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Joyland fire caused about $15,000 in damage

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, August 6, 2012, at 3:53 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at 10:06 p.m.

Joyland timeline

1947 – Brothers Harold and Herb Ottaway and their father, Lester Ottaway, buy a 40-acre tract of land in south Wichita and open Joyland Amusement Park. Attractions include a miniature train and wooden roller coaster.

1970s – Stan and Margaret Nelson – now Margaret Spear – buy the park.2004 – Joyland closes.

2006 – New operators reopen the park for a season, but lawsuits and noise complaints prevent the park from opening the next year.

July 13, 2010 – Stan Nelson dies.

March 2011 – Alex East starts the Joyland Restoration Project, a grassroots effort to purchase and renovate the park.

June 2012 – Restore Hope receives its nonprofit status.

More information about Restore Hope and the Joyland Restoration Project is available at www.joylandrestorationproject.org. Details on the project and donating are also on Facebook.

A weekend fire at Joyland Amusement Park caused about $15,000 in damage, a fire official said Monday.

Wichita fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said a maintenance building sustained a $10,000 structural loss and $5,000 to its contents when a fire started shortly before 7 p.m. at the park, 2801 S. Hillside.

The 20-by-40-foot, two-story building stored some maintenance materials and supplies, but was mostly empty, fire officials said. Bevis said the fire started inside of the building, on the north side of the defunct amusement park.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Bevis said. Wichita fire battalion chief John Turner said Saturday at the scene that materials stored inside of the building may have ignited, causing the blaze. Someone driving by the park on I-135 on Saturday called 911 to report smoke seen coming from the area, he said.

Joyland was abandoned in 2006 after owner Margaret Spear and her late husband, Stan Nelson, closed the park for its final season. Several buildings have been damaged by arsonists and vandals since the park shut down.

The park is currently up for sale for $1 million.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com.

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