Monday, September 2, 2013

1907 postcard of Willow Grove Park, with lights ablaze at night

Here's a festive, hand-colored postcard for your enjoyment as Labor Day descends into dusk here on the East Coast of the United States.

The caption on the front states "NIGHT VIEW OF LAKE AND FOUNTAIN, WILLOW GROVE PARK. Photo. Copyright 1907 J.M. CANFIELD."

Willow Grove Park was a trolley amusement park in Abington Township, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1896 until 1975. For many years, it was one of the grandest amusement parks in the country. In its early decades, John Philip Sousa and his band played there annually.

According to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, J.M. Canfield "established himself there, where he became the official publisher of postcards depicting Willow Grove’s points of interest and vast music programs," from 1907 and 1909. Indeed, the text on the back of this postcard, which was printed in Saxony, states: "This is the only official post card of Willow Grove Park." is a good place to see some other vintage postcards of Willow Grove Park. Also, there's a neat, detailed post about The Girl from Montana and its mention of Willow Grove Park on

The best history of Willow Grove Park can likely be found in the Images of America book about the park that was published in 2006.

The former site of beloved trolley amusement park, by the way, is now a shopping mall.

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