Benton Harbor, Michigan: Eden Springs Park

An old religious community that once had an amusement park; gradually being restored. Now offers train rides.
Address:
793 M-139, Benton Harbor, MI
Directions:
East edge of the city. Entrance is on the east side of Hwy 139 just north of its intersection with E. Empire Ave.
Hours:
Summer weekends 12-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
269-927-3302
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Visitor Tips and News About Eden Springs Park

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Eden Springs Park

Happy to announce that the train rides are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays.

[Mike, 05/20/2013]
House of David Amusement Park - Eden Springs

Eden Springs, the House of David amusement park, is currently closed and is off limits to anyone. Do not attempt to trespass on this property. There is a group of railroad enthusiasts who are currently rebuilding the House of David. We are in the process of bringing back the steam trains and the buildings. The goal is to bring it back to how it was in the 1930's with the hotel, beer gardens, theater, log cabins, some rides.

We ask that you do not just go wandering around. We will be happy to give you a tour -- just stop in at the front office/railroad shops at the gate.

We will also be bringing in many different amusement park trains, from 12, 14, currently HOD is 15, inch rail and possibly 7.5 in rail. The HOD Eden Springs will pay tribute to amusement park trains as a museum, where you can come and ride the old classics that you rode when you were a kid. We currently have a campground on site 24/7 365. Go to edenspringspark.com to learn more.

[Pete Probst jr, 04/30/2010]
Religious Communes (2) and Amusement Park

This is part of an old religious commune that split into two groups about 70 years ago. No one there tried to interest anyone on the tour in becoming members. The tour is free of any sort of sermonizing, or any sort of excessive elaboration on their dogma. The original group that is next to it is The House of David. Just briefly -- There are only about 6-8 members of the Mary's City of David at this time, although the way the place is kept up you might think there were more.

They just opened the grounds to the public for tours about three years ago. There is a museum, a gift shop, and a restaurant. The tour also includes a slide show covering the history of the group and how it eventually split. They had Jazz bands, baseball teams, and much more including and amusement park and gardens. It was all very popular in it's time. Among other places you tour a small garden and several different buildings, such as the printing shop and power house.

Next door is the original group -- what is left -- about 6-8 members also I believe. They do not give tours, although much of what is there can be seen by driving around in your car. An amusement park and gardens was run by the group from 1908 or 09 until somewhere around 1974-75, and has been closed and falling into decay since then. This is not part of the tour, as it belongs to the separate House of David group. Walt Disney once visited, in the 5's and purchased one of the locomotives that was built by members for the park, and took it back to California. The architecture of some of what is still there is really great.

The front gate to it is open, but behind the old park and gardens is a trailer/camping park, in current use, where some of the old amusement park buildings that remain can be easily seen and accessed.

[Jeff, 10/01/2000]

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September 30, 2014

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