The amusement park closed down following the 1923 season. Brandywine Springs Amusement Parks was a Wilmington, Delaware attraction from 1886 to 1923, and a solid example of early twentieth century fun. At the turn of the century, small powered boats were also added to Lake Washington the same year the People’s Railway began. Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County may look like a common park, but it has a rich – and unique – past: as both home to natural springs and an old historic amusement park during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Jessie Eastburn and Bridgette Kegelman won the inaugural competition with two very different maps that nonetheless shared some key similarities. Brandywine Springs Amusement Park : echoes of the past 1886 - 1923 / by Mark R. Lawlor. My take on these inconsistencies is that it reflects the general underlying prejudice against foreigners by the American reporters. “And stagecoaches, they were kind of eh. Brandywine Springs is a historic area near Newport, Delaware, along the Red Clay Creek. “To take a vacation in the 1830s, you had to have big money. This is a great park for a hike, a picnic, or for playing on the playground. Its history traces from pre-colonial Native American times and early European settlers' interest in the iron-rich spring water as a … Delaware Public Media's Megan Pauly reports on a new federal grant supporting improvements on a historical First State house. Brandywine Springs State Park was Delaware’s first state park until it was converted to a county park in 1970. His bullets were directed at Miss Bodjaska. It serves as an anchor, along with Brandywine Creek State Park to the south, for more than 2,000 acres of protected lands (including 1100 acres of Conservation Easements and private Nature Preserves) creating a corridor between Brandywine Creek State Park and open space in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Brandywine Creek watershed. “They were usually two to three stories, had columns - whether they were Greek revival or federal - and they all shared that large veranda, maybe two verandas if it was a two-story building,” Castellano said. “No you can’t do that. Another factor that complicated the murder for the Anglo-Americans was Samuel Gangas' total lack of emotions one way or another after his capture. Abstract: Brandywine Springs County Park was a popular amusement park in the rural countryside outside Wilmington from approximately 1890 to 1923. Photographs courtesy of Friends of Brandywine Springs. Gangas drew a knife and briefly used it on Miss Bodjaska but reports of the actual nature of the injures he inflicted with the blade all conflict with each other. 3300 Faulkland Road Wilmington, DE 19808. Nicholas along with son Spiro and John Alexander had put out the first fire Gangas set in the restaurant. Rating. “The Wilmington traction company who had a trolley line in town, threw about everything he could in front of him saying no, you can’t do that,” he said. As he took his place on the gallows Gangas laughed as they placed a black bag over his head (Evening Journal January 11, 1918). Around 1679, before most of these facilities were in operation, a mill was constructed in proximity of where the Red and White Clay Creeks merge in … Weslager, C.A. He never said anything about his guilt or lack of it. A large four-story hotel was built in 1826 to provide lodging for those ‘taking of the waters.’. Brandywine Springs, an historic geographical feature near Newport, Delawarein northern New Castle Countyalong the Red Clay Creek, has a fascinating, multi-century story. They tried to revive it. "They had a saying in those times when they were having the big hotel, that you couldn't have somebody bring the water to you, you had to go to the water and drink it there," Ciosek said. “So by 1923 it just all went to seed, just walked away. Let's face it, America has never been the land of every immigrant's dreams. Train stations were required to build them at each major stop to provide accommodations for guests, since the trains of that era didn’t have sleeping bunks. A new pavilion was built to accommodate waiting train passengers, and modern electricity was installed. Early films of the park from circa 1903 are some of the earliest motion picture images of Delaware. Photos from the amusement park known as Funtown on Stewart Avenue (now Metropolitan Parkway). It shaded guests at the old Brandywine Springs Hotel since the 1820s, and later the large amusement park. Economic depressions in the late 1840s and 50s caused the business to suffer and the hotel was rented to a boys’ military school. This is when Richard Crook was brought in to manage it. Walking up and down the stairs.”. In the ensuing confusion Gangas remained in the general area and when the fire was extinguished he madly reentered the restaurant and spread cooking grease, restarting the fire anew. For reasons yet to reveal themselves, there is a growing interest in the popular press asserting Greek-Americans secretly control all organized crime. It was perhaps mistakenly labeled as a meeting place for George Washington, but the oak still witnessed a great deal of history. The park officially opened in 1903 and fronted both sides on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The trails are lined with historical markers that provide glimpses of the many attractions from when it was a famous amusement park. The history of the Brandywine Springs Park goes back many decades to a time when local Indians frequented the iron and sulfur-rich mineral Chalybeate Springs believed to have medicinal qualities and cure ailments. New Castle County Special Services Department now manages Brandywine Springs Park, located at Newport Gap Pike and Faulkland Road. Please use this display as a guideline and modify as needed. Catherine Bodjaska was waked at her father's home 125 Grace street, Chester, Pa. The markers have been installed by the Friends of Brandywine Springs, a group dedicated to creating a historical nature walk and sharing the history of the former amusement park that once attracted up to 30,000 visitors a day. Around 1679, before most of these facilities were in operation, a mill was constructed in proximity of where the Red and White Clay Creeks merge in Stanton, and then flow to the Christiana River. The intricate past of the Brandywine Springs Park was buried and forgotten for decades. At Shellpot, a large wooden rollercoaster, the Wildcat, was built in 1925. “When he set his hand at the canvas, you had a near photographic record of what was there because we can compare his other perspectives to existing buildings,” Castellano said. In 1887, the same street rail company purchased the land and began to turn it into an amusement park. “He said: wow, I’m making more money from the amusement than I am for the hotel,” Ciosek said. The hotel resort thrived until the Civil War, then became a military boarding school, which burned down in 1853. A significant witness tree was lost about 13 years ago in the Council Oak at Brandywine Springs State Park. A significant witness tree was lost about 13 years ago in the Council Oak at Brandywine Springs State Park. In 1915 Richard Crook bowed to the inevitable, retiring from business and selling both the Peoples Railway and Brandywine Springs Amusement Park to the Wilmington & Philadelphia Traction Company (W&PT), the then iteration of what had been the Wilmington City Railway. The friends of Brandywine Springs keep the park alive through archeological digs along with providing and maintaining trails leading to areas where old foundations have been uncovered or old amusement rides once stood. We want to make a clear, safe trail for visitors to stroll through the park and learn a little Delaware history while enjoying the natural surroundings. Unfortunately, from our perspective in time, the reporters make little effort to spell anyone's name the same way twice, the exact sequence of events frequently changes from one published account to another, and even ‘the facts’ of the sequence of the events change from one published account to another. Newark, Del. But that’s never been confirmed. “Nobody had cars,” Ciosek said. First upon the murder scene were two other worker-relatives Nicholas Nicholas, restaurant owner, Spiro Nicholas, the Nicholas couple's son, as well as John Alexander, another employee/relative. Well, with the station here, they could get off right in the park,” Ciosek said. Please come and join us! Gangas was known to Davis because he used to work at the Park. Gangas then fired at her daughter, but she dropped to the ground as if dead and he paid no more attention to her (Morning News (Wilmington DE) July 22, 1916).” Accounts here after are confused about one specific point. The Friends of Brandywine Springs do not intend to rebuild the amusement park. Gangas had fled but not to escape. At the turn of the 20th Century, Pocopson was home to one of the region’s popular recreation spots—Lenape Park, on the Brandywine. Many additions were made to the park over the next two decades. DPM's Megan Pauly reports on the evolution of Wilmington's annual August Quarterly and its importance in the African American community. 1949 Brandywine Springs, The Rise and Fall of a Delaware Resort. The origins of what ultimately became the Brandywine Springs Amusement Park is usually dated to 1886. Ara Nicholas, wife of Nicholas. And Castellano says that style was popular for hotels not just in Delaware and Pennsylvania but in other places like Clarendon Springs, Vermont. M and M Publishing. Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society. A short list of Sifakis' books on crime in America includes: The Mafia Encyclopedia; The Encyclopedia of American Crime; Encyclopedia of Assassinations; Mobspeak: The Dictionary of Crime Terms; The Encyclopedia of American Prisons; America's Most Vicious Criminals; American Eccentrics; Strange Crimes and Criminals; A Catalogue of Crime; Encyclopedia of Gambling; Frauds, Deceptions, and Swindles; Crimes and the Rich and Famous; A Compendium of Deceptions, and Ruses and Swindles. Nicholas along with his son Spiro Nicholas as well as John Alexander, another employee/relative, always slept in the restaurant. : M & M Pub., 1993, c1991. Eventually, hotels started popping up along train stops. According to amusement park historian Jim Futrell, Shellpot was always smaller than competitor Brandywine Springs. In a wooded valley in Wilmington, Delaware, lie the remains of a once elaborate amusement park known as Brandywine Springs. In the early twentieth century, it became renowned for an amusement park built along the Hyde Run … Today, Brandywine Springs is a county park, It features several pavilions, a couple of baseball diamonds, a basketball court, a playground, a bunch of hiking trails through a dense woods, with a lake and a stream running through it. They were high tech in the 1850s, 1860s.”. This compelling third edition is an engrossing read, enhanced with over 100 photos and improved maps as well as recently-found information. "I called it my digital excavation of Brandywine Springs," Castellano said. The Brandywine Springs amusement park history was gleaned from many interviews and hundreds of newspaper citations. More information was gathered from physical evidence at the site, now a New Castle County park. Philadelphia entrepreneur Richard Crook believed the business could prosper again with re-branding. This collection consists of a postcard of the arched entrance to the park. Continue research, including archaeological digs with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, to find footings of the buildings and rides in the park and mark them appropriately. Over the next 10-15 years, the site ... slowly but steadily added new attractions until it boasted such things as a dance hall, a roller coaster, two theaters, a restaurant, a larger carousel, and a boardwalk. Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly takes us back in time to learn what the park was like then in this month's History Matters, produced in collaboration with the Delaware Historical … It passed through her arm and came out the shoulder. Markers have been installed throughout the park by Friends of Brandywine Springs. “Well the question is: ‘are you getting better because of the water or because of the exercise?’ Because you had to do it three times a day. A unique piece of Delaware’s African American history has been uncovered: the graves of five soldiers who served in the Union army's Colored Troops during the U.S. Civil War. The effort eventually became part of his preparation for pursuit of a master’s in history. I will offer here my best outline of the tragic events surrounding her short existence in North America. Brandywine Springs is a historic area near Newport, Delaware, along the Red Clay Creek. The Friends of Brandywine Springs do not intend to rebuild the amusement park. Castellano says the tree allegedly has historical importance as the site of a war council held by George Washington before his troops engaged the British in the Battle of the Brandywine. Gangas “was permitted to hang for thirteen minutes at the end of which the young man was pronounced dead (Morning News (DE).” Or was it until the laughter stopped? Castellano said Walter rendered watercolors of the Brandywine Springs hotel as well as his other projects. So much was written about this young woman that frankly there are versions upon versions of 'the truth' about her life, murder, and all other subsequent events. Brandywine Springs is a historic area near Newport, Delaware, along the Red Clay Creek. Ciosek says guests no longer needed to travel via stagecoach to reach their destination. It is noted from early American history as a Revolutionary War encampment of General George Washington's army. In the early twentieth century, it became renowned for an amusement park built along the Hyde Run … Although the amusement park is usually dated to 1886, the history of the site on the southeast corner of Newport-Gap Pike and Faulkland Road goes back much further. The amusement park business took off, and Crook began adding more and more features. Then in the 1990s, the Friends of Brandywine Springs group – of which Mike Ciosek is president – started digging around, figuratively and literally - teaming up with local archaeologists to excavate the old amusement park. Our plan is to create a historical nature walk. The ultimate decline and termination of the W&PT's Brandywine Springs line will be addressed in the next post. First Edition. Standing with Mike Ciosek – President of the group Friends of Brandywine Springs – near the park’s parking lot, the scenery at first glance seems simple. See how few Greeks are among the criminals in this nationally recognized authority’s documentation of crime in North America. I have recounted this tragic murder, however, not to bring shame onto the Greek-American community, but to put a current phenomenon in perspective. This would turn Brandywine Springs into what amounted to a trolley park in reverse. Park We have meetings once a month at The Cedars United Methodist Church, Maple and Harrison Avenues, The Cedars (off of Route 41). For Catherine Bodjaska it proved an utter nightmare. Brandywine Springs State Park was Delaware’s first state park until it was converted to a county park in 1970. BRANDYWINE SPRINGS AMUSEMENT PARK Mark Lawlor's 180-page hardcover book has wonderful descriptions of the storied past — from historic games and amusement rides; to floods and fires. At no point is there evidence any Greek person controls all crime in the Western Hemisphere. This is everything that local history ought to be: authoritative, well illustrated, professionally produced, and entertaining. “It is actually a singular landmark on the property that in its day was almost as important as the springs and the hotel, it was majestic Oak,” Castellano said. But this a far, far cry from the latest popular allegations that the so-called Greek mob is secretly controlling the Italian mob. He continued to annoy the girl, however, and finally she had him arrested and he was sent to the workhouse for three months for his conduct. Thereafter, Gangas made his escape from the Park. “Gangas formerly was employed by Nicholas at the park cafe, but he had been dismissed from there because of his conduct toward the Bodjaska girl, with whom he appears to have been madly in love. Jun 5, 2012 - The Friends of Brandywine Springs (FOBS) is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to the improvement and historical restoration of the Brandywine Springs Amusement Park. While a series of writers are now asserting the most incredible kinds of Greek-American involvement in the historical and current circumstances of American crime I need offer only one name to refute these fraudulent accounts, Carl Sifakis. During the industrial revolution and into the WWII era and beyond, shipbuilding played a key role in the evolution of industry and livelihood in Wilmington. ".Brandywine Springs was more than a popular amusement park, more than a picnic ground, more than the magical terminal where the summer cars of the Peoples Railway unloaded thousands of visitors during the summer months. I provided evidence from publicly available sources that Greek immigrants did in fact commit heinous crimes on American soil, but there is no evidence they ruled a criminal empire. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this tract of land was so much more than a few hiking trails and a picnic grove. Late-1800s Atlantans flocked to the gardens and springs, which were expanded in the early 20th-century to include a dazzling amusement park. Later that same morning police found, arrested, and charged Gangas with the murder, attempted murders, and arson. BRANDYWINE SPRINGS, AMUSEMENT PARK, ECHOES OF THE PAST, 1886-1923 par Lawlor, Mark R.: stiff paper wrappers (1993) | Oak Knoll Books, ABAA, ILAB Jessie Eastburn stands where the boardwalk was when Brandywine Springs Park was an amusement park in 1911. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Brandywine Springs Amusement Park was a place to gather for picnics, games, rides and more. Facilities. “What’s interesting here is this is the Wilmington and Western Railroad on this side of it, and on this side was the trolley,” he said. We want to make a clear, safe trail for visitors to stroll through the park and learn a little Delaware history while enjoying the natural surroundings. Fees apply for court/field/pavilion rentals. Admission Fee: No addmission fees for any NCC park. “Greek revival was becoming very popular in the United States,” Castellano said. In this clip, Yetter describes taking the Peoples Railway trolley to Brandywine Springs amusement park and details the attractions there as well as those at Shellpot Park. It was home to an enormous amusement park and legendary natural spring. The park closed in 1967 but its ruins were visible well into the 1990s. Delaware Public Media's Megan Pauly explores the history of the historic Wilmington & Western Railroad. “People that came on the railroad would have to get off at Faulkland Station, which was down Faulkland Road. New Castle County Special Services Department now manages Brandywine Springs Park, located at Newport Gap Pike and Faulkland Road. But one of his most accurate sources was architect Thomas Walter, who was hired to build Greek revival cottages for the hotel's owner in 1833. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. But one advanced – the advent of cars – didn’t help the park’s business -- instead ushering in its demise. This is a beautiful hike with views of Red Clay Creek and a few hills. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Mark R. Lawlor has done us all a tremendous service by elevating Brandywine Springs Amusement Park from obscurity to significance. Our plan is to create a historical nature walk. Aside from the two Nicholas women who identified Gangas by sight, attesting that the gunfire illuminated his face, A. C. Davis, a Park watchman, assured police he saw and recognized Gangas that night. In 1956 state senator Fredrick Klair procured the land for the state and established Brandywine Springs State Park. The second hotel, built after the first burned in a fire in 1853. Waiting along the path behind a stand of trees, was Samuel Gangas, a twenty-five-year-old Greek. And of course, it never really revived very well.”. close Email This Record From: To: Optional Message: You must be logged in to Tag Records. “They had a saying in those times when they were having the big hotel, that you couldn’t have somebody bring the water to you, you had to go to the water and drink it there,” Ciosek said. Our plan is to create a historical nature walk. According to amusement park historian Jim Futrell, Shellpot was always smaller than competitor Brandywine Springs. For the contemporary reader, studying the old news accounts offers as much insight into the character of the countless unnamed reporters (and even named public officials) as it does those directly involved in these tragic events. A hotel and hot springs were already on the property. 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