In 1891 the Beaver Valley Traction Company, an electric streetcar line, was founded in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The new company purchased the existing track of a horse-drawn railway, retired the horses, and electrified the line. The northern terminus of the line was extended north along 4th Street to the area south of the Wallace Run ravine known as Morado. Today it’s where the Route 18 bridge crosses Wallace Run and traffic enters into northern Beaver Falls.
The area in Morado where the streetcar line ended was eventually made into a small picnic area known as Morado Springs Park or simply Morado Park. There was not much there initially but in January 1901 the Beaver Valley Traction Company decided to turn Morado Park and Junction Park, located just south of New Brighton, into first-rate picnic grounds. The company-owned parks, with dancing pavilions and a few amusement rides, would be open to the public but were generally free for employees of the streetcar company.
Morado Park featured a large dancing pavilion, a band stand, several service buildings, and a carousel ride. It was easily accessible on the streetcar line and was very popular for hosting such things as dancing events, family reunions, and company picnics. Over the years the streetcar company generally neglected the park although it remained a favorite place to relax for local residents on summer days. Attendance at the park and others like it suffered with the widespread use of the privately-owned automobile (and bus service) beginning in the 1920’s and during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The end certainly came with the closing of the streetcar line by the Beaver Valley Traction Company, which fully converted to more economical bus service, in August 1937. The park quickly fell into disuse and not much remains of it today.
To read a short article from January 1901 about the Beaver Valley Traction Company upgrading Morado Park into a “first-class picnic grounds” click on: TO PLOW THE BIG BEAVER ARTICLE.
The top of the company letterhead from Morada Park. (c1925) Full Size
A Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) train steams along the Beaver River just below Morado Park. (c1912)
Wallace Run flows though the park. (c1907)
Patrons enjoy a picnic in the park. (c1907) Full Size
A busy day at Morado Park. (c1906) Full Size
(c1915) Full Size
(c1909) Full Size
(c1916) Full Size
A train of the Fort Wayne Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) steams by the park during the winter time. (c1910)
Cathi Moore #
I have a post card with the same scene as one of your above photos. I was glad to read this article, because I didn’t know where this could of been! I had never heard of Morado Falls until I got that post card!!
Thanks for the article, & all of the other photos.
Jeff Bales Jr. #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Cathi, Thanks for the post. There are so many hidden gems and places forgotten in the area of Lawrence/Beaver County. I feel documenting the things on my website is important as finding information on something such as Morado Park seems almost impossible at times. Thanks again! Jeff
Hays Dean #
I am interrested in the old marado park pictures an any other info on area, like the boat fairies that used to dock down at river giving access to park an the old railroad stops an old pics of down behind geneva college by river going to search with metal detector an see what comes of it. Please let me know of any info u can provide. Thank you
judith sandri #
I found the last half of a sign which reads ANE tumble bug,butterfly,old mill,steel coaster. I was told it came from the Morado Springs Park, Beaver Falls,PA. I was interested in some info or pics
Chad Lilly #
Judith… that sign is more likely related to Travers Engineering of Beaver Falls. Harry Traver designed and built amusement rides & roller coasters, the most famous of which is the Tumble Bug.
Brandon Taylor #
We checked what was left of this park yesterday (7/3/14) and there seems to be nothing left from what we could tell. We went directly behind the now abandoned wave pool, and there is nothing but a dump site and a pretty steep drop off that was too dangerous to attempt. Is there more towards the river or what? I did see a large rock that looks similar to the ones from the pictures above but nothing seemed to remain but old latex gloves from people shooting up drugs.
Debbie C. #
Is the waterfall and tunnel still there, if so, is it close to the tunnel on Wallace Run road u drive under when turning?
Rick Myers #
Is there a map that shows the layout of the park and how to find what’s left today.
Sad, If they had just added parking and adjusted to the changing times it might exist today. Today it would be very popular for walking and relaxing.
Sad loss on such a beautiful area.
P.S. Does that stone tunnel with cascade still exist?