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Memories of roller-skating in Lancaster

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Dona D. Crouse of West Manchester Township.

She mentioned that she wanted to shed more light on a request we had right around the new year from Bob Hoffman, who wanted to know the name of a Lancaster County roller rink.

Dona wrote, “I think he may be talking about Rocky Springs Amusement Park, which was on the east side of Lancaster. I grew up in Millersville and our family frequented the park, especially in the summer. Yes, there was a large pool, the park and a skating rink. Grandparents would take us all there on many occasions. This included my mom, aunt and cousins and it was a ‘family affair.'”

She continued, “The amusement park had an old rickety wooden roller coaster that I’m pretty sure was ‘condemned’ – or should have been – for many years before it was shut down. I think it was the only big wooden roller coaster around that area. But, boy it was fun as well as scary!!! Park also included bumper cars, wild teacup ride, and I think a miniature railroad train ride. I also remember a ‘fun house.’ In high school (Penn Manor) we would have Friday night bus trips to the Rocky Spring Skating Rink. It was a great place to go and meet kids from all over. I’m not really sure what happened to the site once the amusement park closed.”

She also noted another Lancaster County location, adding, “There was also another park outside of Lancaster on the west side. It was on old Rte. 30 (now Rte. 462) called Maple Grove Park. This too at one time had a small amusement park with a miniature train ride and a few other rides. The amusement park was a smaller affair than Rocky Springs, but it had a larger swimming pool. The pool also had a pavilion area where the kids would hang out, play the jukebox and dance. I remember hearing Bill Haley and Comets ‘Rock Around The Clock’ for the first time at that pavilion when I was about 10 years old. It too had a skating rink up on the hill which was later turned into a discount department store. My friend Judy and I spent many Saturdays walking from Millersville to the discount store to shop for clothes. Even though living in Millersville and having Maple Grove being closer; as I got older, we spent more time at Rocky Springs. That may have been due to Maple Grove closing the amusement park. I’m not sure. I do think I remember their swimming pool remaining open even after the park itself closed. As long ago as 10 yrs. or so it had a building on the property which was rented out for weddings, receptions, and other social events. Not sure if this is still the case as I have not been over for quite awhile.”

Dona noted that she’s lived in York for 49 years (and worked in the HR department at the York Newspaper Company for many years of that), but said she loved the memories triggered by seeing someone write about places in Lancaster! Dona, thank you for sharing your Lancastrian knowledge with us!

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