Idora Park book chronicles ‘story’ of artifacts in museum

Local News

Behind every piece is a story of where it came from

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – There are more than 1,200 pieces in the Idora Park museum operated by Jim and Toni Amey of Canfield Township. And behind every piece is a story of where it came from, some of which the Amey’s have now put into a book.

An example of where Jim and Toni Amey get the artifacts for their museum happened Tuesday afternoon when Austintown’s John Simpkins showed up unannounced with a donation.

“This is a sticker I happened to save some 40 years ago, I guess,” Simpkins said.

The Amey’s started their Idora Park collection in 1993 and have put some of their collecting stories into a book titled Nucked: Misadventurers with the Idora Park Experience NinjasA memoir…sort of. “Nucked” is a fictional character they made up. It’s short for knucklehead.

“He goofs up everything, but he’s got some incredible abilities to do other things like help us find Idora Park artifacts,” Jim Amey said.

Like a boat from Idora’s Lost River Ride. Part of the story is fiction.

“And Jim and Nuck go on an adventure to find a sunken boat that happens to be the only known remaining Lost Riverboat,” Toni Amey explained.

The truth is, Jim found the boat in Austintown after deciding to go door to door through a neighborhood where he heard it could be found.

“I go to the second house, nobody’s there. I leave a flyer, I’m walking away and the woman comes out. To make a long story short, it was in her backyard,” Jim Amey said.

Another story is how the Amey’s came to get Idora Park’s old stone drinking fountain, which dates back to 1899 and was there when Idora opened.

“It was against odds that we were able to get the water fountain and the way we were able to get the water fountain. The way people close to us pulled together to help us because, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to make that happen,” Toni Amey said.

In 2014, the Amey’s opened the Idora Park Experience museum in a building next to their home in Canfield Township. They have so many artifacts they’ve outgrown the building. But that’s OK.

“We didn’t set out to have a museum. We didn’t set out to do most of what we’ve done, but we went down the road and here it is. We need to share some of these things because they’re important in life and it gives us purpose,” Toni Amey said.

The Idora Park Experience will have a display set up Saturday, May 1 in the center court of the Southern Park Mall. The Amey’s will give presentations at 1,3 and 5 p.m. Their book will be on sale at the mall. It can also be bought at The Idora Park Experience website.

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