About me and why I built this website:
Hello, my name is Mike Costello. I’ve maintained an online presence for Cascade Park history since the very early days of the internet – 1999! In all these years, I’ve never listed who I am or why I’ve maintained this site.
My family was stationed in Europe for a few years when I was really young and we moved back to the United States when I was 5 years old. At the time, Cascade’s amusements had just been removed and the park was changing. My grandmother took me and my mother to see the park and show us around. She showed us where the various rides were and I remember particularly seeing the round building where the carousel was, in a state of disrepair. Rubble lay everywhere as many buildings had recently been demolished. I also remember seeing clusters of ride cars sitting next to the road inside the park, some being what I distinctly recognized as Whip cars that I had remembered riding at Kennywood. In the coming years, my father took my brothers and me to the park several times to walk around and show us where amusements of his childhood were located.
Fast-forward to when I was in high school and the internet was becoming a mainstay with everyone who had home computers. At the time, my mother took me to an antique store in Beaver Falls where there was a booth with boxes and boxes of postcards. I didn’t know what I was looking for but saw an index card titled New Castle, PA. I glanced and found a couple dozen postcards from the very early days of Cascade Park that shows rides and amusements I had never seen before. I was hooked and have been collecting Cascade Park (and other amusement park) postcards since. I currently have a few hundred now on just Cascade Park.
While being a big fan of Cascade Park and longing to see what it looked like in the amusement park’s heyday, I continued to watch its evolution. I saw the still operating go karts close and be removed. I went to Cascade Park events such as Back to the 50s as a child, and used other park amenities such as the swimming pool, mini golf, and Italian ice concession. Then I watched the mini golf close and the site be cleared before watching the swimming pool close and enter a sad phase of decay. I eventually witnessed other, more positive changes like the restoration of the Carousel building and the Dance Pavilion (I wish it would be renamed what it was for decades: Rainbow Terrace).
Speaking of wishes, there are other things I wish would happen to Cascade Park; things that should happen. I decided to outline them here. Previously, I wanted to keep this site as a neutral history resource, and I’ve kept my opinions to myself all this time. Now, I feel my two-decades of providing this free resource has earned me a tiny soapbox (that I doubt anyone will see). If anything, this will make me feel better knowing my opinion is out there where it could possibly be heard by those who can make an impact.