, but Miss Louise Boyer plunged in and brought it to shore, then "using first aid to the drowning methods, she resuscitate the infant."
The child was the daughter of Mrs. M.E. Steffen of Selinsgrove, sister to Louise Boyer.
In November of 1915 it was discovered that the dam that kept water in the lake at Rolling Green leaked, the water having lowered considerably. At the time, it was not certain the dam would be repaired, as "Boating on the pond has not been fruitful of many dividends on the money expended on it".
In 1941, as well as other years, the lake was used for "night ice skating" events.
The building shown in the background was the original trolley station, later converted to a penny arcade and bus station.
On March 6 1958, three boys took a short cut home from the Monroe Consolidated School, crossing the pond at Rolling Green on their way home. The ice was not solid, and 6 year old Ricky Gene Valentine and 9 year old Daniel Kenneth Yeager drowned before rescuers could reach them.
The Ella Kramer Company provided live entertainment in the theater from 1939-1946
View of the refreshment stand in the lower level of the theater
In 1947, the theater was converted into a Fun House.
On Saturday October 12th 1946, one man was killed and three others injured while working on the roof of the theater at Rolling Green Park.
The roof collapsed while the men were working, plunging Guy Grant Rauch 60 feet to his death. A 5th man, Martin Fox, managed to escape injury by holding fast to a girder until he was rescued.
Those who were injured were: Ralph Fox, Clarence Shaffer, and George Gower.
The five men were remodeling the roof, making it one level, when it collapsed. The roof had been higher in front than in the rear.
At the time of the accident, Rolling Green Park was owned by Robert Spangler, of Red Lion Pa.
There was even a bingo hall, similar to the one at Knoebels today.
The fish pond was located on the midway near the merry go round
Inside the Arcade
This old game from the park is for sale on an auction side for $1,600
Tilt A Whirl
One of the rides from the park, "The Dark Ride", was incorporated into the Haunted House at Knoebels Grove. The Disco ball, along with several other items, ended up at the Snyder County Historical Society, where a back room has a large display showcasing the once popular park.
The "Dodgem" ride were Bumper Cars
Miniature Golf Course At Rolling Green
The Roller Coaster
On July 7th 1946, three squeezed into a single seat on the roller coaster at Rolling Green. When the coaster made a sharp dip and struck a curve, one of the occupants elbow struck the side of Raymond Coyle with enough force to break two ribs.
In June of 1967, six year old Irene Girton was knocked down and run over by the kiddie roller coaster.
Her injuries included a fractured pelvis, cerebral concussion, and lacerations and bruises about the face and neck. In December of 1968, her parents were suing the park for $13,000.
There was even a train, similar to the Knoebels train.
There were a variety of food stands and concessions.
The Trolley To Rolling Green
The Trolley ran to Rolling Green from it's opening, until the trolley line went out of business in December of 1934.
Trolley Car 104 at Rolling Green Park
A Trolley At Rolling Green, about 1909
The Trolley Stop and Lake At Rolling Green
Souvenirs & Mementos
Display At The
Snyder County Historical Society
They also have the disco ball, and one of the pinball machines.
Snyder County Historical Society
30 East Market Street
May through September
Sundays, 1:30pm - 5:00pm
FREE Admission, Donations Accepted