Fulton Heights History

This report was compiled from information found in more than 100 newspaper articles written from 1905-09 about Fulton Heights Park. It is written by Leslie Black.

June 18, 1906 – Responding to the cordial invitation of Col. Geo. H. Hamilton to inspect his grounds and buildings and witness his housewarming, I boarded one of the many electric cars running continuously to and from the Grand Opening of the new Park.

Little did I know what wondrous entertainment I would encounter! I descended from the car just at the entrance, where lay a grand flowerbed conspicuously displaying the name “Fulton Heights Park.” After stopping for refreshment at the Clubhouse, I observed children frolicking happily in the shady playground while hundreds of visitors, both families and church groups, enjoyed fellowship in the six-acre picnic grounds.

As I had arrived early, I was privileged to observe the official Opening Ceremonies by the Daughters of the Confederacy, with Col. Hamilton himself “christening” his new park with a bottle of Apollinaris water, to the delight of all assembled. “Step right up!” the barker on the 300 – yard midway called to me, challenging me to test my skill at box ball, the bowling alley or cane rack games.

The next enjoyment I encountered was the Electric Theatre, featuring high-class moving pictures like The Great Train Robbery along with only the Latest and Best Illustrated Song Exhibition – and for only 10 cents! Further on, the Ferris wheel rose dizzily above the Theatre with riders enjoying the view from the top. I wandered the Promenade, enjoying the beautiful gardens and delighting in the entertainment and the lively music of the concert at the Bandstand. Near the Promenade, there is a Dance Hall accommodating fully 200 people that can also be used as a skating rink, with a fine maple floor and free lessons.

From the main Promenade, I descended into the Wildwood Park where nature in all its glory presides in the shade of mammoth pine, cedar, oak, hickory and ash trees. As I passed the main drive and bicycle path, I entered one of the coziest and prettiest spots on earth. Here on the side of a hill is the “Lovers Retreat” with a 30-foot flowerbed and an abundance of rustic benches and swings.

Finally, I arrived at the grand Casino Theatre, which will feature only polite vaudeville and fresh, clean musical comedies all summer long. Being backed by a New York syndicate, only a high class of attractions is assured. Here, the first social “hop” of the season took place at 9:30 in the evening, and no better entertainment has ever been enjoyed.

As guaranteed by the management, there was nothing but perfect order all day long, with officers on the grounds and no rowdyism or misconduct tolerated. As I strolled from the park late that evening, I too felt the wonderment expressed by all at the day’s festivities. I am looking forward with great anticipation to the Most Glorious Fourth of July Celebration at the Park, with a grand parade, prestigious orators, a balloon ascension and Col. Hamilton’s famous pyrotechnic display, the “Burning of Frisco,” at the baseball grounds next to this auspicious site – the prettiest park in the State!