FOREST CITY PARK was reportedly the first amusement park in the Cleveland area. It was originally known as Beyerle Park after its developer and first operator, George William Beyerle. The park opened about 1883. The entrance to this 47-acre park was on Sykora St., not far from Independence Rd.; a streetcar line also followed this route. The park was renamed Forest City Park about 1894, and by that time featured a lake (formed by damming up Burke Brook), a boathouse, baseball grounds, a grandstand, a pavilion for dancing and skating, and a small zoo.

In 1893 the park had 100,000 customers. Attractions included a shooting gallery, merry-go-round, a theater, dancing, and bowling—all for a $.15 admission fee. By 1912 the 28 acres comprising the western and southern parts of the park were acquired by the City of Cleveland and became Washington Park, while Forest City Park continued to operate in the remaining portion. The park suffered in comparison to the newer amusement parks and also from a lack of parking. A fire damaged the park in the early 1920s, and by the mid-1920s the park was out of business.

By the early 1920s, a portion of the land near Beyerle and Hugo streets was acquired by the Tate Baseball Club and called Hooper's Field. By the early 1930s, the remainder of the park site was acquired by the Cleveland Builders Supply Co., which excavated clay from the property. The excavation sites, as well as the lake, were filled in at a later date. No trace of the park, the ball field, or the lake remained as of 1994, when the site was vacant land.

Article Categories