SMITH'S IUKA DANCE GARDEN AND ROLLER RINK- Just up N. 4th, less than half a mile away from Indianola Park was G.W. Smith's Iuka Dance Garden and Roller Rink.
In two adjacent buildings on E. Northwood, between N. 4th and the Big Four railroad tracks, H.W. Smith offered patrons dancing and roller skating. Occasionally, especially in the early years, small circuses and traveling shows also played on the grounds.
The sides of Smith's buildings could be opened up in warm weather to let in cooling breezes and the scent of the fragrant rose bushes that decorated the grounds.
His operation may have begun as early as 1901 but was certainly in full swing by the time Indianola opened its gates.
Smith died in 1948 but family members kept the facility operating until 1971 when it was closed and demolished to make way for the Iuka Commons apartment complex.
VALLEY DALE BALLROOM- Out on Sunbury Road, on the east side of Columbus, the elegantly appointed Valley Dale ballroom was the place to be for music and dancing in the 1920s and 1930s.
In the Big Band era, nationally known acts like Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, and Ted Lewis made regular stops here.
BUCKEYE LAKE- Thirty-four miles east of Columbus, is Buckeye Lake. The 3,100 acre lake was created in the 1820s as a reservoir for the Ohio Canal. In 1849, it became Ohio's first state park. In 1901, the Columbus, Newark, and Buckeye Lake Interurban Railroad built an amusement park on the north shore of the lake.
Billed as "The Playground of Ohio," Buckeye Lake really took off in the 1920s. The resort's popularity grew with widespread automobile ownership which made the lake a favored destination for day trips, weekends, and vacations.
In addition to boating, fishing, and swimming, Buckeye Lake offered restaurants, hotels, bars, dancing, roller coasters, and amusement rides. Buckeye Lake's Pier Ballroom, Lake Breeze Hotel, and Crystal Swimming Pool acquired a statewide reputation. In the 1930s, it became a stop for the big bands and their singers.
More information and photos of Buckeye Lake can be found at Buckeye Lake Amusement Park.