While exploring some places in Mississippi, we came across this decrepit sign for Royal Land - an amusement park that has been closed since the 1970s. When I returned home I wanted to know more about it, and found this wonderful history...
Royal Land began as a heap of broken and outdated rides from the adjacent fairground, collected by "carnies" and fixed up to work again. Lloyd Royal, who owned the fairgrounds, became intrigued by this and decided to make his own non-traveling carnival here. He called it Royal Land after his last name.
The amusement park opened in the 1960s, and everything inside was obtained second hand. A roller coaster, merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, and a train ride were bought at a discount or salvaged, and cobbled back into a (mostly) working state. It was all run by an old generator that would occasionally sputter out, causing the lights to dim and the carnival music to slow to a haunting waltz before dying completely. Sometimes the rickety roller coaster wouldn't make it up the last hill and had to be pushed. Llyoyd's son Monte, who helped put Royal Land together, often had nightmares of the Ferris wheel rolling over him while he slept. I wish I could have seen this place.
Royal Land only operated for three or four years before closing down for good. Unfortunately there weren't many remnants left behind the old gate, but I'm glad I was able to read this story published here.