Photograph © 2007 Edward Miller Used by Permission

Fern Brook Park showing trolley in 1938

The early railroad and trolley systems which served the Wyoming Valley often created picnic grounds (later amusement parks) along their rail lines to stimulate passenger traffic. 

The largest examples on the west side of the Susquehanna River were the Lehigh Valley Picnic Grounds (later Hanson’s) at Harvey's Lake and Fern Brook in Dallas.  On the east side, Sans Souci began as a trolley park along the Hanover-Nanticoke trolley line.  Another example was the long-forgotten Mountain Park, on Wilkes-Barre Mountain, created by the Central of New Jersey railroad. 

Oddly, while Fern Brook Park served the Valley for nearly 50 years, no substantial history of the park is available.  There have been a handful of newspaper accounts about the park - often overlooking the park’s early history - and almost no photographic history has been uncovered.  The following is a basic framework for the park’s history.

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Copyright 2007 F. Charles Petrillo