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Indiana Beach, 2005. Hoosier Hurricane Roller Coaster.
Indiana Beach, 2005. Hoosier Hurricane Roller Coaster.
It was a simple idea in 1926. Earl Spackman, who had recently purchased a cottage on the newly formed Lake Shafer with his family, wanted to build a sand beach swimming area so that visitors had a place to wade out into the cool waters of Lake Shafer. When he opened Ideal Beach with its bathhouse and small refreshment stand, he had no idea it would grow to become Indiana’s largest and most popular amusement resort and vacation playground. Thomas E. Spackman took over management of Ideal Beach from his father Earl and, in 1952, changed the name to Indiana Beach. In 2005, Indiana Beach Amusement Resort-on Lake Shafer, Monticello, Indiana-celebrates its 80th anniversary season.

When Ideal Beach first opened in 1926, Thomas Spackman was a hard-working thirteen year-old boy behind the small refreshment stand selling popcorn and Coca-Cola. He passed on the family tradition of family involvement in the park to his children. As they became old enough, their first job in the park was to pick up the empty glass Coca-Cola bottles around the facility.

“That was when you sold Coke for 5 cents a bottle, those little 8 ounce bottles,” offered Spackman’s son, Tom Spackman, Jr., General Manager of Indiana Beach.

Today, Indiana Beach provides guests of Monticello, Indiana with unlimited possibilities for fun, excitement, and entertainment.

The Sand Beach Swimming Area, which has delighted guests since 1926, is the centerpiece to one of the most unique and fun water parks in the country. The world famous Cornball Express roller coaster, voted the #1 Wooden Coaster in the World in 2002 by the users of ThemeParkCritic.com, continues to thrill guests and leave them gasping for breaths in between screams and laughter. There is a popular Kiddyland area and, Roof Garden Lounge & Teen Dance Club to dance your evenings away.

The arrival of the Aqua Theater in 1959 saw the debut of Indiana Beach’s first–ever ski show. Free to all guests of the park, the exciting ski show amazed guests with breathtaking stunts, beautiful choreography, and even a boat jumping through fire. The ski show has evolved over the years with new versions. In 2005, the all-new Water Thrill & Stunt Spectacular “Bad To The Bone” debuted. The electrifying show continues the traditions of the original, gripping audiences with incredible fire stunts, amazing high-dives, the unique Russian Swing Team and astonishing jet ski stunts.

Over the years, Earl Spackman’s vision of Ideal Beach has grown and prospered tremendously under the guidance of his son, Thomas E. Spackman, and his family.

Indiana Beach Amusement Resort has set itself apart for vacationers and daytrippers as a place to escape from the demands and pressures of the everyday world, a place where families and friends can get together for fun and create lasting memories.

With the excitement surrounding their 80th Anniversary Season and the continued addition of new attractions and entertainment, Indiana Beach shows no signs of stopping. Thomas E. Spackman and family have made it their mission to continue to prove that “…there is more than corn in Indiana!”

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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