Dorney Park was founded by Solomon Dorney in 1884. The park was owned by Dorney until the early 1900s, when Jacob Plarr assumed ownership. The Plarr family operated the park until 1985, with the exception of a brief period during which it was owned and operated by the local trolley company, the Allentown-Kutztown Traction Company. Originally a simple fish hatchery, Dorney Park expanded to include a hotel, casino, bowling alley, Ferris wheel, carousel, roller coaster, roller-skating rink, railroad rides, and many traditional mechanized rides and modern amusements. The park is known today as Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Dorney Park illustrates the development of one of America's greatest historic amusement parks. Among the vintage photographs and postcards one will find images of the Mill Chute, or the Tunnel of Love, as it was also known; the old wooden roller coaster under construction; the Zephyr train, a headliner in the park for many years; Castle Garden; the original Dentzel carousel; the racetrack; and the merry-go-rounds that were once a major attraction at the park.
Author Bio: Wally Ely grew up within walking distance of Dorney Park. He produced a segment featuring Bob Ott and the Dorney Park Zephyr for the RCN cable television magazine show Time Out Lehigh Valley, which was voted the viewers' choice for the most popular segment in the show's fifteen-year history. Bob Ott, one-time owner of the park, shares his photographs, postcards, and experiences with Wally Ely to bring the history of Dorney Park to life.