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When people hear of Oriskany, New York they think one of two things: Where is it? Or Hick-Town with no excitement. Well that may be true now, but back in the early 1900's, it was a jumping town with its very own amusement park.

Opened: 1897

Owned By: Sewerd Baker

Leased to: Beltline Trolley Comapany

Cost: 10 cents to get in and 5 cents to get out

Closed: 1927

Summit Park was an amusement park in Oriskany, New York, at the turn of the century (1900) that attracted people from all over. The park was built a little at a time. It had a dance hall, restaurant, and a fountain with a Native American statue on it. There were two cups at the fountain and anyone who wanted a drink had to drink from the same cups. For rides and attractions they had a merry-go-round, a roller coaster, boat rides on the Oriskany Creek, an observation deck, and a natural amphitheater where acts were performed for entertainment. To get to the park, there was a trolley ride up Oklahoma Avenue. And to return, they would have to take the trolley back out of the park, which explains the 5 cent cost to get out of the park.

In its time, Summit Park was a place to go for entertainment and relaxation. There was never any alcohol allowed in the park. People went to the park because it was inexpensive, and it was a fun place to go. It had some of the major new attractions at that time like the roller coaster. It became the "cool" place to go for old and young alike. The attractions and socialization kept the attention of the young and the beauty of the land and relaxing strolls for the older crowd. The park closed down in 1927. This closure was caused by the fact that cars were becoming popular so people could travel further. The people who used to go to Summit Park were traveling to Sylvan Beach on the shores of Oneida Lake for their entertainment.

After it closed, the roller coaster was blown down during a wind storm, and the hand carved merry-go-round was sold to an amusement park on Florida. The park reopened in the 1950's, but it was never the attraction it had been in the early 1900's. It had a picnic area and a huge swimming pool. Basically, it became a laid back picnic park. Today, there is nothing left on the site of Summit Park. All that remains are a few wooden stairs that were used to go down to the Oriskany Creek for the boat rides. In its time Summit Park had a great impact on the population and economy of the community of Oriskany. Now, it is an important part of Oriskany's history.


Dance Hall

Roller Coaster

The Whip

An Amphitheater

Shooting gallery

Observation Tower

Baseball Field

Trian Ride

Japanese Shop

Penny Arcade

Boat Rides



When Summit Park was at its height, the worst occurred. On August 7, 1898, there was a trolley accident. Bradley's Bridge, just west of Whitesboro, collapsed while a trolley and trailer car heading for the park were on crossing. Without the help of the heroic canal men and farmers, the accident on the Belt Line Railroad would have been the most shocking ever recorded in the state at that time. The trolley was holding thirty expectant passengers when the bridge collapsed.

Twenty-nine passengers escaped death when the bridge collapsed and and the trolley fell down the embankment into the canal. The fact that only one person died was regarded as a miracle.


The entrance to the park is guarded by a cable stretched across the road. The paved road is now eroded in spots. Overgrown vegetation is everywhere. The tennis courts and swimming pool are now barely distinguishable due to the vegetation. A building that was once used as a game area is now abandoned and in ruins. The shell of a swing set still stands, but now it is broken and rusting away. Picnic areas, athletic fields and the parks other attractions are nowhere to be seen. There is also nothing left of the large dance pavilion, the elevated platform where the trolley cars dispatched their cargo, the lunch booths, the observatory, or the band stands. The area where Summit Park was, is now used mostly by hunters and the Oriskany High School's cross country running team. All that is left of the happy memories in Summit Park are newspaper articles, history book references, and.....

CREDIT: Credit the above to: Oriskany Central School District.