Idora museum sets open house

Staff report


The Idora Park Experience, the museum of artifacts and memorabilia of the amusement park that once stood on Youngstown’s South Side, will be open this weekend.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is at 4450 S. Turner Road. Admission is $5.

Jim and Toni Amey, owners of the Idora Park Experience, scour the continent for pieces of the park to add to their collection. The couple recently came one step closer to a milestone.

“With the acquisition of the fourth Wildcat roller coaster car last week, we are only one car away from having a full Wildcat train,” said Jim. “The Wildcat had three trains with five cars each. I think it would be incredible for the community to see a whole Wildcat train in one place.”

While every day is an artifact-hunting day for the Ameys, they know that the most progress is made when the museum has one of its rare open houses. Jim hopes this weekend is no different when it comes to getting tips or leads.

“Every time we’re open, people come from all around to tell us about the items they have or that they know someone else has,” said Jim. “It’s a gold mine of information for us.”

It’s also a time when people are more likely to donate an artifact rather than try to sell it to the Ameys. “It’s great when people walk up and say, ‘I have this Idora item and I’d like to donate it,’” said Jim. “We’ve funded this out of our pockets, and it hasn’t always been easy. Every artifact donated helps us to get another artifact – maybe even that fifth Wildcat car.”

The Ameys hope that potential donors will be motivated by knowing that the entire collection will be donated to the Mahoning Valley Historical Society with the goal of having Idora Park Experience Museum open to the public on a full-time basis, and not just a couple of weekends a year.

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