by Bill Robinson
Memories many residents have of LeSourdsville Lake or Americana Amusement Park will finally take shape in the latest Arcadia Images of America publication. Local historian Scott E. Fowler has compiled over two hundred photos and images from the local amusement park’s long history in his book,LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park. This latest Arcadia release will have a special premiere at Traders World, in Monroe, Saturday and Sunday, May 21 & 22, 2011, where Scott Fowler will sign copies of the book and share memories of the park.
An employee of the park from 1977-1983, Fowler developed an interest in the history of the park while working there. Often sent to the attic of the old restaurant to retrieve catering supplies, he noticed the well-crafted architecture of the building and his interest piqued. After he left the park to continue his college career, Fowler began researching the history of LeSourdsville Lake and other Ohio parks. In 2001, he established the Southwest Ohio Amusement Park Historical Society, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Ohio’s rich amusement park heritage.
“LeSourdsville Lake was founded in 1922 by Middletown, Ohio, hardware store owner Edgar Streifthau who was looking for another way to make money on the weekends. His goal was to develop a nice, clean place for residents to swim and picnic,“ said Fowler. “The park did not become a “traditional” amusement park until 1934 when Middletown architect Don Dazey was hired to rebuild the bathhouse, which had been destroyed by an accidental fire. Offered a financial interest in the park, Dazey ultimately became the park manager and began adding traditional amusement park rides in 1939. He also instituted company picnics which became the financial backbone of the company until 1999.”
Fowler will be signing from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, and from 12 noon - 4 p.m. on Sunday. Be among the first to own a piece of Butler County history! Don’t miss this special premiere event at Traders World, exit #29, on the east side of I-75, between Dayton & Cincinnati, Ohio. Books will be available for purchase at Traders World or online at www.Arcadiapublishing.com or www.soaphs.com.