Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LARRY OBERLY AND LARRY MILLBORNOn a long-ago summer day, the pool at Indian Trail Park attracted many local residents. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LARRY OBERLY AND LARRY MILLBORNOn a long-ago summer day, the pool at Indian Trail Park attracted many local residents.
The Trading Post contains an exhibit of township history. The Trading Post contains an exhibit of township history.
The Lehigh Township Historical Society has preserved the Trading Post building. The Lehigh Township Historical Society has preserved the Trading Post building.

Many summertime memories made at Indian Trail Park

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Recently, some of my loyal readers requested I recall Indian Trail Park in Pennsville. As a youngster, it was a treat to visit the park. My parents would visit the park on many Sunday afternoons. There was always plenty of activity. I wonder how many of my readers have been at the park!

My friends at the Lehigh Township Historical Society wrote a great book of Lehigh Township giving us an accurate history of the park far superior to my youthful memories.

Their book takes us back to the park on those summer days long ago. I thank my friends at Lehigh for using some of their material.

Pennsville Park, or Indian Trail Park, was named after the Indian Creek, which flows through the park. Twenty acres in size, it was purchased by two Allentown men, the Sollidays. They wanted their own park and organized the Indian Trail Park Co. A great location, it started as a picnic area. The park’s slogan was “Cool Retreat from the Summer Heat.” The park was surrounded by 20 summer bungalows overlooking the park. If interested, one could purchase a lot for $275-$400. I wonder what the lot your home is situated on costs? Maybe a bit more! The homes are still there, a living reminder of the park’s past.

I spent a number of days swimming in the pool, long before there was a municipal pool in Northampton. The pool was concrete, there was a life guard and the depth reached 9 feet. The pool was shaded by beautiful trees. It was adjacent to the Indian Creek. Swimmers had access to a dressing room with lockers. It was small compared to pools today, but to us, size didn’t even cross our minds.

There was no admission price to enter the grounds. Campsites were close to swings, seesaws and slides for the youngsters.

If we wanted something to eat, we would go to the Trading Post, a large structure that had a restaurant — and, yes — a soda fountain. Thankfully, the building has been preserved by the Lehigh Township Historical Society and is home to an interesting exhibit of township history, which you should visit.

Everybody loves watermelon. They placed them in the cool, flowing waters of the Indian Creek — environmentally natural watermelons. Other concession stands dotted the grounds, serving everything from popcorn to hot dogs.

We parked in a meadow next to the park. Parking was free; you had to arrive early, for soon, all the spots were taken, especially when there were company picnics. I do recall when the International Ladies Garment Workers had picnics there. My mother was a machine operator when the garment industry employed thousands. Unfortunately, the plants and unions are all gone! I end on that sad note, but we will return to the park in two weeks to visit the arcade. Come along and bring a penny!