Joyland sign comes down, one group hoping to preserve remaining items

(Courtesy: Henry Spradlin)

WICHITA, Kansas – What is considered to be the last major landmark of the Joyland Amusement Park has been taken down.

Friday afternoon, the Wichita Historic Preservation Alliance removed the sign, further signaling the end of the iconic park.

Joyland opened in 1949, and for 57 years, was considered a staple in the Wichita community.

Since the gates last opened in 2006, the park has transformed from bright lights and rides, to a place that has practically been abandoned and become a playground for vandals.

Joyland owner Margaret Nelson Spear was at the park Friday when the sign came down.

“It was sad to see it go, as you say it’s been a landmark,” said Spear.

Spear and her late husband, Stan, gained full ownership of the park over 40 years ago.

Although various fundraising efforts have been made to restore the park to its former glory, Spear says it’s highly unlikely that will ever happen.

“I think the odds are about a thousand to one that that would ever occur,” said Spear.

Spear added her desire is to sell the land the park currently sits on.

The Wichita Historic Preservation Alliance is hoping to hold on to some of the pieces of the park.

In the past month, they’ve removed items, like the carriage, the original roller coaster ticket booth and now, the Joyland sign.

All the items have been stored at the Garvey Warehouse for the time being.

Officials with the alliance have mentioned that one possible idea for the remaining items would be to put them in a travelling display to show the history of the park.



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