Euclid Beach Park Now is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and memories of Cleveland's greatest amusement park for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Since 1989, EBPN has preserved artifacts and memorabilia of the park and continues to research the park's history and share our discoveries with our members in the quarterly newsletter The Arch.
EBPN's many activities include sponsoring memorabilia shows, multimedia educational presentations, and speaking engagements. Our organization maintains an active historical archive which is continually updated and has published a book chronicling the Park's rich history. We actively support the preservation of any remaining physical artifacts from Euclid Beach Park.
We welcome your membership and appreciate your support to help preserve the memories of Euclid Beach Park for future generations. Thank You.
1 year membership is $16.00, January 1st - December 31st
Membership includes The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now's quarterly newsletter.
Send your check with your Name, Address, Phone Number and Email Address to:
Euclid Beach Park Now
P.O. Box 19535
Cleveland, Ohio 44119-0535
Or download the Membership form below.
Do you remember Euclid Beach Park, or have you heard stories about the amusement park from parents or grandparents? Help preserve the memories and history of Euclid Beach Park. EPBN collects fond memories of "the Beach" so not only will we have them preserved, but we can also make sure that Clevelanders will always be able to look back and remember Euclid Beach Park. Write or type Euclid Beach Memories and send to:
Euclid Beach Park Now
P.O. Box 19535
Cleveland, Ohio 44119-0535
Or download the Memories form below.
With your story, please include your name and contact information.
By submitting, you are agreeing to allow EBPN to use your submission as deemed necessary to further our Mission.
Are you a member of a club or organization interested in a presentation about Euclid Beach Park? Euclid Beach Park Now's resident historian and former park employee James Seman will gladly come and speak to your club or organization. Call 440-946-6539 or send an Email firstname.lastname@example.org. A nominal fee is charged.
THE ARCH Editor: John Marn
To contact via email scroll up to "CONTACT US."
Due to Covid-19 publication of The Arch was held up. These three issues were sent out in one mailing on October 26, 2020.
Park Family Profile: Howard Stoneback
Reprint of an article that appeared in the Euclid Beach Park Nuts Newsletter (predecessor to The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now’s quarterly newsletter) Issue 4, August 1990.
Howard Stone back was born in Potstown, Pennsylvania, on November 15, 1889. He was one of five children. Howard left home at the age of 13 with an eight grade education. He had left home to travel with the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. He was foreman with this company for many years. He continuously worked at engineering from age 13 till his death at the age of 69. At about the age of 60 he applied for an engineering license, but was refused for “lack of education.”
In 1923, Mr. Stoneback came to EUCLID BEACH with his first wife, Cora and their five children (Margaret, Katherine, John, Howard and Sarah) where they spent their first summer living in a three room tent at the Park’s Campground. Their youngest daughter Sarah recalls, “I was 5 ½ years old and one of my earliest recollections was going to sleep in the tent next to the Racing Coaster and hearing the sound of the cars going up the hill. The rhythmic, click, click, click . . . .”
They moved from the tent after the end of their first season. They went to a home at Beauhla Park. The Stoneback family then moved back on to the Park grounds to a home on Surrey Street. The house is still there and its porch looks directly at the area where the THRILLER coaster once thrilled us. Howard Stoneback, after many years of traveling with his job, had apparently found a home. He died, still an employee of EUCLID BEACH in 1958, thirty-five years after arriving there with his family.
He remarried in 1936 to a woman named Elvira. They had a son named William. Bill was raised within the confines of the Park, an only child, as his brother and sisters were all grown. Sarah recalls that Bill had once said to her, “Do you know that you spent the first 20 years of your life surrounded by a fence?”
Throughout the Park, there were constant signs of Howard Stoneback handiwork. He either altered, improved or designed the following: The Rocket Ships, The Mill Chute, Racing Coaster, Scenic Railway, Laff In The Dark (Note 1), Fun House and kiddie rides, Pony Cart and Over-The-Falls. Stoneback also designed the jetty to help avoid erosion. (Note that the beach, due to lack of erosion is as much as it was fifty years ago.)
Mr. Stoneback also built the Coffee Shop at the street car entrance and two of the Humphrey family homes.
He was very resourceful. Both Bill and Sarah tell how he found a way to conserve steel during World War II. As the coaster would come to the bottom of the hills, the cars would cause wear on the rails. Instead of trying to get expensive and scarce steel, Stoneback took the worn rails and put them at the top of the hills (where there was little stress). He then put the better rails on the bottom of the hills.
Mr. Stoneback was a very hard worker, Sarah remembers as a child, seeing him bent over his drawing board, as it was in their home in the early years. Later it was moved to his office elsewhere in the Park.
Bill says his Dad was never “Off the clock.” He recalls how his family would sit on the porch in the evenings, listening to the sounds of the Park, when his Dad would suddenly get on his bike and pedal off into the Park. Later, upon his return, he would speak of a ride that he ordered repaired or shut down.
What had gotten off the porch was a sound, a sound that was not quite right to his well trained ear. Mr. Stoneback always had a notebook with him and was forever taking notes. Both Sarah and Bill recall the bicycle – it had EUCLID BEACH written on the back fender.
Bill remembers following his Dad around the Park and watching him work. When he wasn’t working for the Park, which was seldom, he made furniture for his family. He carved a horse and used it as the model for the PONY CARTS in kiddie park. The horse is still in the possession of his heirs.
He seemed to always be working. Sarah said that, “we never took a vacation until the Park was closed for the season. We would then go to Hatfield, Pennsylvania, to see family. Bill and I would always miss the first week of school.” It was better for the children to miss school than for Mr. Stoneback to be needed and not be there.
“If I had to put a word to my Dad, it would be dedication, as it was with so many employees,” says Bill. “The Park was his life!” says Sarah. She claims her father was a perfectionist and had passed it on to his children. Sarah remembers handing tools to her father and cleaning up for him after the job was done. Stoneback also passed on his dedication and love of the Park to his children. His 3 sons were ride operators and two of his daughters were ticket girls.
Upon his death, he was survived by his six children and 21 grandchildren and his wife Elvira. Three children, John, Sarah and Bill, are still reliving EUCLID BEACH memories and they make sure that Howard Stoneback’s grandchildren and great grandchildren will not forget the beloved Park, or one of its most prominent, dedicated and loved employees.
Note 1: On the Dark Ride page there is an image from the United States Patent and Trademark Office of the drawing for the Revolving Barrel effect that was in the Laff In The Dark. Howard D. Stoneback's name appears on the drawing.