Long Point Park revival effort
Updated: Thursday, July 17 2014, 06:30 PM EDT
by Sean Carroll
Geneseo, N.Y. -- A group of citizens has organized an effort aimed at returning Long Point Park to its glory days.
Friends of Long Point Park is a not-for-profit that was energized this summer over the possibility of purchasing amusement park rides that closely resemble rides that attracted thousands of people to the park each summer.
"They have the same vintage and the same type of rides that Long Point once had,” Joseph Ferraro of the Friends of Long Point Park group said. “So we're trying to rebuild and preserve a part of history that Long Point had and if we're able to obtain the rides it would be a nice way to honor that portion of Long Point's history.”
Ferraro said he has an open line of communication with the owner of an amusement park in the Albany area that is closing. He believes he can obtain many of that park’s rides for about $500,000 but would need to act by the end of the summer.
Details and photos of the rides are available here: http://friendsoflongpoint.blogspot.com/
Long Point Park’s history is that of a summertime attraction that drew people from all over to the shores of Conesus Lake.
"My mother used to come down to the dance hall and that goes back into the thirties,” said Norm Anderson who still lives near the park where he grew up. “All the kids that grew up around here worked in the park at one time or another, I worked in the hot dog stand some of them worked on the rides, we all grew up with the park and nobody went to sleep before 11 o'clock every night that's just the way it was.”
A large portion of the park burned in 1988. At the time it was privately owned but many of the surviving rides and artifacts were auctioned off in 1990. Since then the Town of Geneseo took over ownership of the park and it’s been used as a recreational area with a small beach, picnic tables, a pavilion, and a playground. Nothing like the old days.
"It's a beautiful park but I think a lot of the old-timers would enjoy seeing it the way it was,” said Norm Anderson.
"I was down here almost every weekend when I was a child, my parents brought me down here all the time and I wanted my kids to be able to experience something like this,” added Ferraro of his group’s efforts.
Geneseo Town Supervisor William Wadsworth called the group’s efforts an “intriguing idea.” Wadsworth told 13WHAM News that it is tough not to be excited by from a historical standpoint but the town must also be cautious of other factors that would go into bringing back rides. He said the cost of maintaining and supervising the rides, and the park as a whole, are things to be considered. There is also an economic impact, and likely a required study on that issue, that would have to be part of any final decision from town leaders.
“We are walking cautiously forward as any local government should,” said Wadsworth.