The banks of the Ohio River, where picnic grounds flourished and steamboat travel was abundant, provided an ideal location for amusement parks to thrive in Kentuckiana, a term used to describe the Louisville and southern Indiana area. Popular amusement parks such as Glenwood Park, Rose Island, White City, Fontaine Ferry, and Kiddieland welcomed visitors as early as 1902, and the more successful parks continued to operate well into the 1960s. Visitors to these parks enjoyed steamboat excursions, live music, rides, games, picnics, sporting events, and more. These parks were not only for amusement seekers but also for keen businessmen like David Rose, who purchased Fern Grove in 1923 and renamed the park Rose Island. Transportation businesses thrived, with steamboats like the Idlewild (now the Belle of Louisville) providing regular transportation to the parks along the Ohio River. In addition to an increase in river traffic, companies like the New Albany Traction Company purchased the area that would become Glenwood Park from the well-known Beharrel family, of New Albany, Indiana, and provided rail transportation to their park.
Louisville native Carrie Cooke Ketterman is an amateur historian with a great love of vintage amusement parks and an interest in preserving history for future generations to discover and enjoy. Numerous libraries, public archives, and private collections of individuals were instrumental in the development of this book.
Once upon a time, the banks of the Ohio River provided an ideal location where amusement parks thrived - the area simply known as "Kentuckiana "