Over the last 100 years or so, Oaks Park had four owners. One of the managers, John Cordray, purchased the operating company stock when laws were enacted preventing utilities from owning amusement parks in the early 1920’s. In 1925, after John Cordray passed away, Edward H. Bollinger, who started working at Oaks Park in 1905 as an electrician, purchased the stock from Mrs. Cordray. He later purchased the 44 acres of land under the park from the Portland Electric Power Company in 1943.
When Edward Bollinger passed away in 1949, ownership passed to his widow. Edward Bollinger’s son Robert purchased the park from his father’s widow. In 1984, Robert Bollinger used nearly all of his assets to create the Oaks Park Association, a non-profit organization that now maintains the Park. Over the years, Oaks Park has survived at least three major floods. At the age of 95, Robert Bollinger passed away in 2004.
Oaks Park has a midway full of games and there are amusement rides inclusing a roller coaster, a carousel, a ferris wheel, an octopus, bumper cars and go-carts. The Oaks has the oldest roller skating rink (complete with pipe organ) west of the Mississipi River as well as a dance pavilion and grassy areas for picnics. At one time there was a roller skating elephant on The Midway.
Be sure to stop by the Oaks Park Museum the next time you visit Oaks Park.