Clio Logo
J. B. Crowley built Luna Park in Charleston, West Virginia in 1912 on the West Side of Elk River. The amusement park featured a golf course and many rides and games of skill and chance. Luna Park was home to seven acres of entertainment that was enjoyed by the masses and saw thousands of visitors every season in its short 11-year history.

  • This photo shows the main entrance to Luna Park as it was in 1912.
  • Luna Park pool
  • Park layout
Luna Park was built on the West Side of Charleston West Virginia in 1912. It was one of many parks designed in a similar fashion across the US at the time. It had a large public pool, rides and attractions, and games. The park was widely popular and was accessed by streetcar that traveled to it directly. The park hosted live entertainment, featured a skating rink and a dance hall. Luna Park served as a community meeting place and was a defining feature of the culture of Charleston in the early 20th century. It was also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors from around the region flocked to Luna Park as the car became more popular and family vacationing was on the rise.  Admission to the park cost 15 cents per person; a ride on the Royal Giant Dips roller coaster cost one dime per trip. It was a trolley park served by the Charleston Interurban Railroad Company. A local newspaper reported in 1913 that 15,000 visited the park in the afternoon, followed by an evening crowd of about 16,000; street cars were carrying passengers to and from the park at a rate of about 1200 an hour. Others arrived by steamboat.

The primary attraction at Luna Park was the 45-foot-by-100-foot community swimming pool, which held an estimated 200,000 gallons of water. Unlike most pools of that size, the Luna Park pool was not made of concrete but of “lumber and tin sheet,” according to a report by the state Department of Health. 

In May 1923, the Royal Giant Dips caught fire and was destroyed along with most of the park. Despite attempts by ownership to raise the money to rebuild Luna Park, it was never resurrected. Eventually, single family housing was constructed on the park grounds. The area is now part of Luna Park Historic District.