Skate Boards

By Amanda Johnston, Assistant Director, Historical Society of Frederick County | Posted on 06.26.15 – History, Look Back, People & Places

Cue Alice Cooper’s rock anthem School’s Out. It’s time for the youth of our region to gather friends and head to Adventure Park USA in New Market to ride the new rollercoaster. Or maybe take a drive to nearby Hershey Park or Six Flags America. But back in the 1920s, Braddock Heights Amusement Park was the place to be.

Established by the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway and opened in 1896, the amusement park’s casino building featured a skating rink on its top floor. Carnival games and a bowling alley were on the lower floor. Throughout the years, new attractions were added to the park, including boat rides, a miniature steam train, a Ferris wheel, a dance pavilion, an indoor carousel, a giant wooden slide and an auditorium that showed silent movies and hosted plays.

The skating rink, shown here in the 1910s, was a beloved attraction for thousands. It was the longest continuously operated roller rink in the United States until it was destroyed by arson in 1998. The Museum of Frederick County History has memorabilia on display from the roller rink, including skating patches worn by regulars. For more information on the Braddock Heights Amusement Park, visit the “Local Voices, National Stories” exhibit at the museum or visit www.frederickhistory.org and FredCoHistory on Facebook and Twitter for more information on local history.