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
Amusement Park – ca. 1925-50’s? At Watson Ranch site
Open in summer of 1925
– west of 62nd Ave, south of highway, Watson Ranch marker [not there now]
This Recreational facility
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
Fountain with colored lights at night - caused traffic problems, slowed or
stopped to look
Traffic – July 1925 Resolution by county [Not a state highway
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
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
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
– 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.
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
– Annual applications for a license to operate a dance hall made to County
Included liquor and beer licenses
Nov 1934 – wrestling; March 1965 – boxing
Mainstay activity through 30’s, 40’s 50’s.
- Black soldiers & their families in WWII
June – 3-400 couples dancing at opening
– 5,000 passed through the gates; grounds often site for annual fireworks
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
How it all ended
Common name – 1733 Ballroom
- 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
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.