BY SPEROS MARINOS / September 2016
This is the last of three articles by the Cumberland Township Historical Society concerning the former storybook park in our township named Fantasyland.
On the 13th of June 2016 the Cumberland Township Historical Society sponsored a walking tour of the former Fantasyland Story Book Park area.
It was mentioned that before the Battle of Gettysburg the land under the former Fantasyland Park may have been part of the historic Peter Fry farm land. Large granite boulders were and are still located on the site. It was assumed that tillable acres on this site were few if any. Surface quarry activity is evident on the southern border of the old Fantasyland site. During the Battle of Gettysburg the land between Taneytown Road and Baltimore Pike was pelted with Confederate artillery shells on the 3rd of July, 1863. Some of the former employees used metal detectors to hunt for shrapnel and unexploded shrapnel in the old Fantasyland area.
While on the walking tour some evidence of the old park was visible. About one third of the old “Pink Tram” line has been re-paved and is used as the northern path to the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center. One of the old oak trees along the path is still ringed by a paved area that was one of the paths through the “Enchanted Forest.” Near Hunt Avenue a concrete pad exists that may have been part of a maintenance building. Some old field stone foundations were found near the Gettysburg National Military Park access road. Much of the welded wire perimeter fence still stands to signify the old Fantasyland boundaries. Two of the original picnic tables are in the woods on the south end of the property. The construction workers for the new Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center obliterated some of the evidence of the old park. Virtually all of the old pathways and trails still exist. Now that the National Park Service owns the entire former Fantasyland site, the area may be explored by the general public. Please remember the opening and closing times of the park. Visiting this area in late autumn, winter or early spring is advised. The summer vegetation is too thick to walk through in most parts.
The Visitors Center Parking Lot #3 is the area of the Old Storybook entrance building. Rapunzel’s Castle and the Sky Ride were on the eastern side of the new parking lot. The Fort Apache site is on the southern side and near, if not under the new access road to the new Visitors Center. The old entrance and parking lot still exists in the new access road from Taneytown Road and the western side of Lot #3. The Ghosts of Fantasyland still exists.
A big thank you to Ruby Warren for editing and digitizing this article. Ruby is a board member of C.T.H.S., a 501c 3 registered non-profit. The society sponsors quarterly public meetings, one walking tour each spring and one site tour each summer.
For more information access our Web Site at www.cumberlandtownship.org.
Speros Marinos is a member of the Cumberland Township Historical Society.