Eldridge Park – Elmira, New York - Atlas Obscura

Eldridge Park

This formerly abandoned amusement park includes a classic carousel and a replica of Mark Twain's famous hut-like Elmira study. 

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Eldridge Park was built in the late 19th century around a lake that, according to local folklore, was said to be bottomless and connected to the larger Seneca Lake by an underground tunnel. At its height, it had a full array of amusement park rides to go along with its historic carousel, but by the end of the 20th century, the park was in a state of disrepair. Now it has been returned to glory thanks to a concentrated local resurrection effort.

The Eldridge Park Carousel Preservation Society was formed in 2003, although at the time, there was not much of the carousel left to preserve, as the hand-carved wooden animals had been sold off in the 1980s. By purchasing original animals individually and creating others, also hand-carved from scratch, the restoration effort was completed in 2006. This was only the beginning of the work on the historic park, as the opening of the carousel brought even more attention. 

The next addition to the area in 2008 was Jasper II, a recreation of the Jasper boat ride on the lake beloved during the park’s glory days. One of the most prominent features of the park today, the miniature golf course, came next, in 2010. 

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January 17, 2023

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