Opened in 1904 by the Laurel Line on land leased from the Pennsylvania Coal Company, Valley View was known more for its picnic facilities and 60 by 100 foot dance pavilion than as a major amusement center. David Galvin served as the parkís first manager.
In addition to the summer dances and picnics, the park offered a merry-go-round, shooting gallery, penny arcade, swings, and a baseball diamond. On July 4, 1912, the ever popular annual Caledonian games and picnic were held at the park; the following year saw Baurís Orchestra playing for the holiday.
Although the exact date is unknown, by 1914 the Ogden Brothers Company of Philadelphia either owned or leased the park. That same year, another park leased by the company, Mountain Park, closed at the end of the season. Many of the attractions, benches and tables were moved to Valley View Park.
Valley View continued to be popular into the 1920s, where on Memorial Day in 1922, over 20,000 attended the Lithuanian Day picnic. Just over a year later, on July 4, 1923, the park again saw over 20,000 for the Lithuanian Day picnic, even with the rainy weather for the holiday.
Fern Club dances were held weekly, and many other acts visited the park, including Billy Sharpe and his orchestra, and Harry MacDonald and his Californians with Jack Gallagher.
As reported by the Wilkes-Barre Record in May of 1928, no new amusement devices were being added. That same month would see the park being leased to Frank Killian and Edmund J. Granahan of Inkerman.
Valley View Park continued to operate until 1941, when the park, like so many others, closed in the face of rising costs, material shortages, and lack of attendance due to rationing of gas and rubber. Several years later, in 1945, strip mining was begun in a portion of the park.
A postcard view of the park, circa 1911.
Information obtained from Northeastern Pennsylvania, Feb. 17, 1982; Sans Souci Park, by C. Charles Ciesla; Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania, by Jim Futrell; Wilkes-Barre Record, various dates; and Mountain Park, published by the Luzerne County Historical Society, 2002.
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