Quantcast

Northern NY couple plans cafe at site of old theme park - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Northern NY couple plans cafe at site of old theme park

Posted: Updated:
JAY, N.Y. - A popular northern New York amusement park closed in the 1970s and floods from the Ausable River did in what was left. Now, a local couple has bought the land and plans to build a cafe on the site of the old theme park.

Years ago the Land of Makebelieve in Upper Jay, New York, was a popular tourist attraction with rides and all sorts of things for kids to do. After multiple floods it closed in 1979.

"It was a favorite spot for me when I was a kid and I remember taking kids there for baby-sitting. It's magical," said Lynn Edmonds of Jay.

Tropical Storm Irene destroyed what was left of the old amusement park and the land sat unused until recently, when a couple who own a coffee roasters company wanted to do something with it.

"We are in the process of expanding into what used to be the gift shop at the Land of Makebelieve so we can open a café," said Michelle Axtell of Adirondack Mountain Coffee.

The Axtells bought the property from the Historical Society for $100 and are paying for the repairs themselves. Some memorabilia from the Land of Makebelieve was saved from floods and will be on display in the cafe.

"I think it meant a lot to the people of Jay and I think it'll mean a lot for them to see the building restored even though it's going to be a restaurant-cafe instead of the Land of Makebelieve," said Gene Nolan of Jay.

The Axtells are building their new café on the bank of the Ausable River where the Land of Makebelieve used to stand and at quite the risk. The river has flooded numerous times over the years.

"When Tropical Storm Irene came through, the building needed to be gutted. So now we need to redo the flooring and the walls. We're going to raise 3 feet to hopefully avoid flooding in the future," said Axtell.

The café will serve breakfast and lunch.

"It'll be nice to keep it alive so all the locals and the people coming through know what used to be here and how it used to be," said Axtell.

The Axtells hope to have their café up and running this fall and make the Land of Makebelieve a reality once more.

The creator of the Land of Makebelieve, Arto Monaco, worked on numerous amusement parks including helping design Disneyland. He was born and raised in Essex County.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Everything Animals

    Everything Animals

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:07:50 GMT
    Tom Hoehn joins us this morning to give us a sneak peak into the fall edition of Four Legs and a Tail Magazine.
    Tom Hoehn joins us this morning to give us a sneak peak into the fall edition of Four Legs and a Tail Magazine.
  • Rutland chase ends in crash

    Rutland chase ends in crash

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:10:36 GMT
    A Rutland-area man is behind bars after leading police on an early morning chase.
    A Rutland-area man is behind bars after leading police on an early morning chase.
  • Labor Day 15K draws a crowd

    Labor Day 15K draws a crowd

    Sunday, August 31 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-09-01 00:03:48 GMT
    Runners from all over New England made their way to Vermont this Labor Day for 15k road race.
    Runners from all over New England made their way to Vermont this Labor Day for 15k road race.
  • Essex H.S. students win award for public access show

    Essex H.S. students win award for public access show

    Sunday, August 31 2014 6:56 PM EDT2014-08-31 22:56:20 GMT
    A group of Essex High School students have taken one class to an unprecedented level.
    A group of Essex High School students have taken one class to an unprecedented level.
  • Sanders: Report shows further VA reforms needed

    Sanders: Report shows further VA reforms needed

    Sunday, August 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:45:54 GMT
    Senator Bernie Sanders says last week's report detailing problems at the Veterans Administration in Arizona are another example of why further reforms are needed.
    Senator Bernie Sanders says last week's report detailing problems at the Veterans Administration in Arizona are another example of why further reforms are needed.
  • CVF calls it a season

    CVF calls it a season

    Sunday, August 31 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:18:20 GMT
    The fair opened August 22nd and will close for the season Sunday night at midnight.
    The fair opened August 22nd and will close for the season Sunday night at midnight.
  • Maine man dies after NH mountain hike

    Maine man dies after NH mountain hike

    Authorities say a Maine hiker has died after suffering a medical emergency while climbing New Hampshire's Mount Jefferson.
    Authorities say a Maine hiker has died after suffering a medical emergency while climbing New Hampshire's Mount Jefferson.
  • Unions: FairPoint not playing fair in labor talks

    Unions: FairPoint not playing fair in labor talks

    FairPoint Communications workers in northern New England say they knew concessions were in the offing going into labor negotiations with two unions. But they say the telecommunications company isn't playing fair.
    FairPoint Communications workers in northern New England say they knew concessions were in the offing going into labor negotiations with two unions. But they say the telecommunications company isn't playing fair.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.