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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PURITAS SPRINGS PARK

PURITAS SPRINGS PARK

PURITAS SPRINGS PARK, a popular west side amusement resort for 60 years, was built in 1898 by John E. Gooding of Painesville. It was located on the north side of Puritas Rd., overlooking the Rocky River Valley. On the same site, a group of Clevelanders 4 years earlier had erected a bottling plant to meet demands for the spring mineral water found there--hence the name of the park and the streetcar line that served this section of southwest Cleveland. Puritas Springs Park featured a roller rink, dance hall, picnic spots, and a ball field. But the 80-acre park was best known for its fast, thrilling rides, especially the famous (and dangerous) Cyclone roller coaster. Gooding, who lived with his family in a house on the park grounds, is credited with introducing the first horse-drawn and steam-powered carousels in Ohio. When LUNA PARK closed in 1929, Gooding acquired its famous carousel of 72 hand-carved steeds and installed it at Puritas Springs. Gooding died in 1938 and his daughter, Pearl Visoky, became president of the Puritas Springs Park Co. Later, Gooding's grandson James continued operations until he sold the park in 1958 to a land-development company. A fire the following spring caused extensive damage, and the park was razed for a housing development and shopping center.