could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                  1733 Amusement Park

Confusion because there were two amusement parks west of Kearney

        1. Kearney Amusement Park – 1919-20-21 at Cottonmill site
                Opened July 2, 1919
                Operated summers of 1920 and 1921
                Burned March 19, 1922

        2. 1733 Amusement Park – ca. 1925-50’s? At Watson Ranch site

The Park

Open in summer of 1925

Location – west of 62nd Ave, south of highway, Watson Ranch marker [not there now]

Features of This Recreational facility


        Dance Hall - Dances – Saturday nights
                                Then Thursday – Friday - Saturday
                                Various bands –
                                      Local & from other parts of the state
                                      Dance Bands & Orchestras - 3-11 pieces

        Swimming pool – Red Cross Swimming instruction summer 1927

        Motion pictures [silent] --“Three Wise Crooks” --“Uneasy Payments”

        Fountain with colored lights at night - caused traffic problems, slowed or stopped to look

Traffic – July 1925
        Resolution by county [Not a state highway yet]
                No parking on highway half mile beginning at the corner of now 62nd Ave and Highway 30 going west
                    For any “longer than necessary to discharge or take on passengers”
                Vehicles should be driven at a speed no greater than is “reasonable and proper”

        An added problem – Because of the excellent condition of the road from the end of Watson Boulevard
            [the seedling mile] to the amusement park

                Motorists were tempted to “see what the car will do.”

                “Frequent curves in the road, the passing of several culverts and a small bridge along the route
                    not sufficient to deter some drivers from making the attempt.

                Several accidents – people have sustained bruises, cars have been smashed, fortunately no fatal accidents.
                    not necessary for anyone to park outside the Amusement Park limits.

Improvements in Years after Opening

Spring 1927 – Tourist Houses at Park

        Facility for tourists who did not have tents

        Placed just west of the large dance hall

        A long shed-like building enclosed six rooms for the sleeping quarters of the tourists and a garage for each car.
                 [original motel style of building]

Spring 1929 – More entertainment

        The dance hall was overhauled and greatly improved

        A miniature railway, operated by steam

        The mixup swing [?] and other items not specifically named or described

A New Mode of Transportation – air travel

September 1919 – A plane flew over Kearney from west to east.

        Unknown where it came from or where it was going but the fact that it flew over the city was such a rarity
             it warranted putting it in the paper.

June 1929--Word was received here that at least part of the orchestra, the Collegians, who play for a dance at 1733, would arrive by airplane.

        Things we take for granted today were once a cause for wonder and amazement.

Through the Depression and War Years

Name shortened – 1733 Park

Licensing – Annual applications for a license to operate a dance hall made to County Board
                Included liquor and beer licenses

Sports – Nov 1934 – wrestling; March 1965 – boxing

Dances – Mainstay activity through 30’s, 40’s 50’s.

Swimming pool - Black soldiers & their families in WWII

1945 –
        June – 3-400 couples dancing at opening

        July 4 – 5,000 passed through the gates; grounds often site for annual fireworks display

1946 – Original owner/operator died; property changed hands

January 14, 1947 – A couple gave a wedding dance 1733 Park. The bride employed at Kearney Creamery; groom managed a filling station and lunch room near the 1733 park.

How it all ended

1950’s – Common name – 1733 Ballroom

Summer 1951 - Got a face lift. Planted hedge and bluegrass, installed a white rail fence, painted the building and putting in a new front.

Special dances –
        Annual fireman’s ball

        March of Dimes dance for Buffalo County polio fund

        Red Cross benefit square dance

        Annual KSTC Homecoming dance

The End – I’ve been told the building was destroyed in a severe wind storm, date unknown but after December 1957.
Anyone remembering, please call me so we can add that information to our files.

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Revised: 02/04/2018