CANFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — Fans of Youngstown nostalgia have been able to get their Idora Park fix for the past nine years from a private collection in Canfield. If you’ve always wanted to see it, you’d better check it out next weekend because it may be the last chance.
“This is our Idora Park identical elephant,” said one of the owners of Idora Experience Jim Amey.
Wednesday afternoon, Jim demonstrated the elephant — the newest addition to the Idora Park Experience, the likes of which once sat atop the Lost River ride. Enthusiasts can see it on July 2-3 when the museum opens again.
“And also this is my feature. I put the mouth on there. So the mouth opens and closes. He stops and he wags his ears at you,” said Jim.
“We just pulled the trigger, said it’s time,” said the other owner, Toni Amey.
In a different part of the building, Jim was joined by his wife Toni to explain that on July 5 their house on South Turner Road in Canfield Township and the adjacent building that houses the Idora memorabilia will be put for sale.
“You know we get help around the time to open but the rest of the year is on us, and it’s a big job, and it’s hard,” said Toni.
They’re hoping the Mahoning Valley Historical Society takes the bulk of the collection.
“They don’t have the space. They don’t have the means. So they’ve known for a just a little while that we’re going to do this and we’ve been working with them,” said Toni.
But what if the house sells quickly and they have to move fast?
“We’ll have no choice but to probably call an auctioneer and do the last thing we want to do. We’ll keep some things. Even if we have to put it in storage,” said Toni.
Why not rent a warehouse and store it all there?
“We have funded this entire thing out of our own pockets. I mean literally drained IRA’s to do this on our own. So we’re not in a position financially to continue to do that, to go get that warehouse. I mean that’s what this was,” said Toni.
Canfield Township also allows them to open only a few days a year.
“It really limits our opportunities to even try and break even and in fact, we have not broken even in a single year,” said Toni.
Where will the Ameys go? Well, they’re not exactly sure yet. But they’re hoping, maybe, somewhere in Columbiana County.