How Old is Waldameer Park?

When did Waldameer first open? When was Waldameer built? Find out here.

The Caterpillar ride in the early 1900s. A ride on the Caterpillar cost 10 cents.

If you grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, you know that Waldameer has been around for awhile. Erie's local amusement park is one of the region's longest standing attractions. It's not uncommon for people's parents to have worked at Waldameer as teenagers, or their grandparents to have met their sweetheart at Waldameer back in the day. Heck, some people even get married at Waldameer! (Weddings tend to involve the Ravine Flyer 2 roller coaster).

But how old is Waldameer? To find out, let's travel back in time for a quick history lesson...

Richmond, Virginia, 1888. The first electric-powered street rail car (also known as a trolley car) opened. Trolley car companies sprung up almost overnight. Trolley car companies thought to themselves, "Hmm, how can we encourage more people to ride our trolley cars, especially on weekends?" If they created an attraction, like an amusement park, along (or better yet, at the end of) their trolley line, surely people would use their trolley cars to ride to and from the attraction.

They were right! Just like that, "trolley parks" were born. In 1896, the Erie Electric Motor Company established Waldameer Park. This park amounted to 65 acres of woods along the shore of Lake Erie. Waldameer became a popular picnic area for Erie residents. Even today, Waldameer still has a variety of scenic picnic groves full of beautiful, shady trees.