The history of Angela Park started with Angeline Barletta who had envisioned bringing happiness to others by building an amusement park on her families land. The Barletta family purchased several hundred acres along route 309 during the 1940s for family gatherings, picnics and weekend getaways. Although it was only a dream, the prospect of building a park became real after Angeline’s sudden death in 1952. Planning and construction began immediately with over two years worth of work. In spring of 1957 Angela Park was opened in memory of her long awaited dream and became a hugely popular summer attraction until it’s downfall in 1985.
Anthony Barletta, Angeline’s husband, as well as their sons Frank, Rocco, James, Joseph, Maurice and brother-in-law John were the original owners of the park whom swore to keep her memory alive and well in all that they did. The park started out quaint with a mere six rides including a wooden roller coaster 700 ft. long and 36 ft. high, a boat ride, carousel and the Allan Hershel Tank Ride. The following year saw an addition of two rides, the Panther Car Ride and Dodgem Bumper Car Ride which like other rides were geared more towards younger children. The biggest addition to the park during this time was the Olympic sized swimming pool which became a hot spot for social gatherings among teenagers. Along with the sheer size of the pool, park-goers found plenty of amenities around the pool including concessions and patio areas, lounge chairs, a spacious lawn area, and two separate pools for younger kids.
July 29th, 1959 saw a record breaking crowd to see Buffalo Bob Smith and the legendary show Howdy Doody perform. Additions to the park were made regularly including a golf course, batting cages, the Sky Ride. In 1967 Art Holler replaced Joe Barletta as park manager but his run was short lived, resigning after only two seasons. John Barletta would take his place with his sister Anna DePierro assisting him until the park was sold to Mirthmaster Inc for $1.2 million. The next four years brought financial strain until Mirthmaster filed for bankruptcy in 1989 leaving no choice but to close the park. The bank seized the property and efforts made my locals to raise capital ended in failure. Angela Park was auctioned off piece by piece scattering the remains of the once beloved park that would come to be a part of PA history forever. The land was used throughout the 90’s for the Lackawanna Junior College Police Training program until 2004 when all remaining structures were demolished.
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