“providing fun to Iowa since 1888”
The Arnold's Park resort was established in the 1880s by W. B. Arnold, and the town of the same name came later. There were no early coasters. Following Arnold's death in 1905, the property was divided into two parts. The part containing the original amusement park passed into the hands of Dr. A. L. Peck. The park was called Peck's Park approximately from 1917 to 1945, although it came under new ownership in 1935. After subsequent sales, it was Lawler's Park (or Lawlor's--newspapers are inconsistent on the spelling) from 1946 to 1950, and then Arnolds Amusement Park beginning in 1951. This park had three roller coasters, each replacing the previous one, and built in essentially the same location. The adjacent property (to the SW) resulting from the division was developed as Stevens Beach (by 1908) and later as Benit's Park (around 1922). The owners incorporated as Lakes Amusement Company in 1935. Although under different ownership, the two amusement parks had contiguous midways and cooperated in most advertising and promotion. The two parks with the names Arnolds Park and Benit's Park continued at least until 1968. It isn't known when the parks came under joint ownership but a 1985 item suggests this happened in the early 1970s.
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Historic Arnolds Park
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