Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania

Lake Ariel is a village in Lake Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. It was once the site of an amusement park. The main intersection is dominated by Saint Thomas Moore Roman Catholic Church and the Howe Convenient Market.

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania, Lake Ariel was founded by settlers with the name of Jones, and thus was once known by its people as Jonestown. Although when the town began it was formed of only a few family farms, Jonestown soon expanded due to the Pennsylvania Coal Company's Gravity Railroad. It brought workers and soon businesses were needed to fulfil their needs, including a post office named Ariel, which would later lead to the change in name of the town.

Since the late 19th century through the 20th century, Lake Ariel has had various thriving businesses. There were numerous sawmills, and Lake Ariel also had different factories such as a cheese factory and a chair factory. Many locals also held jobs at the ice houses and Lake Ariel Park. Lake Ariel Park was a major tourist area for the community. It contained a pavilion for picnics and dancing. There were also rides such as a waterslide, a rollercoaster called the Cyclone, carousels, and miniature train rides. The park also had a beach where visitors could go swimming or boating. The owners of Lake Ariel Park also purchased an airplane so that their visitors could pay to get rides in the plane. The Lake Ariel Park also led to the increased popularity of the Lake Ariel Hotel which was formerly known as the Columbia Hotel. The Lake Ariel Hotel stood in disrepair for many years until it was finally torn down in 2011. Unfortunately, the Lake Ariel Park had a worse fate. Due to summer hurricanes and bad winters the park had to be closed down in the early 1950s. Some businesses did withstand the test of time. John T. Howe started his gas station in 1919, the business was passed down to his son and is still in business today. It now is called Howe Convenient Market. It is a gas station and store, but it is not in the original building. Another business that had a few changes but is still running today is the Wayne Garage. It was built in 1915, making it the oldest business in Lake Ariel. After it was sold to new owners in 1958 it was changed to a body shop and remains one today.

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