Memories of Kidd Springs Park

The July Advocate features a history piece about Kidd Springs Park.

It has been my pleasure to correspond lately with 89-year-old Harvey Herbst of Austin, who grew up at 301 S. Rosemont. Herbst is working on some delightful memoirs about growing up in Oak Cliff. I mailed him the most recent Advocate, and after reading it, he took issue with our Kidd Springs feature, which focuses on the park after 1947, when the city took over.

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Basically, Kidd Springs Park was like Six Flax in the depression era.

Here is Herbst’s description of what it was like, in his own words:

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The heyday of Kidd Springs was in the ’30s. A private amusement park, beautifully landscaped and maintained with lots of fun things for the whole family. It was fenced, and a carload of family would enter the gates after paying a modest fee (I think it was 50 cents per carload but I’m not sure of that). There was an open-air dance pavilion, a very popular place for young adults — ballroom dancing was the thing then — something modest was paid for a roll of tickets, which were collected after each number. It was an open air-pavilion but was roofed with a decorative ceiling with a number of ceiling fans. It overlooked the lake and the swimming pool. The pool was large and was fed by a cascade of water pouring from the springs. The sky slide was tall and scary! One climbed up and up and then squatted on a wooden sled-like vehicle and then sped down the slide like a roller coaster ride — very thrilling! There were concession stands of various types. My Uncle had a shooting gallery as an after-work project. A carousel, all kinds of eating places, cotton candy, popcorn and peanuts. My favorite was the “Dodge’ems” rubber bumper cars which one ran head on into the others. What fun! Families brought picnic dinners and spent hours. Parents relaxed and let kids run free, as the fenced area lent a sense of security. Fourth of July was a big day with a capacity crowd and special entertainment. On regular evenings, movies were projected on a large outdoor screen, mostly silents, as I recall they weren’t audio equipped at that time. Going to Kidd Springs was a family affair with fun for all.

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  • Colin

    Wow… that sounds like so much fun. What a sorry state Kidd Springs is in today, comparatively. Too bad the city couldn’t do a private partnership to have someone come in and redevelop KS similarly.

  • John Rose

    The good ‘ol days for sure!