In the 1950s, it was possible to enjoy a small amusement park not too far from home.
Here Jerry Parr, the founder of the feast of pictures of the fabled Joyland Park, runs the engine on the little train at Joyland Park, once located at the southeast corner of 33rd and Duluth in Sioux Falls. Right now, this space is occupied by a Breadsmith and the Natural Foods Co-Op. Certainly more nutritious, but not nearly as much fun.
Joyland Park was owned and operated by Gene and Sylvia Scribner and their two boys Kent and Bruce. There you could enjoy yourself on a Merry-go-round, a Ferris Wheel, a boat ride, airplanes and, of course, the train.
For the train, Gene "Casey" (as in Casey Jones) Scribner built three connected loops of track, so your ride would take you throughout the park and then back to the start. To the south side of the park, Casey built a long concrete block tunnel. It could would give riders a thrill when they went into the dark of the tunnel, and also served as shelter for the train during harsh weather.
Here's the view from the street. Check out those beautiful old cars You can see the canopy from the merry-go-round there amidst the foliage. This view shows the Duluth St. entrance to Joyland park. We are looking northeast.
If you look closely, you can see Gene Scribner in the distance near the train (back against the white wall of the building.
Here is Gene, running engine number 3715, bringing joy to passengers, taking them around Joyland park. Perhaps after, they'll go to the Barrel for some shoestrings, or the Dairy Queen for some cool treats.
Gene had two trains. One was kept at Joyland park, while the other, Engine, three cars and track were kept loaded on a Chevy truck at the south end of the park. He'd take this around to various celebrations. While he was gone, Harold Renner would run the engine at Joyland Park. He lived just across Duluth ave. from the park.
Joyland park eventually closed, and in 1963, Burdette and Orpha Melloon bought a collection of 6 rides from Casey Scribner. This became Lollipop Park and was located at the corner where 10th and 12th streets converge near Cherry Tree Apartments. Casey Scribner was appointed to South Dakota House of Representatives in 1960, and ended up serving six terms in the legislature.
Can't get enough of Joyland Park? There's more coming! I've been in contact with both Kent Scribner and Jerry Parr and there's a lot more to tell. Stay tuned. Stop by Facebook to share some memories!
Page Updated: 05/14/2011
Jerry Parr and Kent Scribner