Storyland was on Highway 41, near Akers Mill Road, in Marietta, Georgia. It opened June 19, 1956, as part of a small chain of nursery-rhyme theme parks (the others were in Florida, New York, and Cape Cod), although it featured locally crafted exhibits. My parents took me here occasionally as a child and I loved it.
According to an Actual Factual Georgia report on the park, children could walk a wooded trail and interact with the likes of Little Jack Horner, Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, and Little Bo Peep. Some exhibits were static and some were animated.
I remember it being sort of a upscale attraction at that timeCovington’s Grier Sims, who worked at Lockheed
You would be able to explore Peter’s Pumpkin House, the House that Jack Built, Little Miss Muffet and that Spider, and the Shoe House where the Old Woman and her children lived. There was a toy shop, a gift shop, and the Gingerbread House where they served delights such as Hot Dogs and Ice Cream.
They even had a place in the center of “Make Believe Land” called the “Birthday House” where children could celebrate their birthdays. There were ponies to ride, animals to pet, a roller coaster, boats, midget cars, a merry-go-round, and even a train to ride. In 1956 the admission was 50 cents per person. By 1966 it was $2.00 per family.
On Saturday, July 7 & 14, 1956 “Fuzzy” Q. Jones,
a Western comedian appeared at Storyland.
In 1966 Officer Don (Don Kennedy of WSB-TV’s Popeye Club) made appearances at Storyland with “Orville the Green Dragon” puppet. Ken Johnson (Atlanta Braves pitcher) and Dr. Don Rose (WQXI radio disc jockey handed out baseballs and records. They also added a Bat Cave attraction.
The Atlanta Constitution – Atlanta, Georgia · Saturday, July 16, 1966
Also in 1966, they had Adam West and Burt Ward (Batman and Robin) signing photos and the Bat-mobile, Atlanta Braves Joe Torre, Woody Woodward, and Mack Jones, Jimmy Orr of the Baltimore Colts, and Jim Carrol of the NY Giants.
I worked there as Little Bo Peep and hosted birthday parties. We lived close and I was able to walk to work.Jo Anne Cash – Facebook
The end of October 1966 included appearances by the Great Pumpkin, King Kong, Zeke the Clown, and Atlanta Falcons: Randy Johnson, Steve Sloan, Billy Lothridge, and Billy Martin. They were also giving out prizes for kids in the best Halloween costume. The exhibits were made of durable plastic by a local artist and set up on a wooded trail. Each one would have a button or some trigger to start the audible story or rhyme. A witch’s cave was added in 1968.
It started out as the General Store we turned it into the Batcave while Batman was there. After Batman it was converted into the haunted house. We framed the interior and crumpled up huge pieces of cardboard, stapled them to the frame. We then spray painted it gray and black and put black lights and scary recordings and faces. It took the entire off season to build (winter). We spent several nights in the attic thinking up stuff to (gently) scare the kiddies. It was a fun job. 65-69John Arnold – from Facebook
Storyland must have closed around 1971 as I don’t see any newspaper ads past that date. I’ll never forget getting to meet Batman and Robin and have each of them sign an autograph for me. That was one great day! All fairy tales come to an end.
- Al St. John (1893–1963) was an American comic actor who appeared in 394 films between 1913 and 1952. Starting at Mack Sennett’s Keystone Film Company, St. John rose through the ranks to become one of the major comedy stars of the 1920s, though less than half of his starring roles still survive today. With the advent of sound drastically changing and curtailing the two-reel comedy format, St. John diversified, creating a second career for himself as a comic sidekick in Western films and ultimately developing the character of “Fuzzy Q. Jones”, for which he is best known in posterity. [Back]
- Donald J. Kennedy (born March 2, 1930) is an American radio and television personality and voice talent, whose career began in the late 1940s with a radio announcer spot on Pennsylvania station WPIC. In the mid-1950s, Kennedy was a contributor to the NBC Radio Network weekend show “Monitor,” where he developed several features, including one about a local character known as the Goat Man. Kennedy is remembered as Officer Don, the host of the long-running Atlanta children’s TV show The Popeye Club. It was seen on Channel 2 WSB-TV from 1956 to 1970. During his time at the Popeye Club, Kennedy established 96.1 WKLS (now WWPW), an Atlanta FM radio station, serving as station President and General Manager. The “K” in the call sign was for his last name. [Back]
- Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American retired actress and singer. For her performance as Veda in the 1945 Michael Curtiz film Mildred Pierce, Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema and became the earliest surviving Academy Award nominee upon the death of Angela Lansbury in October 2022 (Although Glynis Johns is the oldest living Oscar nominee). [Back]