Anyone else have fond memories of this park? I sure do. It's the park that got me started on having a love affair with amusement/theme parks.
I lived 2 blocks away from the park (and could smell the hops daily too from the brewing beer). My folks would take in-town guests there all the time for the free beer and the boat ride and monorail tour of the brewrey (another catalyst for my love of monorails, the ride there).
I used to love riding the monorail over and over and over again. I remember they had to counter balance the cars with the passengers as they were the hanging style monorail cars and ya sat on seats in the middle of the cars, like a bench seat covered in vinyl. The cars used to be painted black at first, then they made them all multi colored and then I think towards the end, they were all red.
In the mid 70's they expanded the park to a small parcel of land on the other side of the train tracks (5 acres I think) and I actually remember seeing the big crane helicopters flying in the big green Sky Trolley tracks from my backyard, that was awesome to see. They added the St Louis Section with an arcade, fun house and bumper cars, the Sky Trolley monorail that took you from the front of the park to the new section across the train tracks. There you had the Ya Hoo Flume Ride, the motor boat cruise and a big aviary with birds galore flying freely inside, as well as a show or 2.
I can still remember in 1976 for the Bicentennial they had a big fireworks show from the lagoon and being that I was only 8 at the time and had to go to bed early, I can remember being in bed in the middle of the summer with my window open hearing the fireworks being shot and seeing some of them as well from my window (they were not the "in sky" fireworks but huge fountains). And if the climactic conditions were just right, the smells of the park concessions could be smelled from time to time as well, like churros and such.
That back secion of the park closed down around 1978 or so, and the park then became the Busch Bird Sanctuary for a couple years before entirely closing down in 1979 to expand the brewrey. I was so sad when they closed down. I'd ride my bike to Roscoe Blvd and just watch the construction crews tear everything up. So sad.
Unfortunately I dont have any pictures from those days that my parents took (or if there are photos I cant find them). My friend has a site with a few pictures on it, and I have my old ViewMaster reels with pictures of the park on it, but thats it. If anyone has pictures they could share, or memories, go ahead and post them, it'd be fun to hear them and see them