Ad from Ohio State Journal, April 14, 1905

With plans by Ingersoll, work on Indianola Park began in early 1905.

As many as 400 workers labored long hours all spring to get the park ready for a summer opening.

According to artist and Columbus historian Bill Arter, quicksand, fed by one of the artesian wells that would later provide water for the pool, intoduced a hitch in construction plans. A mule-drawn cart carrying a heavy load of construction materials drove over a patch of quicksand one morning and promptly sank to its axles. The driver cut the mules free but the cart and its load sank and vanished from sight. Supposedly, the cart and its cargo are still down there somewhere.

Opening day for Indianola Park was Thursday, June 8, 1905.

It was a sunny, humid, late spring day with a high of 76°. The flowers were in bloom and the birds were singing.

Teddy Roosevelt was President and Myron Herrick was governor.

The airplane, the automobile, and the just begun Panama Canal were the wonders of the age.

Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Jack London all had new books out in the stores.

The waltz and two-step were the dances of the day. "Yankee Doodle Boy," "In My Merry Oldsmobile," and "Wait Til the Sun Shines, Nellie" were popular songs.

Elsewhere in the world, the 20th Century was being born:

  • Albert Einstein had recently defended his Ph.D. thesis and was preparing an article on special relativity.

  • Sigmund Freud published his Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie.

  • Pablo Picasso, a struggling young artist, recieved a favorable review of his show of harlequin paintings.

  • In Asia, a new power had stepped onto the global stage. Most of Russia's fleet lay on the bottom of the Sea of Japan and the Czar requested terms from the Emperor of Japan.

  • Meanwhile, on the Black Sea, sailors aboard the Battleship Potemkin formed soviets and plotted their revolt.

Ad for Indianola Park's Grand Opening, The Ohio State Journal, June 4, 1905

Back in Columbus, citizens turned their attention to N. 4th Street and welcomed the newest addition to the city's recreational opportunities.

Postcard of Indianola Park, mailed August, 11, 1906--just 14 months after the park opened. Image is probably from sometime in the park's first season. If there's an older view of the park out there, I haven't seen it.