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Trolley Ride to Adventure: Lakewood Park

On May 9, 1909  an article appeared in the Charlotte Observer announcing the opening of Lakewood Park, an amusement park on May 15th.  Located about 3 miles northwest of Uptown Charlotte, the lake & dam were originally created by the Southern Power Company  to cool the power transformers. It measured 600 feet wide and 3,960 feet long. Shortly after its construction, the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company became responsible for developing the park which featured a 60 foot geyser for the pleasure of visitors to the park. Other features included a dance pavillion which was fitted with comfortable seating and colored lights. The lake was stocked with fish and gasoline launches were placed around the lake for visiting anglers. Canoes and other small boats could be leased. 

On April 21, 1910, it was announced that the Cincinnati Amusement Company would lease the park for five years, and spend $10,000 to expand the gardens, add a movie theater, a merry-go-round, and a shooting gallery. Lakewood Park quickly became one of the city's leading summer attractions and a way to escape the heat and humidity that comes from May to August.

Newspapers \ often referred to Lakewood Park as a "veritable Coney Island" and it was recognized as one of the most attractive and modern parks in the south. The park's grounds initially consisted of approximately 92 acres and later expanded to just over 100 acres. During World War I, soldiers would use their leave to enjoy the beauty of the park as well as the amusements which included a roller coaster, a bowling alley and other activities.


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