BRADY LAKE PARK AND BALLFIELD

LOCATION:

Brady Lake Park is located in the triangle of Brady Lake Road,

Lakeview Drive, and Park Street in the former Brady Lake village. 

 

PARK HOURS:

Brady Lake Park is open from dawn to dusk.

 

PARK AMENITIES:

The Franklin Township Trustees have partnered with Portage County Board of  Developmental Disabilities (PortageDD) to make Brady Lake Park the home field for their Special Olympics bocce, soccer, and softball teams.  PCDD installed bocce courts, and soccer fields, and reconstructed the baseball field for these purposes.   Notices will be posted when Special Olympics teams need the fields and courts, but otherwise anyone in the community is welcome to use them.  Portage DD's 100 athletes compete in swimming, softball, bocce, volleyball,  basketball, bowling, powerlifting, soccer, track and field, and competitive cheer.  Check the website calendar for dates that you can go to the park and cheer them on!!

The pavilion is available for family events and celebrations on a first come, first serve basis.  The pavilion may be reserved ahead of time, free to township residents.  Check the website calendar to see if your date is available, and then click the link to reserve or call the township hall at 330-673-2194.  We always recommend posting a notice on the pavilion the night before so nobody sets up an unreserved event before you get there.

Merry-Go-Round
Merry-Go-Round

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Trustee Kapusta at PCDD dedication ceremony
Trustee Kapusta at PCDD dedication ceremony

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Climbing area
Climbing area

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Merry-Go-Round
Merry-Go-Round

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A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT BRADY LAKE PARK:

Brady Lake Park, located between Kent and Ravenna, opened in 1891 as a beautiful, rustic resort offering picnics and pony rides to the upper class in Northeast Ohio. It closed six decades later as a tired and seedy gambling den run by the Cleveland mob.

 

To many of us, Brady Lake is just another one of Kent’s neighboring towns, but there lurks a 200-year-old legend. Rumors around the lake range from the presence of enormous fish and monsters to human bodies at the bottom. It was in 1780 when Captain Samuel Brady, an Indian scout and officer in the Continental Army, escaped from a group of local Indians and ran to the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. There, he made his famous leap across the gorge, which is now about 20 feet wide. This feat enabled him to gain time on his less agile pursuers, and he ran to Lake Brady. At the lake, he hid underwater, breathing through a hollow reed. Assuming one of their arrows had struck and killed Brady, the Indians gave up and as the story goes, Captain Brady returned to the nearest army post. 

 

Later in 1890, a man by the name of A.G. Kent from Geauga Lake purchased lakefront property there and opened an amusement park in 1891, and the area became a major recreation center in northeastern Ohio. By the early 1900s Brady Lake Amusement Park was well known as a popular local vacation spot complete with rental cabins, picnic areas, rowboats, pony rides, a roller coaster, and other attractions. Guy Lombardo and Rudy Valee, famous singers of the 1920s, were among the well-known entertainers to perform there. During the early part of this century, the area was linked to the cities of Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown, Ravenna and Pittsburgh by a system of trolleys, buses and railroads. Summer cottages also sprang up along the lake as people from all over northeastern Ohio traveled to the resort to spend their vacations.  Ownership of the amusement park changed hands several times and was even briefly owned and run by a local spiritualist group. The 1940’s were seen as the park’s downfall. During this time, the amusement park gained a reputation for being less family-friendly and more of a gambling and nightlife hotspot. There are even rumors that Cleveland mobsters were involved in the running of the park during this time.   Eventually, an anti-gambling ordinance was passed by the residents, and the Mafia was forced to leave.