Sherman’s amusement park donated to Caroga Arts to become music venue


CAROGA LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An old amusement park in Fulton County has been donated to an arts non-profit that wants to turn it into a music venue.

Time has taken a toll on what was once the crowning jewel of Caroga Lake.

“The big treat was to go to Sherman’s to ride the rides and get popcorn,” said Rick Ruby, who’s on the Caroga Arts Board.

“There would be busloads of kids coming up from local schools,” said local historian Richard Nilsen.

The carnival rides have sat dormant for years, but now, the former amusement park is set to become a hub for the arts.

“Oh the wonderful music that we can go to right here and not have to travel and families can come in,” said Joyce Barrett.

Her grandson, Kyle Price, founded the Caroga Arts Collective bringing in talented musicians for a five-week festival in the summer. Caroga Arts rents the property to use what was the bumper car ride as a stage. Now it’s their permanent home.

“Huge, huge beyond belief,” said board member Nancy Purcell. She was among the volunteers who helped clean-up the property, including the carousel. “The people would come here talking about stories of being here as kids and bringing their kids, and now the possibility of bringing their grandchildren here is an exciting thing for all of us.”

Preservation is what lawyer, George Abdella, had in mind when he donated the park to town in 2014.

“To make a long story short, they didn’t do anything,” said Abdella.

He says the town didn’t uphold their end of the deal, so he sued, reclaimed ownership, and gave it to Caroga Arts.

“I’m hoping that someday people will come here to hear these musicians; they’re going to have all kinds of music,” he said.

Caroga Arts wants to transform the place into a world class arts venue while keeping the historical landmark intact.

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