It isn’t that often anymore that you simply stumble on a long-lost relic of the American roadside, but so it was this weekend when I visited Ellicott City, Maryland. On my way to the Double T Diner, I looked up to see Old King Cole beckoning with his outstretched arm for me to enter The Enchanted Forest. Well, the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, anyway.
Upon return, I did some research, and discovered that this once-charming children’s park was the second “theme park” to open in the U. S., after the original Disneyland. The year was 1955. Those post war years when everything seemed to promise a sort of storybook future.
Well, you know the rest of the story. Eventually, as the area grew, the park was downsized, sold off and closed.
But what you don’t know is the wonderful “rest of the story” (apologies to Paul Harvey) A substantial portion of the original buildings and figurines were acquired by Clark’s Elioak Farm. I’ll let them tell the story. It’s a wonderful chance for children and the adults who once visited the original park to enjoy it again — and they deserve a huge “thank you.”