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In the early 1900s there was an amusement park complete with Ferris wheel and roller coaster in this area. Later this park was renamed to Waverly Park and laid on the east side of Waverly road on the north side of the river. This area is now Waverly Hills neighborhood; it is private land with no public access.
Boarding the Riverboats for Leadley Park, c. 1898. Patrons boarded the boats at the Logan Street dock and cruised upriver to the park, which was located at what is now Waverly and the Grand River. Leadley Park would later add a hotel and roller coaster and competed quite well with the resort at Pine Lake (now Lake Lansing).
An outing for the day at Waverly Park, c. 1905.
Waverly Park, originally named Leadley Park after Gottlieb Leadley, its owner, was immediately popular with the people of Lansing. The park opened on July 4, 1892 to huge crowds who stayed well into the evening hours. Tragically, Leadley would die in 1897 and the park was sold in 1903 to the Lansing City Electric Railroad Company. The following year its name was changed to Waverly Park and the now-named Lansing and Suburban Traction Company began adding attractions to the park. It was not uncommon for streetcar companies to own amusement parks as a way to generate an increase in fares on the weekends when ridership was down. The park closed in 1917, a victim of the growing popularity of the Pine Lake Park. The park’s popular roller coaster is visible at the right. To the left is the entrance to the park’s midway.
For more information about WaverlyPark_see Article from 1987 in the Metropolitan Quarterly.
Photos: Lansing, City on the Grand 1836-1939, MacLean & Whitford
OLD BOAT LINES. (written in 1923)
In the “25 Years Ago Today” department of the State Journal, conducted on the editorial page, some reference is made from time to time to the old steamboat that ran from somewhere near the Logan street bridge to what was then Leadley’s Park, now Waverly Park, but that steamboating was a modern instance as compared to the trips of the “Pickwick” and the “Mary” from a landing place just above the dam at North Lansing up to the old Mineral Springs Hotel. This stood near the confluence of the Cedar and Grand rivers. That old institution, now long since burned and nearly forgotten, is a story in itself.
The Grand River, in the days when boating was popular upon it, was not the thick, green, scum-encrusted affair it is today. Then it did not receive the filth of a big city or scarcely any at all.