***NEW UPDATES for: “Lost History Found : Croop’s Glen Amusement Park, Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania”

Since my last post about “Lost History” at Croop’s Glen, an abandoned amusement park located on Route 11 right outside of Nanticoke Pennsylvania, two more people have contacted me to share information about this long abandoned amusement park!

Photo memorabilia donated by Frank Regulski, courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Sheila M. Brandon of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania, used to maintain a history website that contained information about Croop’s Glen and pictures of the Hunlock Creek Train Station.  She very graciously sent me pictures and information from her now defunct web site, which covered topics from Lower Luzerne County, to use for this blog.

From Sheila’s information, I’ve learned that the structure that you first encounter when you look over the guard rail and into the park, used to be a ticket booth.  It’s interesting to view the changes that have occurred over a relatively short period of time to this structure, thanks to the ravages of time and Mother Nature.

“Ticket Booth” courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Again After Recent Flood on September 17, 2011–My own photo

Part of Croop’s Glen’s success was the fact that it was located across the street from the Hunlock Creek Train Station.   From the copy used for Sheila’s webpage:

 “The rolling thunder of the approaching train was heard as it neared the station at Hunlock Creek, bringing visitors from all over, coming to enjoy a warm summer day at the glen…the sounds of children’s laughter could be heard echoing through the trees.. the warm babbling brook sang ever so sweetly, inviting the visitor to come take a swim.. the smell of popcorn and cotton candy filled the air.. beautiful melodies played under the dance pavilion as the adults danced the night away.”

“Hunlock Creek Train Station” courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Hunlock Creek Train Station ruins today courtesy of Ed Mountjoy

“The glen opened in 1908 or 1909, adjacent to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Station. During its earliest years, the park was primarily used for church outings, family reunions and school picnics. In a deed filed at the Luzerne County Courthouse, the parcel of land is described as follows; briefly, a parcel of land containing a two-story frame hotel building (a\k\a- Hunlock Creek Hotel), containing 16 rooms, barn, stone icehouse, dancing pavilion and two refreshment stands. The icehouse, which was located next to the hotel, has been described as the following; it was two stories high, the bottom floor had 3 to 4 feet of sawdust on the floor. Ice was cut from the river and kept all summer in the icehouse. It was still used in the 1920’s.”

Photo of Joseph Virtue in front of Icehouse courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Photo of Croop’s Glen postcard donated by Frank Regulski, courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Croop’s Glen Amusement Park Map courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

In addition to the rides, the park had a swimming pool, bathhouses, a penny arcade, two refreshment stands, pony rides and two dance pavilions.  The dance pavilion located near the park entrance was elevated so that cars could park underneath it. 

Croop’s Victrola Sign courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

From Sheila’s webpage copy:

“The First of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania, afternoon & evening,” would greet visitors as they entered the glen. Famous orchestras from the big band era, including the Dorsey brothers, Fred Waring, and Hugo Winterhalter played there on a regular basis. The park boasted having the first nickelodeon during its first few years of operation. After the glen had closed, in later years the dance pavilion was used as a skating rink until it was destroyed in a devastating fire. All of the modern and expensive equipment was lost in the fire. It was stated that two children sparked the fire one winter after the park had closed.”

The smaller dance pavilion was also used for picnics and contained a coin-operated piano and coin amusement devices.  The structure also served as the entrance to the roller coaster. 

“Croop’s Coaster View” courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

The Hunlock Creek Hotel was purchased from the Croop’s by the Hartman family.  The website quoted Mary Hartman recalling the following memories of the glen:

“The Hunlock Creek Hotel catered picnics at the glen, including some for the power plant and the Retreat employee picnics. My brother and I took the supplies to the park with our ponies and spring wagon. If I remember correctly, Bess Croop’s family operated the concession stand for several seasons. My best memory of the glen, was one day after school, we discovered the electricity had been left on in the Merry-Go-Round pavilion at the park, and we got the rides running full blast. We had a ball until someone on Falls Hill heard the music.”

The park had something called a “wiggle pole” for the young visitors which was essentially a horizontal, telephone pole sized wooden shaft with one loose end that would wiggle when walked upon. 

Croop’s Glen postcard photo donated by Frank Regulski, courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

The webpage cited gas rationing, which was imposed nationally after the bombing of Peal Harbor in 1941, as the reason for visitors no longer visiting the park in the same way that they could in the past.  After the park was closed, according to the site, Stanley Croop used the property as a saw mill. 

Croop’s Sawmill courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Sawmill Remains courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Sheila also sent pictures of the park’s rollercoaster.  I’m waiting for permission from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company to post the pictures. 

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and information, Sheila!

I’ve forwarded the information from Sheila to The Luzerne County Historical Society and The Plymouth Historical Society.  I did not include all of the information or photos about the park in this post.  If you want to learn more about Croop’s Glen, you’ll just have to visit one of the historical societies!  Sheila also sent information pertaining to the Hunlock Township World War II Veteran’s Memorial.

Miniature replica of Croop’s Glen sign created for a fundraiser to replace World War II Memorial courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Croop’s Sign ruins on September 17, 2011–my own photo

A person who graciously wanted to share a first-hand account of her time spent at Croop’s Glen is Lucille Weaver from West Nanticoke.  Lucille’s daughter contacted me with the following recollections that her mother has about visiting the amusement park:  

“Croop’s Glen was the place to go ‘back then.’ School and/or class picnics were held there, that’s where her class went. There was the Maypole, merry go round, the whip, dance hall, a carousel and others.  The Maypole seems to stand out in her memory the most and ‘The Whip” came in second 🙂 The dance hall was alongside of the merry go round or she said, maybe ‘a part’ of it somehow. The carousel had a ‘music box’ that began playing when the carousel started turning…Apparently the ‘Maypole’ was somewhere near the entrance…Since we were talking on the phone, she could not see the ‘now photosof Croop’s Glen, but I described, a long room that reminded me of the inside of a covered bridge and she said that was the dance hall !!! In another photo there was a picnic table and next to that was a long green table (I said to her, I would love to have THAT table!” and mom said it sounded to her like that might have been where they sat & played Bingo. According to mom, when Croop’s Glen was open for business, it was the biggest thing at the time and that is where everyone went. If you grew up there during that time, you KNEW of Croop’s Glen!!!!  I really enjoyed listening to my mom talk about Croop’s Glen because it was obvious that was one of her very happy memories when she was growing up.  I didn’t know that until today. Instead of our average 45 minute morning phone call, we talked for almost 2 hours! LOL”

Thanks to Lucille and her daughter for sharing such fond memories!

If anyone else has more information that can help to complete the picture about the time spent by one of Luzerne County’s fading generations at Croop’s Glen, please contact me!

Miniature replica of Hunlock Creek Train Station created for a fundraiser to replace World War II Memorial courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Hunlock Creek Train Station courtesy of Sheila M. Brandon

Hunlock Creek Train Station ruins (ticket window) today courtesy of Ed Mountjoy

@@@@@@@@

It was Jennifer O’Malia who introduced me to the concept of Urban Exploration

Style Photography in 2010.  Jenn, who has the unique vision of a

social documentarian, is now offering her services as a freelance photographer.

 Photo by Jennifer O’Malia 

Jenn Wedding

Return To

GUERRILLA HISTORY Table of Contents

for more articles about Croop’s Glen

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  1. Just wanted to leave a note to say how much I liked the beautifully expressed sentiments in your ‘about’ text ‘WHY ARE ABANDONED PLACES SO INTRIGUING?…’

  2. Great info on the history of the local area. I’ve often driven by this location and wondered about it’s past. Of particular interest to me is the Hunlock Train Station. I’ve been searching for old photos of it for use on my website.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous
    • January 20th, 2012

    This is great info…my grandmother is a Croop and she has told us stories about it. I will have to share the photos with her and my grandfather. They will appreciate them and so will my family!!!

      • Anonymous
      • August 25th, 2016

      I am also treated to the croops by great grandmother was a croop

    • John
    • January 20th, 2012

    I believe Knoebel’s Grove has a working music machine on display from Croop’s Glen.

      • Annie
      • April 16th, 2012

      i think knoebels has the merry go round too. i vaguely remember seeing a sign by the small one in the kiddi section. i will have to check when i’m there this year.

      • Coty Hartman
      • February 14th, 2016

      Yes knoebels does have the carousel from croops amusement park and after all these years it still runs like a champ I was a employee for knoebels last year and got asked a lot a questions about croops because of me being from hunlock creek my grandmother now in her mid to late 80’s she has told all of her kids and grandkids about the place but also croops didn’t only own the amusement park but also the train station and a few other things also .

    • Joseph S. Brojakowski Jr.
    • April 9th, 2012

    my name is Joseph S. Brojakowski and one of my hobbies is metal detecting, I wouild like to obtain permisson to do so on this property. Who would I contact?

      • greg volansky
      • April 15th, 2012

      there are no no trespassing signs at the entrance to the park. however, there are at the mill. we walked around the park but stayed away from the mill.

    • Al Tkaczyk
    • May 6th, 2012

    mr. volansky,
    Did you ever obtain permissiom to coin hunt. I am interested in doing so. Years back I used to work for

    • Anonymous
    • June 6th, 2012

    Adeline Swinsky Vincent 06-06-12

    I rode the merry go round,free, when my grade school teacher Sam ran it. Skated at the rink too. Great memories!

    • I.M.
    • June 29th, 2012

    How do I get in touch with you privately?

    • Right here…since all comments are moderated, so if you want to contact me about something that you don’t want posted to the site, just write “Private Message” at the top.

    • Andrew Fulda
    • November 23rd, 2012

    Hi Cheri – Had a nice walk through the entire CG park today. Took some pictures. I live in Hunlock Creek and would like to touch base with you to learn more.
    Andrew

    • Hello Andrew,

      I’m glad that you had the opportunity to explore the remains of the park….I honestly don’t know anymore about the park—I’ve included all of the information that I was given within the four posts on this blog about Croop’s Glen. If you are looking for information beyond that, I would suggest trying the local historical societies or the newspaper archives available online through the Luzerne County Library System for more information….

      If you find more information than I have here that would make a good story for this blog, please let me know!

      ~Cheri

    • Michelle
    • February 16th, 2013

    I am just curious – does anyone know who owns the property today?

    • Esther Frey
    • February 21st, 2013

    That was interesting about what my mom said about the park…I am another daughter of hers….years ago when a friend showed me pics of the place – I showed them to my mother and she told me how every year the school children from W. Nanticoke was taken there for a picnic day, however the park was never mentioned during my childhood by anyone in the town…..which now seems strange

    • Anonymous
    • February 15th, 2016

    I so enjoyed your info. On Croops Glen. I live near by and always said I want to walk down and explore.

  3. i was told by my Father that Stanley Croop was the owner of Croops Glen also he talked of him owning the Hotel on the corner where you turn onto the main road in Hunlock Creek also there was an apartment building with a working garage He said that Cliff Smith was running the garage and he said it was across from the Hotel

    • Joseph Krasnahill
    • December 31st, 2016

    Get in touch with Knobles I believe that they said that the whip and baby changing house, came from Croops Glen.

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