Tuscaloosa once boasted its own amusement park complete with a zoo, bumper cars, and an Olympic-size swimming pool complete with a huge high dive.

Do you know the hidden history of Mimosa Park?

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Hiding in Plain Sight

The Links at Tuscaloosa may seem like a typical golf course. There are well-manicured greens and clubhouse, and the course sits next to Mimosa Lake. The Links also boasts a large apartment complex on the adjacent grounds.

Google Maps
Google Maps

To the unassuming eye (or anyone new to Tuscaloosa), it would seem that this resort-style community has always been a part of the community--but this property has its own special story.

Looking into the Past

Tuscaloosa physician Joe Shamblin opened Mimosa Park in the mid 1960's. The park sits on the land now occupied by The Links. Dr. Shamblin wanted to create a destination where Tuscaloosa families could fill their free time with swimming, golf, and more.

Tuscaloosa News Archives via Facebook
Tuscaloosa News Archives via Facebook

You can see from the old ad above that the park even had a zoo that included a lion, monkeys, and bears. Mimosa Park also offered bumper cars, a carousel, and its own restaurant.

Many Tuscaloosans have fond memories of the park's massive swimming pool. There was a huge high dive platform, too.

Mimosa Park offered paddle boat rides in the lake that was created under the direction of Dr. Shamblin--just like the golf course he personally designed.

Facebook via Jeff Misko
Facebook via Jeff Misko

Echoes of the Past

I couldn't find information on why the park closed its doors, but I was able to find this article from The Tuscaloosa News when the property changed hands.

Dr. Shamblin died in 2000, and in 2006, the property was sold to an Arkansas company that renovated the golf course and built the apartment complex we know today.

Do you have memories from Mimosa Park? Do you know why the park closed? Message me with our station app chat and let me know.

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