A Walking Tour

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The following Monarch Park Walking Tour was created by Rick Martyna of Oil City.

There are two ways to walk the tour, the first is to perform the "walk" using the Monarch Park website, the second is to actually go to the Monarch Park site and walk the grounds.  This page provides directions for performing each.

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Where is Monarch Park?

 

For driving directions to Monarch Park, click here.

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Monarch Park Plot Maps

The following plot maps show how Monarch Park's amusements were originally laid out.

(Right-click on image and select "Save picture as...".  Save to Desktop and print from there.

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Perform the Following Steps To Conduct a Walking Tour of Monarch Park

1. Download and print the printer friendly Monarch Park Plot Map by clicking here.

2. Download and print the image sheets that contain color images of the park attractions to be used with the plot map here.  Note: I recommend saving this file to your computer before printing.  The file size is 185MB and with broadband will take approx. 2 minutes to download. Ten pages, each containing two images will be printed out.   While the "rtf" file format should be usable by everyone, if you are unable to use the WalkingTourImage.rtf file, please email me and let me know what file format you need and we will attempt to accommodate you.

3. To Conduct a "Walking" tour in your home perform step 4. To Conduct a Walking tour at Monarch Park, skip to step 5.

 

To Conduct a "Walking" Tour at Home.

4. Using the Monarch Park plot map, observe the Monarch Park images in the order presented on the Plot Map.  This will show you where each attraction was located within the park.

 

To Conduct a Walking Tour at Monarch Park

5. The Monarch Park site is now privately owned by the local Izaak Walton League of America but open to the public from sunrise until sunset.  If you visit the park, it is important to treat the area with respect and to leave it cleaner than you found it.  For more information, visit heir local website at: www.iwla.org/oilcity

6. Go to Wal-Mart, etc. and purchase a pair of knee high to wader boots as some of the original park is now under swamp land.

7. Follow the driving instructions given above to Monarch Park.

8. Using the plot map and the printed images, begin your tour at the Electric Tower as described in the Walking tour notes found below.

 

A few notes on taking the walking tour: As a reference point when beginning your tour, find the square foundation of the Light Tower (Electric Tower) that is still very visible.  It now has a railing around it with memorial plaques of deceased Waltonian members.  The skeet-shooting range is where the bandstand used to be and the same road leading up to the bandstand is still there.  The brick pillar/foundations of the Restaurant are still visible to the right of the road leading to the skeet-shoot area, but better to see when there is less foliage unless you know exactly where to look.  The stream runs are still the same.

The old lake bed can still be viewed from the Izaak Walton League club house.  Across the creek and up the hill to the right, the foundations of the restaurant may still be seen ... together with the remains of the park’s cafe.  Continuing up the hill to the skeet range, the boiling spring still “boils” weakly, its water stained a bright rust color by the same bog ore that prompted the early development of the iron industry in the area.  Back down the hill, the sulphur spring still flows from a pipe, providing the venturesome with a chance to sample its presumably health-giving ... but unappetizing ... waters.  Nearby the walled streams still wander where builders of long ago intended and one may see the remains of the illuminated waterfall where the little black man fished endlessly.

The site of the gardens and the White Way have the most tangible reminders of the past, but they are also the most inaccessible.  Even the most adventurous explorer will be stopped by swamps and heavy growth.  The Whirlpool tank is still very accessible.  Immediately beyond it was the White Way.  The elaborately walled stream and concrete bridges remain in remarkable condition ... but unreachable.  In the great garden area several reminders exist.  The stone cones from which fountains sprayed are still standing but surrounded by such heavy growth that it is difficult, even in winter to see them.  In the center of the gardens equally cut off by swamp and undergrowth is the “alligator” pond, a small square brick-lined pond with sharply indented sides.

Perhaps the most surprising survivors of the gardens are plants themselves.  Japanese Iris have managed to escape from cultivation successfully, have interbred, and continue to bloom each year in the swamp.  Once very prolific, their numbers grow smaller each year as the forest encroaches.