From amusement park to Olympic trials, Broad Ripple Park has been home to all kinds of Midwestern fun. A link has been sent to your friend’s email address.

Enjoy 10 free articles over the next 30 days. Undated photo of Broad Ripple Pool
(Photo: FILE PHOTO) In its heyday, Broad Ripple Park was unrivaled.

It had everything you could dream of: water sports, picnicking and one of the most modern amusements parks in the Midwest. It started when Jonas Huffman purchased a 60-acre tract of land from the federal government in 1822.

The Huffman farm, later owned by son, James Huffman and partner Charles Dawson, was a perfect spot for boating and picnics because of its shade trees and proximity to the White River and Central Canal.   The railroad arrived in Broad Ripple in 1883 and the following year, Broad Ripple Park was established on the land along the river banks and quickly became a mecca for swimming, boating and fishing (but never on Sunday, mind you).

The park celebrated its opening on July 4, 1884, in grand patriotic style with fireworks and balloon ascensions. The highlight was the appearance by Capt. Read more from…

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