Before Colonial Colony and the Huron Plaza

Anyone, who grew up or visited Huron in the 1950s, fondly recalls a children’s amusement park just west of the city limits called Kiddieland. Located on what is now the Carriage Square Apartment complex and the entrance to Colonial Colony Cleveland Road West, the park opened in May 1954. The following article appeared in the May 20, 1954 Sandusky Register.

Huron Kiddieland Opens Saturday – Suhren Layout Costs $100,000

Strictly for the children, but with a consideration or two for the young-at-heart adults, Huron’s Kiddieland on Route 2 & 6 on the western end of that community, opens its gates to the public Saturday.

The Kiddieland, an undertaking of owners Mr. and Mrs. Henry Suhren, represents an investment of over $100,000 in ride equipment alone. Robert Ferdinandsen is manager.

Suhren, who had long operated rides at fairs throughout the neighboring states, retired two years ago but found that doing nothing was not for him. Then and there he decided on the Kiddieland. Actual construction was started last fall (1952) when clearing of the 10-acre site was begun.

Top ride, if one can be said to be any better than the other, is the miniature train, which circles the entire park area and is done in exact duplication of one of the diesel passenger streamliners of the New York Central. The engine alone weighs three tons. (Editor’s note: This ride is one of the concessions made to us adults.) The train is braked by air just like its real-life counterpart.

The park will not have an admission, offers free parking, and picnic groves. It will require 15 to 20 persons to operate, will accommodate 1,000 cars when the parking lot is completed, have 40 picnic tables and sand boxes for the children when they get tired of the rides.

Located on a 30-acre site, only 10 acres of the land are being used by the sprawling development. Eventually, Suhren plans a Fairyland on the additional land.

The rides are the Little Dipper, a roller coaster that also is capable of seating adults; a new miniature bug ride; the quarter mile diesel train ride; a baby ferris wheel; a 50 foot ferris wheel for adults; a Sky Fighter for children; a hand car ride, and a kiddie arcade.

Among the newer developed ride items are the Jolly Caterpillar, the only one in the United States; a Rocket ride; Little Whip; a new Merry Go Round; a Choo Choo ride that features both the Little Engine That Could, and Tootie the Tug Boat; a cart and pony ride; Bulgy the Whale, and a boat ride in red water.

Reputed to be the largest in the country, the Kiddieland’s 15 rides top in number the 11 rides in a similar type park in New York City, and the nine in a Maumee, OH. park.

The candy house will dispense candy apples and snow floss.

Sandwiches and drinks will also be available at another stand.

On Saturday, the opening day, the park will open at 1 p.m. with Sunday’s opening hour at 10 a.m.

Kiddieland closed after Harry Suhren’s death in the late 1950s and sat idle for a few years. Then in November 1960, the Huron Baptist Church began negotiating for the park as the site for their new church. After negotiations fell through, the park was dismantled. The Herman house on the eastern border of Kiddieland still exists, as does the Surhans’ large, brick ranch that is now part of Carriage Square Apartments.

If you have any photos, memories, or memorabilia of Kiddieland that you would be willing to share, please contact the Historical Society who would like to record, copy, or photograph them for the Huron collection at 419-433-5009.