More than a century ago, on July 4th, 1917, Summit Beach Park opened its door for the first time. Akronites were drawn by rides like the park’s roller coaster, carousel and ferris wheel. But the park offered more than thrill rides, it also had a dance hall, penny arcade, boat launch and steamboat rides.
July 4, 1917 began an exciting era in Akron History, that of Summit Beach Park. The amusement park opened its gates with great fanfare and provided entertainment to Akronites for 40 years before abruptly closing its doors forever.
Flags are waving as visitors to Akron’s Lakeside Park enjoy a day of rest on the waters of Summit Lake. Lakeside was built by the Akron Street Railway & Herdic Co. in 1887. It was an attraction and picnic ground destination accessible by the railway. Lakeside would later be absorbed into Summit Beach Park.
A steamboat prepares to depart Lakeside, on the east side of Summit Lake. The park was opened by the Akron Street Railway & Herdic Co. as a picnic grounds in 1887. The growth of Summit Beach Park eventually absorbed Lakeside Park.
The history of Summit Lake predates the glaciers that carved their way across this region in the last Ice Age. This massive urban lake sits almost 400 feet above Lake Erie.
It’s a busy day at Akron’s Summit Beach Park. Visitors take in the many amusements and attractions at the famed park on the shores of Summit Lake. – Summit Beach Park averaged 25,000 visitors a day at its peak.
Among the many attractions at Summit Beach Park were the “Around the Lake” (and a little of the canal) boat rides.
A crowded parking lot at Akron’s popular amusement park, Summit Beach Park on the shores of Summit Lake.
Woman standing on the shore of Summit Lake at Lakeside Park. The Pavilion and merry-go-round are visible in the background. Lakeside Park was opened in 1877 by the Akron Street Railway & Herdic Co. The park, located on the eastern shore of Summit Lake, was a popular picnic destination. As Summit Beach Park’s popularity grew, it absorbed Lakeside Park.
The Crescent Line Boat Landing was part of Lakeside Park (established in 1877). Lakeside was the first picnic ground at Summit Lake. Eventually, the operation would be absorbed by Summit Beach Park.
Right in the heart of Akron was a lake and amusement park. No wonder it was so popular among Akronites, it was just a ten-minute ride from the center of Akron and within walking distance of 20,000 people!