Willow Beach Amusement Park

Jokel and Lange: Willow Beach Amusement Park, Lucas County, Ohio

The great depression was one of the worst times in US history. It was during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and families were in desperate financial shape for years to come. Due to the crash of the stock market in 1929, the family budget of the average American diminished significantly. Families now had very little money to spend on anything besides the essentials. Yet in the very year of the crash, the Willow Beach Amusement Park was built. Commissioned by Jimmy Hayes, constructed by The Jokel and Lange architectural firm of Toledo, this family fun park was home to many rides such as an auto race area, a roller coaster, and more. The park eventually closed down in 1949, not long after a teenager fell to her death from the roller coaster. The park was built to try and capitalize on the “free real estate” of commercial businesses during the depression. It's impossible to know whether or not the park would still be open today if not for the fatal accident. In the area where the park once stood is Cullen Park, home to a fishing and boating area.