History of Sherman’s Amusement Park
Named for its creator, Frank Sherman, the amusement park opened in 1921 and reached its peak in the mid-20th century before waning as a tourist draw in the Southern Adirondacks. By the time it closed for good in the early 2010s, it was open mainly for weddings and parties.
The beginning of Caroga Lake Music Festival
Kyle Barrett Price, Founder & Artistic Director of Caroga Arts Collective, spent his childhood summers in Caroga Lake where his grandmother resides on West Caroga Lake. Price and his family frequently walked to Sherman’s Amusement Park from his grandmother’s camp and took rides on the Carousel and Ferris Wheel growing up.
When Price was a rising senior at Cleveland Institute of Music, his dream of bringing his friends to play chamber music in Caroga Lake became a reality when he founded the Caroga Lake Music Festival in 2012. In its inaugural season, he invited seven string musician friends for a weeklong residency in Caroga Lake – all seven musicians stayed at Price’s grandmother’s home sleeping on sofas and double beds.
Thanks to the generosity of the Caroga Chapel, Price and the musicians rehearsed and performed their first full concert in August 2012.
Caroga Arts presents a “Sherman’s Revival series” concerts at Sherman’s
In the summer of 2017, Caroga Arts began to breathe new life into Sherman’s through presenting the “Sherman’s Revival Series” concerts and events at the property, opening up the old bumper-car pavilion near the waterfront as its principal venue. Since then, Caroga Arts volunteers, artists and staff have been caretaking the once abandoned property. Caroga Arts has brought an array of renowned artists to Sherman’s including NBC’s The Voice winner Sawyer Fredericks, teen jazz sensation Matthew Whitaker, and America’s Got Talent magician Steven Brundage.
Donation of Sherman’s Park to Caroga Arts Collective
In December 2019, local resident and owner of the former Sherman’s Amusement Park George Abdella donated the historic property to Caroga Arts. Caroga Arts plans to undertake major updates to the property carrying it into a sought-after destination in the Southern Adirondacks.
Since then, Kyle has been passionate about making the arts accessible in the Adirondacks while building special connections with artists and communities and opening new doors of creative possibilities in both the art and the community.
Read more about the donation of Sherman’s Park here.