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(Topic ID: 271233)

The Development of a Vintage Park


By Mopar

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 36 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Mopar
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    18
    #1 5 months ago

    I was asked if I would do a thread of the park that I've developed throughout the years.
    I'll start off with a couple small segments, and if it seems to have interest, I'll continue.
    Last night I checked the older pics (slides) that I had takin', and much of the work I did,
    I hadn't takin' any pics. I took more once I finally got a digital camera maybe 10 years ago.
    When I first bought the property, the upper portion was a cornfield. First of course came
    the house, and then from trenching, I was able to obtain 20 or 25 10 wheeler loads of fill
    dirt from the town, and used it to build up the land to build a barn. I got the pipe for free,
    and used that for the barn's main frame work.

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    #2 5 months ago

    Great! I find your throwback personal park very impressive! Definitely goals for me!

    Can’t wait to see all the construction photos and how you achieved it!

    #3 5 months ago

    Once I started on the pond area, all I was thinking was a path where you wouldn't get your feet
    wet (artesian springs), a pavilion, bench swing, and I also visualized a bridge over the pond.
    A Friend came down with his dozer, and dozed out around 10" of spoil which gave me enough
    fill to build up the 7 or 8' drop to cement in the anchors for pavilion. Then a Friend brought his
    crawler over (a dozer but with a bucket) and we put 6" of stone down, then around 4" of cruiser
    run on top of the stone. That way the springs ran underneath through the 6" of stone.
    On top of the hill was the main spring. I had to keep filling in that spring with cinder blocks (that
    I was givin') to keep the crawler afloat. It took two large pellets of blocks for the crawler to be able
    to finish..
    I need to skip many steps (picture wise) because of the lack of pics I had takin'.
    Last night I took these pics from slides shown off the fridge.

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    #4 5 months ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Can’t wait to see all the construction photos and how you achieved it!

    Hey, you're not terribly far away. I should give you a heads up the next time there's a gathering.
    There's an annual happening in August, and a Friend asked about him putting on a party next
    month..
    I'll post more tomorrow. I don't want to bored too many all at once. Haha!

    #5 5 months ago

    Mopar,Thanks for starting this. When you said you might in the other thread I was looking forward too it. Definitely following!

    #6 5 months ago
    Quoted from Pinbub:

    Mopar,Thanks for starting this. When you said you might in the other thread I was looking forward too it. Definitely following!

    Your welcome.
    I got thinking and figured I was missing like maybe 10 years worth of slides of projects.
    So I looked and dug a little deeper, and found another tray of slides. In it was
    quite a few of the park, so that'll help fill in some of the gap picture wise..
    I'll post again tomorrow. (T)

    #7 5 months ago

    Okay, next after the pavilion was up, I finished the bench swing which I cemented
    in the 2 vertical 3" pipes the fall before along with the 6 pavilion anchor post..
    Then next was cementing in the 4 light post going down the path. I ran the wire
    from the red barn's 100 amp breaker box, and I already ran the lights wiring (along
    with the wire for a phone) in cased while putting the path's stone down..
    It would have been nice if I had takin' more slide pics, but I guess fortunate to
    have this early one of the bench and a couple of the lights. Maybe because 35mm slide
    film was like $10.00 for a 24 pic roll, and another $10.00 to have it developed was one of
    the reasons for limited pics. Haha..
    Edit: Only one of the light post are shown. The other is blocked by the brush.
    Also, next was the bird house I believe. Hard to exactly remember. These slides weren't
    in perfect order. I remember that bird house being very heavy. Me in the crawler bucket is
    how it got mounted..

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    #8 5 months ago

    Surely, I had other projects going on up above at the house, but next for the pond was fabricating
    the bridge. A Friend living in the sticks had a run down house trailer out back on his property. We burned
    it down and after stripping the wood off of the beams, between a torch and a grinder, I was able to get
    sections of four 20 ft. beams, and two 30 ft. beams. Because the beams doubled up at the axles, got an extra
    20 ft. beam off of each side, and that's how I was able to get 140 ft. worth of beam. I knew the bridge had to be
    70 ft., and just got lucky that it came out to exactly 140 ft. of beam I was able to get from the trailer..
    So I borrowed a flat bed trailer, and brought the sections of beam to the Red Barn which was pretty much
    empty at the time. With jigs that I rigged up, I built a 30' section of the bridge, then on top of that I built
    a 20' section, then on that another 20' section so each lower section was more less a tamplet for the
    section being built on top of it. That made certain that each section was the exact same width.
    I took an 80" or so long paper and made a blue print where 1"=1 ft.
    This way I could precisely place each cross beam (which I use 2" thick wall pipe), and 2" pipe used for
    the floor crossovers, and not have them interfere with each other along with the upcoming 1" vertical piping
    used for the verticals for the hand railings. Wish I had pics of the sections while in the barn, but I didn't
    see any.
    Then in Fall, with the help of 7 working buddies (we had a few brews after), the eight of us carried
    and lined up the sections on the path going down to the pond. I had (still have) a 50' and 150' welding
    extensions for the stick welder and welded up the 3 sections while they were on the stoned path.
    Sorry I had to write so much, but that's because of the lack of pics to do the explaining.
    If anyone is still interested, I'll write up a couple more post tomorrow..
    Edit: In the pic, I used U channels every 4 ft. that came from the trailer. Later, for extra strength, I added
    2" cross pipe in between each of the U channels. I got the pipe for free from old torn down greenhouses.
    I can't always remember exactly how I did things until I take another look at the pics after posting when
    they're larger..
    Edit: I have to edit again. The 2" crossover pipe is already welded. I alternated the U channel and pipe
    2 to 1. I now remember not having enough U channel so I used the pipe also by using 2 U channels
    then 1 pipe. I later put the crossover pipe for the floor boards every two ft..

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    #9 5 months ago

    A disc golf course would be AMAZING on that property

    #10 5 months ago

    I was hoping you would start this thread. Keep going. You've made me strongly consider restoring park playground equipment.

    #11 5 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    A disc golf course would be AMAZING on that property

    I play the Mini Golf once in a while, but that's about it. Had to look up disc golf,
    and yes, looks to be a good Summer game..

    #12 5 months ago
    Quoted from edward472:

    You've made me strongly consider restoring park playground equipment.

    Yea, if you get a chance to get any vintage playground equipment, not a bad move grabbing it.
    So many have been scrapped..
    While first working for the village, one of the parks had a push Merry-go-Round that was missing
    two of the bench seats, and one of the hand railings. It wasn't anywhere near safe. That was the
    first piece I was able to acquire and was the start of a few others.
    It's been an enjoyable Summer hobby..

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    #13 5 months ago

    Thanks for continuing the journey! I have a few questions for you if you don't mind. Am I correct in assuming this is private land or basically part of your backyard that you built this on? Were you required to get any specific permits to build? It looks like it took a ton of work to get to this point, but it looks great and would be a great place to unwind after a ling day. The retro vibe is fantastic and makes me want to start shopping for used playground equipment, and I don't have kids. Wonder if the city ould let me put a rocket ship slide in my backyard.

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    #14 5 months ago
    Quoted from curiusgeorge:

    . Am I correct in assuming this is private land or basically part of your backyard that you built this on? Were you required to get any specific permits to build? It looks like it took a ton of work to get to this point, but it looks great and would be a great place to unwind after a ling day. The retro vibe is fantastic and makes me want to start shopping for used playground equipment, and I don't have kids. Wonder if the city ould let me put a rocket ship slide in my backyard.

    Hey Curius, you're the one that got the journey started!
    Yes, this is my property. I have a lower backyard that can't be seen
    from the front, and the park area can't be seen from the backyard,
    so I didn't get permits for anything out back, and most I don't think
    I would of had to..
    So you live in the city limits? I got to know the vintage playground
    equipment a little bit and I believe that's a "Miracle" Rocket Slide.
    Being in the city limits, you probably would have to get a permit for
    that size piece, but to be truthful I'd be a little surprise if you could
    find one. By any chance, do you know where one might be?
    I think maybe it would be just as good if you were able to get a push
    Merry-go-Round, or tall vintage metal slide, and even tall swings are
    getting scarce to see. During gatherings, it seems the Kids like the
    Merry-go-Round and the slide best, but it seems the vintage stuff is
    no longer too easy to find..
    I got lucky and all but one piece came from my hometown. I was able
    to save them from the scrap yard..
    I have a huge disassembled swing set. If you were closer, you could
    have it. I just didn't want it to be scrapped..

    #15 5 months ago

    Before you posted pictures of your park, I hadn't really thought about the rocket slide or other vintage playground equipment. I guess it struck a nerve as I grow older and got me reminiscing about my youth and some of the parks I visited as a child. There was a rocket slide in a park near where I grew up, so I think I'll drive by a few parks tommorrow that I remember spending some time at. If it's still there, I'll snap some picks. There used to a small regional chain store called Gordman's in Omaha that had indoor play areas in the store with playground equipment shaped like animals that I've seen go up for sale every once in awhile.

    For some peculiar reason I now want to buy a mid 70's station wagon, load it up with people, and head for Deadwood, SD or the Grand Canyon.

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    #16 5 months ago
    Quoted from curiusgeorge:

    There was a rocket slide in a park near where I grew up, so I think I'll drive by a few parks tommorrow that I remember spending some time at. If it's still there, I'll snap some picks.

    I can't remember where, but I know there's at least one Rocket Slide still set up. It's
    huge. It has two long slides running off of it. It was in an article on line, and I believe
    it was put up in 1971. It said that that town cherished it. I looked up the municiple
    phone number and talked with the person in charge of grounds (or maybe Mayor, can't
    remember) and let them know that I thought it was great that they kept the Rocket
    Slide and how well they kept it maintained. He said that they never plan on taking it
    down.I'll see if I can run across that article..
    Yea, if that Rocket Slide happens to still be up, I sure would like to see pics. Actually,
    I wouldn't mind seeing pics of any vintage playground equipment that's still in use.
    If you google in "Vintage Playground Equipment, it shows many older pics of equipment
    in the parks and school yards. Some of the playground equipment from the early 1900s
    is unbelievable. Some were very dangerous..
    Edit: I actually think I emailed (not called) the town that has the Rocket Slide. No big deal,
    I just like to be accurate..

    #17 5 months ago
    Quoted from Mopar:

    I can't remember where, but I know there's at least one Rocket Slide still set up. It's
    huge. It has two long slides running off of it. It was in an article on line, and I believe
    it was put up in 1971. It said that that town cherished it. I looked up the municiple
    phone number and talked with the person in charge of grounds (or maybe Mayor, can't
    remember) and let them know that I thought it was great that they kept the Rocket
    Slide and how well they kept it maintained. He said that they never plan on taking it
    down.I'll see if I can run across that article..
    Yea, if that Rocket Slide happens to still be up, I sure would like to see pics. Actually,
    I wouldn't mind seeing pics of any vintage playground equipment that's still in use.
    If you google in "Vintage Playground Equipment, it shows many older pics of equipment
    in the parks and school yards. Some of the playground equipment from the early 1900s
    is unbelievable. Some were very dangerous..
    Edit: I actually think I emailed (not called) the town that has the Rocket Slide. No big deal,
    I just like to be accurate..

    If I make a road trip up for the big coin op party at your place can I go down to the pond and ride the paddle boats Fixing ball bowlers all night long and reshaping the land during the daylight. How do you find the time?

    #18 5 months ago

    Hey Bill, if you did happen to make it over for the February Party, I'll have to pick up a
    small ski doo for you to ride on the pond..
    Actually, I usually work on the games in the Winter, and once the nicer weather comes
    around I start on outdoor projects, however, this year I extended much of the work in
    the game room to finish a ball bowler that needed a good size handful of work both
    mechanically and cosmetically, but did get her saved..

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    #19 5 months ago
    Quoted from Mopar:

    Hey Bill, if you did happen to make it over for the February Party, I'll have to pick up a
    small ski doo for you to ride on the pond..
    Actually, I usually work on the games in the Winter, and once the nicer weather comes
    around I start on outdoor projects, however, this year I extended much of the work in
    the game room to finish a ball bowler that needed a good size handful of work both
    mechanically and cosmetically, but did get her saved..
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Might be a bit chilly for the pond activities in February unless we are gonna have an ice fishing tournament. The park looks great by the way you really ought to be proud of yourself Tim. Great that you saved that ball bowler also looks like it turned out fantastic as usual.

    #20 5 months ago

    To continue from last night's post, I knew I still had the blue print (diagram) of the bridge,
    so this morning I took a pic. It's a little dirty, but because I drew it on a construction type
    of paper, it held up okay. It's not drawn at a professional type level, but the scale 1"=1ft.
    is accurate. I put it back in the barn on a shelf where it's been since I believe 1992, but this
    time it's rolled up tighter with a couple rubber bands..

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    #21 5 months ago

    After welding the bridge's sections together, I had an aluminum flat plate with one end being
    curved up, cut it in half, and used them as skis for the bridge's one end closest to the pond.
    With 1x3 tubing, I had the two skis space, and bolted together, then bolted that to the one
    end of the bridge.
    Then when the heart of Winter came (1992/1993), with a couple pipes for leverage, 3
    Friends and I slid the frame over the frozen pond. Once spring came, my neighbor gave me
    permission to use his land so the crawler could bring 20 bags or so of concrete mix to the other
    side of the pond to built the abutments for the bridges end rails to sit on. Unfortunately I don't
    have any pics of this part of the project, but here's a pic in early spring of the frame in place before
    the 2 center supports were concreted in.
    Also, this morning I took a pic of the skis I made for the one end, but for some reason it won't
    allow for me to load that certain pic. It's states that the file is too big. Any ideas?

    IMG_0204 (resized).JPG

    #22 5 months ago

    For the bridges center support abutment, I built a 4'x4'x4' box out of flake board,
    wrapped it (for strength) with a couple of turnbuckle cables, and placed it in the water
    dead center of the bridge. When ordering concrete for the basketball court behind
    the house, I ordered an extra yard, and with 5 gallon buckets and the help of Friends,
    carried the concrete over blanks on the bridge and poured the concrete into the wooden
    box. Note: just before pouring in the concrete, I bucketed out most of the water out
    the box. Of course I had help up on top for the basketball court, and I placed a couple 2.5"
    thick wall galvanize pipe (capped at the bottoms) into the concrete. I kept checking for
    true leveling until stiff. These were place there so later I could telescope 2" pipe inside
    them to put the bridges center support at the proper level. In the first pic (I think it'll
    be first) you can see the 2" support pipe.
    Edit: I might add, that Spring/Summer, I built the floor only halfway, and also the bridge's
    pavilion, and finished the 2nd half flooring the following year.

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    #23 5 months ago

    Skiing a bridge frame from across frozen pond. That's a first for me. Around here we call that redneck engineering. Also, seems like you got a lot of good friends and neighbors. I don't think my friends and neighbors would pitch in to the degree.

    #24 5 months ago
    Quoted from edward472:

    Skiing a bridge frame from across frozen pond. That's a first for me. Around here we call that redneck engineering. Also, seems like you got a lot of good friends and neighbors. I don't think my friends and neighbors would pitch in to the degree.

    While the frame was on the path, I was thinking how to get it to the other side,
    and I remember when playing cards with a Friend and his Parents is when it just
    dawned on me to slide it over the pond once frozen..
    The Friends and I were younger then. It wouldn't be so easy to round many up now..
    I actually did a few projects' engineering redneckingly. It saved money..

    #25 5 months ago

    Great thread.

    Born in '74, lived in a suburban city condominium (built in '73) for my first 27 years, that had a playground. Most older playgrounds in my area have disappeared or replaced with plastic. But my old building still has them! But the metal slide's ladder 'holes' were covered up with wood. Took these photos today.

    Never saw one of those Rocket Ship slides before, curiusgeorge, thanks! Get one, Tim!

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    #26 5 months ago

    My kids and I found another old metal slide at a semi-local park (Centennial Park, Etobicoke, ON) last summer. They complained. It was hot!

    20190723_142107 (resized).jpg

    #27 5 months ago

    I remember at my elementary school in the late 70's we had pump merry-go-rounds. they had 2 sets of bars that you pushed and pulled to go faster. It was always great when the principal came out and pushed us though.

    #28 5 months ago

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing!

    They still had this giant slide in Hancock, MA until a couple years ago. Very sad when I saw it was removed.

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    #29 5 months ago

    Here's a Giganta at Santa's Village in NH was was converted into a Nutcracker (still there)...

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    #30 5 months ago
    Quoted from Insane:

    remember at my elementary school in the late 70's we had pump merry-go-rounds. they had 2 sets of bars that you pushed and pulled to go faster. It was always great when the principal came out and pushed us though.

    I think that Mery-go-Round you mentioned is a Pull-a-Way made by Gametime.
    I've never seen one when a kid, but in late 90s/early 2000s, I was able to acquire
    one that I just got done restoring last year. I'll have more pics of it later in the thread.

    Quoted from jaytrem:

    They still had this giant slide in Hancock, MA until a couple years ago. Very sad when I saw it was removed.

    Hopefully someone grabbed that slide and saved it, but unfortunately like many others in the past,
    a good chance it got scrapped..
    Tonight I'll post some more of the development of the park..

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    #31 5 months ago

    I had a chance to buy one of those aluminum spring riders recently and thought about this thread. I thought my kid would really like it. Too bad the guy wanted way too much.

    #32 5 months ago
    Quoted from Mopar:

    Hopefully someone grabbed that slide and saved it, but unfortunately like many others in the past,
    a good chance it got scrapped..

    Unfortunately they mangled it when they took it down. Else it might have been strapped to my roof.

    #33 5 months ago

    Note: Correction. Not that it matters, but the bridge is 80' long.
    I got 4 - 30' length of rails, and 2 - 20 footers..
    Anyways, now I needed a reason to have a bridge other than walk and end up
    in thick pricker bushes. With much work (by hand), I cleared out a square spot and
    planted seed. In one of the parks on the edge of town, there was a push Merry-go-
    Round that wasn't very safe. It was missing 2 of the bench seats, and one of the hand
    rails. So a fellow worker and I cut the main pole as low as we could, and I was able
    to acquire it. Lengthen the main pole, dug a maybe 3' deep, 3' round hole. To get the
    bags of concrete to the other side of the bridge, I drove the Garden Tractor pulling
    a narrow trailer with maybe 10 bags of concrete mix. The rails didn't buckle.
    By this time it was the heart of Summer. Notice the thick Duck Weed in the pond. Before
    I straighten this out, you literally couldn't see 1 sq. inch of water..
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    1 week later
    #34 4 months ago

    Next, on the North side of the pond (the side the pravilion is on), there was a huge pile of soil and
    rocks that was left from dozing the farmland east of the pond. I had it bulldozed for fill dirt.. Three or four
    ft. from the pond on the North side was a 6 - 8 ft. drop. Between the large pile of soil and digging out
    the south side of the pond gave enough fill for the north side's lawn. Digging out the south side also prevented
    the duck weed to form any longer. The cement in the plywood form is the 1st stage of the pond's over flow.
    I only have a few pics to share. If anyone is still interested in this thread, let me know, and I'll continue..
    Anyone is also welcome to share any pics or stories of vintage playground equipment they may like to
    comment on..
    btw: wish I had a pic of that pile of soil and rocks before bulldozed. It was huge..
    Edit: I like to add. The pic with the concrete over flow, the bare ground behind the fella (a Friend) was where the
    large pile of soil sat, and was maybe 10-12 ft. high..
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    1 week later
    #35 4 months ago

    Here's a local see-saw. Doesn't look that new.

    20200715_170542.jpg
    3 weeks later
    #36 3 months ago

    Saturday was the annual August gathering at the pond, so yesterday while
    the area was still looking okay, I snapped a couple pics..

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