State Library Of Florida: Ephemera Collection, Springs
Brochure advertising Paradise Park, a segregated recreation area at Silver Springs. The brochure lists attractions available to visitors and tells the legend of the bridal chamber underwater at the spring.
Paradise Park was a segregated African-American resort located about a mile down the Silver River from the popular Silver Springs attraction near Ocala, Florida. The park was developed by Carl Ray and W.M. "Shorty" Davidson, co-owners of Silver Springs for nearly four decades. The park opened May 20, 1949, and remained open until 1969. African-American families, tour buses and church groups came from all over Florida and the United States to visit the attraction. Amenities included a pavilion with a dance floor and jukebox, a swimming area with a sandy beach, tropical landscaping and space for softball and other games. Like its counterpart Silver Springs, Paradise Park featured glass-bottom boat tours that introduced visitors to the beauty of the Silver River. Easter egg hunts, baptisms and picnics were common, and at Christmas Santa Claus would cruise down the river on a glass-bottom boat to pass out candy, nuts and fruit for the children. Beauty contests were sponsored each Labor Day by the American Legion. Herpetologist Ross Allen even set up a reptile exhibit at the park, similar to the one located upriver at Silver Springs.