Sunken Garden

1937 Sunken Gardens

The Sunken Garden was created in 1932. This area came about after the dam on Spring Creek at Park Boulevard was replaced by a newer dam which still exists to this day. When the new dam was installed, it significantly lowered the water level of Spring Lake, and the new dry areas became “Sunken Garden.”

This was a leisure area for people to relax and enjoy the good weather. There was a small seating area by the bridge in the foreground of the postcard seen here. Part of the Miniature Railroad was rerouted through this area, and the amusement center station of the Miniature Railroad was relocated next to the Mill Chute.

The center point of the Sunken Garden was the Electric Fountain. This was built by General Electric, at a cost of $75,000 ($1,303,642.34 in 2016 dollars). This fountain was the second version General Electric built – the first was built near GE’s headquarters in Schenectady, New York.  The park installed a fountain because the original pool had a fountain in the artificial lake that was adjacent to the pool. The popularity of that fountain encouraged park management to install a new fountain in the new Sunken Garden area.

The Sunken Garden and Electric Fountain opened on May 30, 1932 – Memorial Day.

The Sunken Garden remained in use until the end of 1971. With park renovations in full force, the old pool having been removed, and the Starlight Ballroom no longer in use, the Sunken Garden was closed. A little bit of the area became part of Tudor Square and Rhineland, built in 1973, and Creekside Catering, which also opened in 1973. Otherwise, most of this area remained closed from 1972-2011. In 2012, Hersheypark opened a new roller coaster, Skyrush, and constructed a path down the lake using the old path of the Miniature Railroad.