A Storeybook Theme Park in Ruins

Baltimore’s Enchanted Forest was a childrens’ book themed amusement park that opened in August, 1955 on Route 40 in Howard Canada Goose online County, Maryland. I remember riding past that kitschy place as a child but my mother disapproved. To her, canada goose outlet black friday canada goose uk black friday it was silly schlock.

Nearly 50 years later, I granted my own wish. Along with two of my sons, I got to see the magic in person. But by this time, much of the Enchanted Forest had been bulldozed to make way for a shopping center, and the locally beloved landmark lay in ruins.

Perfect, beautiful ruins. I am so fond of ruined places. Nature had taken over and vines grew up a crumbling castle. A herd of deer ran down a path formally traversed by children. A ghostly air of poignancy hung in a mist Canada Goose Jackets over the lake where mysterious, slimy things briefly undulated along the murky silver green surface of the water.

If I had ever wanted to enter a fairy tale this was the place. What was that rustling in the bushes? And that hooting scream, a heron, or something else? As my sons disappeared up a rusted water flume into a canada goose outlet uk sale cave in the magic mountain or whatever it was, I wondered if they’d canada goose outlet reviews meet up with an evil troll or something worse. (Is there statute of limitations on trespassing?)

“But, officer, you see, this was a cheap canada goose childhood dream of mine.”

“But, officer, we’re photographers.”

“But, officer, we’re urban explorers.”

At the height of its popularity, the Enchanted Forest welcomed up to 300,000 guests per season. For one dollar each (50 cents for children) people streamed in to see their favorite childhood canada goose black friday sale themes brought to life. Children could ride in tea cup shaped cars or enjoy the Little Toot boat ride.

Opening just one month after Disneyland’s appearance 3,000 miles away, Baltimore’s Enchanted Forest was integrated long before Civil Rights laws were enacted.

Storeybook Themes in a Woodland SettingEntering the park, one first viewed a castle, then progressed along wooded paths where you could see various characters and features from Mother Goose rhymes and classic children’s stories.

Tiny cottages tilted at cartoonish angles. You could visit a house that looked like a giant shoe, the homes of the 3 Little Pigs, or take a dizzy ride on a tea cup. Willy the Whale and Mother Goose were popular attractions. A giant slide wound past a lake.

The attractions resembled illustrations from the books they were buy canada goose jacket cheap based on, a marvelous idea books brought to life!

The Enchanted Forest began to lose its magic when compared to the burgeoning attractions of the late 20th century. People became willing to travel greater distances for their entertainments. Amusement parks became much grander, offering a wide variety of rides and the Enchanted Forest became a quaint memory, closing in 1989.

Old Cottages at canada goose outlet online uk the Enchanted Forest

Weedy and trash strewn, Canada Goose sale the old attractions at the Enchanted Forest still offered their own peculiar official canada goose outlet enchantment. Source

Structures Made of CelasticMany Canada Goose Outlet of the structures at The Enchanted Forest were made of Celastic. Trade marked in 1926, Celastic was a material that could be stretched over wire forms or a frame. Plastic impregnated canvas was softened with acetone which made it easy to stretch and drape and mold over the forms. Celastic stuck to itself and dried quickly, creating a hard, weatherproof shield against the elements.

Celastic was used to create forms for the theatrical and entertainment industries into the latter part of the 20th century. The production and usage of Celastic ended due to the toxicity of fumes that could cause neurological damage.

Baltimore’s Enchanted Forest TodayFor several years Old King Cole presided over the entrance to the shopping center, a reminder https://www.cheshuntteamministry.org.uk of what canada goose outlet once was. The remaining part canada goose factory outlet of the park reopened for a season in 1994, then closed for good in 1995.

Today, The Enchanted Forest is recalled by many Baltimoreans with fond memories. Friends of the Enchanted Forest is a group on Facebook.

A scene from John Water’s film Crybaby, starring Johnny Depp and Ricki Lake, was shot at the Enchanted Forest in 1990. Scenes from the Enchanted Forest canada goose outlet in usa were interspersed with shots from Pennsylvania’s Hershey Park.

Episode 45 in cheap Canada Goose Season 4 of TV’s popular Homicide : Life on the Streets was partially shot at the Enchanted Forest.

The Enchanted Forest Preservation Society still hosts reunions for former employees and has an online forum where people post memories and photographs. Their attempt to raise funds to preserve at least some of the park fell shot of its goal.

The rest of the property was torn down in 2013, for new business.

Saving Enchanted Forest One Piece at a TimeIn 2004 Cinderella’s Coach an canada goose outlet uk artifact from the canada goose outlet parka Enchanted Forest, appeared for sale on ebay. A local real estate agent named Debbie Burchardt had acquired the big orange coach when it was in disrepair. Burchardt had the coach refurbished by a canada goose outlet nyc fiberglass expert. The buzz helped garner support for the dilapidated park to no avail.

Today, many of the canada goose outlet new york city forms from the old Enchanted Forest can be found at Clark’s Eliok Farm on Clarksville Pike outside of Ellicot City in Howard County. You can see Cinderella’s Coach, Mother Goose, The Crooked House and many favorite pieces and structures from the former amusement park.4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Jodah I think that I enjoyed my visit as much as I would have as a child. As my sons and I appreciate the weird, the wrecked, and the ruined, we really had a great time. Thanks.

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