Our Own Private Amusement Park (Eagle Park, Cache, Oklahoma)


Mountain Park 1997 - Back side of tunnel

Mountain Park 1997 – Back side of tunnel (Photo credit: Spatch)

Park Theatre Neon Sign - McMinnville, TN

Park Theatre Neon Sign – McMinnville, TN (Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent))

Asbury Park & Clowns

Asbury Park & Clowns (Photo credit: pam’s pics-)

eagle park(We Made a Memory)

In the mid-eighties my best friend and I were young single moms with a total of four kids; I one, her three, and we had a few years left before either of us knew that our mix was going to welcome three new members to usher in the next generation.  Our families blended nicely — so nicely, that we are convinced that our kids probably grew up believing that they were cousins.

Our best times were mostly spur of the moment ideas, like the time when we found ourselves at  the annual “Lions Club” Carnival that had set up in the parking lot at the mall on a gloriously sunny afternoon in May, when we spontaneously piled into her 84 Delta 88 and set out to have some fun.   The two of us were standing at the carousel watching as the ride went  round and round; as our kids went up and down on their painted pony of choice.  The moment was as magical as the music, and thoughts of holding on to a fleeting moment in time didn’t occur.

The idea came to me that this place was costing us too much money, so we decided to leave, and in about a half an hour we were pulling into an empty parking lot at the virtually forgotten Eagle Park in Cache, Oklahoma.  Eagle Park was once the epicenter of fun for those living in southwest Oklahoma. Now, in the eighties, the momentum was already fading — so for this old amusement park to revive itself for what may have been its very last time ( for all I  know), was truly spectacular. Our kids were full of enthusiasm and excitement because we were an adventurous bunch, so while they never knew what to expect from “us moms,” they did know that whatever we were going to do was going to be packed with treasured moments that would linger in their memories for a life time.

The five of them were curious and I, self-assured, as we seemed to cross an invisible bridge,  into a place that was made just for us to enjoy on that day, in that moment.  We were in the midst of shut down old wooden food stands with faded red and blue paint, that offered food for our spirits and not for our bodies.  There were rides standing still and the children gazed. So did we.

An older man (perhaps in his fifties or sixties) with gray hair, and wearing blue jeans,a western shirt, and cowboy boots came out of the office of the old place. He seemed to be expecting us.  The park came alive, one ride at a time. The kids were overjoyed as they ran from the swings, to the twist-a-whirl as one lone operator and six park guests chattered and laughed in a truly golden moment that must have always been planned for us to be there — on that day, in that time,  when a treasure simply presented itself to us and we took it.

Eagle Park is an Oklahoma Ghost town now.  The first bunch of kids, and the second are all grown and making their own memories with their own families and best friends.  One left us early, when he was twenty. Until today, in this moment, I hadn’t thought a lot about that moment.  The time when we had our own private amusement park; and we made a memory.

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24 comments on “Our Own Private Amusement Park (Eagle Park, Cache, Oklahoma)

  1. I remember Eagle park from several activities in High School. Now that I know it’s dead but possibly still standing, it’s on my a-list to photograph.

  2. [...] Our Own Private Amusement Park (beholdatinyhum.wordpress.com) [...]

  3. Paul Hill says:

    I would love to a copy of these stories on cacheok.com

    I worked at Eagle Park 68-70

    • harkatinyhum says:

      Hi Paul,

      I’m sure my parents took my brothers and me to Eagle Park during the years that you worked there.

      This is my own post, and you are welcome to share it.

      “Remembering Eagle Park” is an entry that I reblogged. It was written by another WordPress blogger. I don’t have the authority to grant permission to anyone to post his work, but the link to his blog is on the post, so you may ask him.

      Thanks. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

      LeAnn

  4. harkatinyhum says:

    Thank you American Picker fans for taking the time to visit my blog. I didn’t know that Eagle Park had been featured on the show so I couldn’t figure out why this entry had a sudden spike in views. Eagle Park was a very special place and many local folks have fond memories of that little amusement park. I have the American Pickers episode that featured Eagle Park programmed on my dvr. You all made my day!!!!

    • thomas says:

      I would love to see the locos running! I hope the park gets back up and running. If it isn’t in the planes. let me know so I may look into them.

    • Sue says:

      I am watching the episode of American Pickers right now with Eagle Park in it.
      I belong to Roller Coaster Enthusiasts.
      I have I interests in any Amusement Parks past or present. Past is so sad to me.

      • harkatinyhum says:

        Tonight I called Wayne, the owner of Eagle Park who is on American Pickers. I wanted to tell him about the messages on my post so he could contact the ones who are interested in visiting or buying some of the items. I told him what I wrote about, and that I visited Eagle Park in 1987. He said that was impossible because they never started the rides up again after they closed in 1985. I described to him the man who operated the rides for us that day. He said you described my dad, but he died in 1982. That is just crazy!

  5. Laura J. Simurda says:

    Hi LeAnn: It’s so funny that there is an unrelated pic of the casino in Asbury Park. My own private amusement park.

  6. harkatinyhum says:

    Okay, I am watching the show. The guy said that the park closed in 85. My friend and I definitely went there after that year — probably in May of 87. That means it had been closed for at least two years before we went there with the kids. So I wonder who the man was who took us around and why he allowed the kids to ride the rides? That makes the memory even sweeter and more mysterious.

  7. Steven Iversen says:

    In the American Pickers episode, they showed some old photos of the park taken in the 50’s or early 60’s. In one of those photos. I noticed a streetcar body (Trolley car) that could have been used as a ticket booth or consession stand. Is the streetcar body still there?

    • harkatinyhum says:

      Steven,

      I have not been to Eagle Park since the 1980s. But from what I saw on the American Pickers episode about Eagle Park, I would be willing to bet that most of the items that were shown on the episode are probably still there. Of course that is with the exception of the items that were purchased on the episode. I have no way of knowing for sure. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to contact the owner and ask him. Good luck!

    • harkatinyhum says:

      Steven,

      Wayne said to tell you that the street car is still there but he does not know if it is for sale.

      • Steven Iversen says:

        I am not interested in buying the car. I am a street railway historian. I am interested in learning the history of the car, where it once operated, who built it, and how it got there. I am possible interested in preserving the car for display at a museum.
        Would it be possible if i could see the car in person?

      • harkatinyhum says:

        I’m guessing that it would be possible, but I can’t answer for Wayne. If you like, you can email me your contact info, and I’ll pass it on to Wayne for you. Myrnaskeen@Yahoo.com

  8. chaucey66 says:

    My ol’man is really interested in buying one of your Steam Engines. Pleas get ahold of us at 918-842-0188 & ask for Brady.
    THANK YOU
    BRADY

    • harkatinyhum says:

      I do not own Eagle Park. I only visited there in the 1980s. But I called Wayne, the person who does on it and the guy who was on American Pickers and I told him that you were interested and I gave him your phone number.

      • Jill says:

        I saw Eagle Park on American Pickers tonight. Delighted to find ur blog, the story of making a memory, and the posts and comments from everyone! I’ve never been anywhere near Eagle Park, but something about this story just got me. So cool that you contacted Wayne. Reading all of this made me feel nostalgic for something I’ve never even had or experienced. :)

      • harkatinyhum says:

        Thank you. It’s nice that so many people identify with the spirit of Eagle Park. We were blessed to have been there for what probably really was the very last time those rides were ever operated; and for what I now know to be very mysterious circumstances.

  9. Helga says:

    We lived in Lawton, OK from 1982 -1985 and we had the same experience at Eagle park. The same old man you described came out and cranked up the rides for our kids, 3 to 5 years old at the time. What a beautiful time we had at this magical spot! We visited the park a few park during those years back then.

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