Popcorn Ball and Bicycle Rentals

The Popcorn Ball rented bicycles in addition to selling snacks. The ball stood at the west end of The Strip, in the area where the Visitor's Bureau's office is located. It was later moved farther west on the street. The ball was in business during the 1930s.

The Popcorn Ball rented bicycles in addition to selling snacks. The ball stood at the west end of The Strip, in the area where the Visitor’s Bureau’s office is located.

This sign is located at N41 51.593 W80 57.308.

It’s a popcorn ball, no, it’s a Sno-Cone:

One of the strangest shops to ever do business on The Strip was “The Popcorn Ball,” a round-shaped concessions shop finished with stucco to look like a popcorn ball, or Sno-Cone. It stood

secondary popcorn ball photoA 1935 Geneva City Directory credits this business to a Mr. Neil. Clara Jolly, who was married to Heber Spencer in the 1930s and operated Youngstown Manor to the east of the Popcorn Ball, probably rented the novelty to enterprising persons.

Clara Bennett (left) and her sister-in-law, Josephine Farnbauer in front of the Popcorn Ball.

In addition to hawking popcorn, peanuts and other snacks, the ball provided bicycle rentals. The rental business was run by Clara Jolly and her sons, Robert Bennett and Edward Bennett Sr.

Robert and Edward Bennett, with their sister, Sally Spencer. There was a bicycle track on the property east of Jolly Drive.

Sally Spencer (far right) on one of the Cushman Scooter rentals at the Popcorn Ball. At left is Valerie Ivory and in the middle is Donna Rigney, Sally’s cousin.

What became of the Popcorn Ball?

According to Janis Salcfas, Clara Jolly’s great-niece, Clara donated it to Spencer High School on Route 20 in Geneva. It was placed next to the football field, behind the school, and used as a concession stand and storage building for football . It deteriorated and was removed in the 1970s.



Our guests remember:

Pirl Beach

I spent the summer of 1942 in Pirl Beach (at age 16) and worked part time for the manager pulling weeds and such. Also swam every day. My Pittsburgh relatives had reserved a cottage there for many years. My aunt and cousins stayed. My uncle commuted weekly in his Buick. The Pirl Beach manager used a Model T Ford truck for his chores.

Ken Ford

Memories of Ford's

Most of my summer childhood memories are at Ford’s! My parents met there right at the picnic table. We vacationed there every summer along with my grandparents and great aunt and uncle until they passed away. We made amazing friends there that we still vacation with on Putnam Drive!! I could never thank the Payne’s enough for my childhood memories. Playing Indians in the huge back yard, solving make-believe mysteries, playing release and listening to everyone playing penny poker when my sister and I should have been sleeping. I now bring my son to Geneva every summer. He is the 5th generation at Geneva!

Sara Turner Campos

Chestnut Grove

My extended family and I vacationed at Chestnut Grove from 1948-1964. Being from McKeesport, it was a dream come true to go there every summer. I currently live in Michigan but go back occasionally. Not too long ago, I found a post card of some of the cottages where the swings and horseshoe pit were and a local artist is making me a 24×36 painting of it. I can't wait to see it! So many wonderful memories and so few things left as reminders. It is nice to know that others still remember and care.

Michelle Turner ( a Chestnut Grove Kid)


We vacationed every summer at Idle-A-While in the late '50s and early '60s, partially because my aunt was the receptionist there. I often got to ring the bell summoning guests to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, which was staffed by co-eds from various universities. Evenings were spent playing bingo, fascination and other games on the strip or bridge and poker back at Idle-A-While. Great memories.
John Bloom

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