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Oak Cliff Question

Posted by Dock Reese 
Oak Cliff Question
July 26, 2004 02:07PM
Does anyone remember a permanent type amusement park in Oak Cliff where there were rides like over at fair park and was open year round.
I keep thinking it might have been called Stinet Park or maybe Stinnet Park ? Does anyone remember such a place with permanent rides that was operated during the late 50's and early sixtys ?
William Ridgeway
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 26, 2004 02:51PM
R.J. Stinnett rides was located across the street from the Marsalis Zoo. Mr. Stinnett died years ago, and I believe that was why the amusement park closed. There are photos of me there as a kid that were taken longer ago than I care to admit.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 26, 2004 08:53PM
I remember it. There was a ferris wheel, and a tilt-o-whirl ride. There stationary cars and motorcycles that went around on a platform, sort of like a merry-go-round. There were these little boats; they sailed around a circular tank of water--dirty water. Even as a kid, I could tell the water was dirty, and kind of smelly. I remember that I didn't want to touch the water, even though I liked to ride the boats. There were bells on those boats. You pulled a string, and the bell rang. Actually, it clanged.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 06:37AM
Had a pony ride as well. Used to pester my folks to take me there. Always loved the ferris wheel (then and now one of my favorite rides).
I recall it as being on the same side of Clarendon as the zoo, but could be mistaken. Also recall there was a train - one of the miniature "park railroads" taht often seem to be associated with zoos (often right outside the gates or in a park containing the zoo or adjacent to it). Wish that was still there - well, Fort Worth and Houston still ahve theirs, and there is even one in Lufkin. And of course in San Antonio at Brackenridge Park.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 07:18AM
I remember it being on the same side of Clarendon (North) as the Zoo also. My Mother took me there whenever she could. I rode so many things that went round and round one day that I actually got sick, was the last time I did that. I really liked the train there and also the one at Childrens Paradise down the street a few blocks. The Zoo, Fair Park, Childrens Paradise, Lake Cliff, Wee St.Andrews (sp), Kiest Park and whatever, we had some pretty nice places to go to when we were kids, not as many places as they have now but bet we had as much fun as the current crop of kiddos.......Bill Strouse
Was this included as part of the zoo admission or was this a separate operation from the dallas zoo ? What is located where the amusement park once stood ? I am in Fishkill N.Y. so I am totally out of the loop as to what is going on around the Dallas Zoo...and OC as well.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 09:06AM
I remember it being on the same side as the zoo too, Joanie. I loved those pony rides.....
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 09:41AM
Ya know what? I think we had more fun as kids because we knew how to use our imaginations. For the most part today's kids like to be entertained rather than creating their own fun. We didn't have the benefit of video games, etc. but of course we didn't have to deal with the crime on the streets that today's kids do.
I think we were happier kids.
If I remember right the rides were at/near the entrance to the Zoo. I am quite sure there was a separate fee for the rides....I have not been by the Zoo for several years so I do not really know whats in that area now......Bill Strouse
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 12:10PM
IIRC, wasn't there also an airplane ride similar to the cars except the little airplanes were suspended by chains and went around in a circle?
Well, if my recoection of where the rides were is correct, it is parking lots at this point.
I don't think there was a fee for the zoo in those days (say 1945-55 or thereabouts), or if it was, it was minescule (at elast by current numbers - maybe a dollar for adults and a quartter for kids), and i don't think there was an entry fee for the amusement park - just one for whatever rides you took.
And I do believe Teresa is right about us ahving been ahppier kids then. Also suspect she has it right about teh reasons.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 05:48PM
I remember the rides originally were across the street, south of Clarendon, from the Zoo, but were later moved to the same side as the Zoo. This was possibly around 1954/1955, but not sure.
The pony rides were always on the same side as the Zoo, as I recall.
I could be wrong because I was very young, but I surely did enjoy those smelly pony rides immensely.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 27, 2004 06:18PM
I think the part about the crime says a lot about the differences in childhood. We rode our bikes all over Oak Cliff before getting my license to drive. There just wasn't as much traffic then either.
Wee St. Andrews, the miniature course in Cockrell Hill, Wynnewood Theater, Kiest Park. Even cross town to my grandparents house on Lemon and McKinney. My brother and I would spend a lot of our summer days at the park. Mom would just tell us when to be back and not worry about it.
Of course, that's my memory of it, she was probably worried the whole time we were gone.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
July 28, 2004 09:15AM
Yes, I think there WAS an airplane ride. Your post brought it all back! I remember having to walk across some railroad tracks to get to the park. This would have been mid 1960s. Unfortunately, I don't remember the ponies. They may predate me, or maybe I was just oblivious in my childhood euporia.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
August 05, 2004 07:15AM
I especially remember Wee St. Andrews. For a miniature golf course, it was awsome. I remember the statues of the animals, and the fact that it seemed to be very spread out up and down the hill, etc. Someone put a great deal of thought and work into the layout. I think of it frequently as I drive past and see the apartments now on that little hill. Also, not far from there was what I think was one the all time great minor league ball parks, Burnett Field. Lots of great memories of both places.
Re: Oak Cliff Question
August 18, 2004 10:22PM
My Grandfather, W. O. Holton, is turning 90 next month and the family is honoring him with a surprise Birthday Party. He grew up in Oak Cliff, graduated Sunset HS '32, was a USPS Foot Carrier/Truck Delivery for 34 years and retired. Won a Aeronca Defender when he had Rheumatic Fever in Jul '42, Mechanix Illustrated and was presented it at Love Field. Was on the original DFW Airport Board of Directors and flew the first Braniff non-stop flight to Europe. I am gathering pictures to do a slide show presentation of then and now, where he lived, went to school etc... If anyone can provide some more direction I certainly would appreciate it. Also, his father-in-law William Jenning Gray was the first City of Dallas Employee to attain 50 years and Retire (Sep 1908-1958). There were some articles, in the newspaper and Life magazine, about that. Thanks to any response, Everlyn Trate
Re: Oak Cliff Question
October 02, 2012 08:09PM
Well i just saw this post and this is right up my alley. I worked at the zoo for mr stinett when i was 11 yrs old running the various rides. We had a ferris wheel, little car ride, an airplane ride on chains,merry go round, boat ride, live shetland pony ride, tilt a whirl and a train ride that ran a long way down to where we kept the horses. I worked there summers and weekends for 3yrs. I made 3 dollars a day. Wow. This was in 1957-1959. I had to tell them i was 13 to get the job but i was only 11. We had a concession trailer with hamburgers, hot dogs, cokes and pop corn which got a great deal og my 3 dollars. R. J. Stinett was an old man then and i am sure he has been gone a long tme now. He was a tough old man but fair and taught me a lot of things that i have used in life. I still have a little carney blood in me. The rides were located on the same sde of clarendon as the zoo until they were moved across the street in the 60's. Now you know. Don Davis
Re: Oak Cliff Question
October 20, 2015 08:14PM
Actually they were on the same side of the street as the zoo until the mid 60s when they were moved. The ride were owned by R J Stinnett. He gave me my first job there when I was 11 years old. I ran all of the rides and fed the ponies. I worked there for 3 years and still have a little Carni in my bllod because of that experience
Re: Oak Cliff Question
October 20, 2015 09:45PM
Greattexas Wrote:
> Actually they were on the same side of the street
> as the zoo until the mid 60s when they were moved.
> The ride were owned by R J Stinnett. He gave me my
> first job there when I was 11 years old. I ran all
> of the rides and fed the ponies. I worked there
> for 3 years and still have a little Carni in my
> bllod because of that experience

I remember the little amusement park, but mainly the ponies and the train. The set up was on the same side of Clarendon as the zoo during the 1950s when I frequented the area. There was no charge to enter the amusement park (and no gate, it was just wide open). One paid for the rides.

There was also no charge for the zoo, and again, no gate. I used to go frequently after school and on Saturdays, when I was 10-11 years old. I usually was unaccompanied by an adult. I just walked to the zoo from my home on Storey St. and walked in. Sometimes some school mates would go with me, other times I went alone.

However, I have to point out to those who posted long ago that we had a carefree childhood because there was less crime then than now are perhaps simply not aware of the crimes that took place. Crime rates were higher nationally than now, though Dallas may have been a safer city than some, right after the major clean up of the late forties early fifties. Of course, it reverted to being a high crime city within a few years.

Dave McNeely
Re: Oak Cliff Question
October 21, 2015 04:32PM
I have no recall at all about this place…maybe my distant memory is shot. However, speaking to the putrid water in the boat ride, I wouldn't have eaten at the concessions. Jim
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