In 1911, the Allegheny Valley Traction Company leased land behind the present day Dairy Queen and Citgo Gas Station in North Apollo to provide a park for the community. The park was named Allison Park for the family who owned the land. Griftlo Park is still privately owned by Henry A. St. Peter’s descendants. Henry purchased Allison Park, December 30, 1922. He renamed the Park to Griftlo Park shortly afterwards because of mail mix-up with Allison Park near Pittsburgh. The name Griftlo Park combined the last syllables of Vandergrift and Apollo.
Griftlo Park featured a swimming pool, boating pond, carousal, 2 dance halls, and a bandstand, as well as a large picnic area with pavilions and a ball field. The park was a very popular place in the Valley until 1936, when much of it was destroyed by the St. Patrick’s Day flood. The last public picnics were held in 1964.
Thanks so much to Deborah Daugherty and Ed Newton for some of these pictures.