Apr 13, 2011


CastleRock took place in the cavernous Dorney Park dance-hall, Castle Garden. The "Garden" was built in the early 20's and hosted all the famous big bands of that era. By the late fifties it was called CastleRock. The Philadelphia recording stars, such as Frankie Avalon and Freddy Cannon would routinely perform. By my teenage era, in the early mid 60's, it was mostly disc jockeys. The Park was free, no admission. Pay to park, and maybe a buck or so for the dance-hall.

By then the nightclub tables shown in the photograph were gone, and sitting was around the sides. There were no shootings, and rowdiness was restricted to sneaking on a ride without buying a ticket. The dance-hall overlooked the lake, it was destroyed by a fire on Thanksgiving in 1985.

reprinted from January,26,2010


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Local said...

Good piece.
Kids don't appreciate the value of history aside from the good story.
Michael, did you find recent - or any history to be relevant as a teen or in your twenties?
I remember history in school to be mostly sterile chronologies.
The History channel on TV was absolutely addictive.
Now, slightly older and having lived through a few events, we have become historians.
Sometimes it seems like the first time every time.

gary ledebur said...

In the 1960s I learned in school that history was a series of events, usually battles and wars. Terrible pedagogy. I am now reading history like crazy and recently watching Ken Burns's videos of baseball and the civil war. I highly recommend both.

Great post about CastleRock.