PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For families in Pittsburgh, some of the most cherished memories come from amusement parks.
The old West View Park in West View attracted visitors for over 70 years, and recently, some local history buffs have been tracking down memorabilia from the park for a new museum on Perry Highway.READ MORE: The Natural Filtration System Movement: Rain Barrels Help You Conserve Water, And Keep Excess Water Out Of Storm Drains
“We’ve been storing things for over a decade now,” West View Historical Society President John Schalcosky told KDKA’s Kym Gable.
The park opened in 1906 and closed in 1977.
“Sometimes you luck out and something big comes around that’s once in a lifetime,” Schalcosky said.
Schalcosky showed KDKA the decorative interior panels from the park’s beloved carousel. They are being stored at the museum site while renovations to the building are underway.
Curator Tim Binz says someone who didn’t even know what they were was selling them on Facebook Marketplace.
“These were actually sitting in a barn in Donegal, Pa. since 1978. They’ve not seen the light of day for 43 years,” said Binz.
The panels, featuring Disney characters, were originally painted in 1948 by Jack Nofsinger, a graduate of the old West View High School.
Now that Schalcosky and Binz located the panels, they wanted to find Nofsinger. And so did KDKA. Through the magic of social media, Nofsinger, now 92, was located living in New Orleans, Louisiana with his daughter.READ MORE: Lawsuit Places Blame For 2 Coronavirus Cases On Washington County Home Health Care Company
KDKA’s Kym Gable talked to him via Zoom.
KDKA’s Kym Gable: The panels are in such beautiful shape. What memories do you have about painting them, about being a part of West View Park?
Nofsinger: I started there as a young boy, working there at 13-years-old as a ball boy and kind of did my art while I was even a young kid.
“From what I can see, they look to be in very good shape. I guess just being out of the elements. They look great,” Nofsinger said.
Nofsinger said he is excited that his artwork will be part of the new museum exhibits.
“That’s kind of neat. To know you were part of that. That’s kind of neat,” he said.
“It brings a new awakening to the West View history — a living breathing history, a history you can see feel and touch,” said Schalcosky
“This used to be Pittsburgh’s playground, West View. Hopefully, this will bring some of that back,” said Binz.MORE NEWS: City Of Pittsburgh Gets $4M In Transportation Funds From State
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