New life for a decades-old Caroga Lake amusement park

Local

A non-profit is trying to buy a once popular and now vacant amusement park on Caroga Lake and turn it into a music venue. Sherman’s Amusement Park used to be a major hotspot, but now all that’s left of it are the memories and a replica of the arcade at the Caroga Historical Museum. But soon, the vacant space could soon be singing a new tune.
A stage has replaced the bumper cars, and nearby, there’s a rusty Ferris wheel and a dust covered carousel. The once bustling Sherman’s Amusement Park has sat dormant for years, but now there are signs (and sounds) of new life.
“We want to make it a community space where the carousel can get back running but also bring in big name musicians like Sawyer Fredericks,” said Kyle Price, Executive and Artistic Director of the Caroga Arts Collective.
The Caroga Arts Collective wants to buy the town owned property and bring new music to a place where the jukebox once reigned.
“There’s no place like it,” said Bob Landrio.
At the Townline Museum, we step back in time to 1962, when you could find Landrio playing pinball at Sherman’s.
“It was just a magical place, if you dated a girl that’s the first place you walked around got a cotton candy or an ice cream.”
For 20 years, he’s been collecting relics of the past – a bumper car, the “Love Analyst,” and the photo booth came straight from Sherman’s.
“This is my favorite piece because the hundreds of people that sat in here, and they’re no longer with us,” said Landrio.
He’s worried about what the sale of the park could mean for the historic site.
“My fear is that somebody is going to want to tear it down,” he said.
Kyle Price says that won’t be the case. They already rent the space and maintain it, but ownership would bring new opportunities.
“We’re really just updating it, and bringing it into the 21st century,” said Price.
He has the support of the Caroga Historical Museum.

“When they have been able to put on performances there, the whole place comes alive, and that’s really what it’s for,” said Judy Smith, a trustee for the Caroga Historical Museum.
The Caroga Town Board is now working to get the sale on the ballot in November so a decision can be made. No matter what happens, Landrio has his memories and a place to escape to and reminisce.

Event schedule for the Caroga Arts Collective

Facebook Page for the Townline Museum

Webpage for the Caroga Historical Museum

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