Memphis Kiddie Park opened on May 28, 1952. It was designed and built by Stuart Wintner, a native Clevelander. In its second year of operation, Bill Applegarth came to Memphis Kiddie Park as a ride operator. The next year he became manager. Both Stuart, with his wife Lanny, and Bill, with his wife Delores, continued to run the Park together until their respective retirements. And the family tradition lives on. Now operated by Stuart and Lanny’s son and his wife, Russell and Elli, and overseen by Bill and Delores’ son-in-law, Mike, Memphis Kiddie Park continues to carry on much as it did when it first opened.
In 1952, kiddie parks (also known as “kiddielands”) were popular across North America. Cleveland had three in addition to the kiddie rides at Puritas Park and Euclid Beach. The other local kiddie parks have long since closed: Kiddieland on Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights and later Kiddieland at the Zoo. Across the country, kiddie parks also closed as land became more valuable and owners lost interest. Today, Memphis Kiddie Park is the oldest of the few remaining “kiddieland” parks in the United States.