Babb's Park Rink Collectible by Hometowne
BABB’S SKATING RINK
The Congamond Lakes
West Suffield, Connecticut
Nelson Babb Sr. constructed this steel frame structure as a dance hall
in 1930 on the grounds of Babb’s Beach and Amusement Park. It replaced
a dance hall that had been converted from a horse barn. The larger
building was needed to accommodate the increasing crowds, and
materials and labor were cheap in the Great Depression economy.
The Big Band Era of the 30’s and 40’s brought nationally known bands
of the day such as Artie Shaw to Babb’s. On weekdays the hall was
opened to roller-skating, a pastime growing in popularity. The oak
dance floor was not compatible with the skate wheels and the floor had
to be sprinkled with rosin for traction. The skaters were all dusted
with rosin by the end of the evening.
In 1954 it was turned into a full time rink by laying a walnut floor
over the oak. A single story addition on three sides was complete with
skate rentals, snack bar, dining booths and spectator seating. Opening
day saw 714 customers.
Nelson Babb Jr. operated the rink until 1996. It has been idle since.
Restoration efforts have begun to save this magnificent building and
its fond memories.
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