Ponderosa For Sale

An Ohio park that once drew country stars like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash is headed for the auction block, right down to its concert pavilion and guitar-shaped pool.

Ponderosa Park, near Salem, Ohio, is the subject of a sheriff’s sale to recover about $534,000 in unpaid real estate taxes, interest and penalties on about 114 acres.

The dilapidated 3,800-seat pavilion saw its heyday in the 1980s and ’90 with summer concerts headlined by the likes of Nelson, Cash, Merle Haggard, Faith Hill and Waylon Jennings.

Ponderosa Park, owned by a California-based company of the same name, closed in 2010 when a caretaker said costs of state-directed improvements to its wastewater treatment plant were prohibitive.

The park’s March 27 auction takes place in the Mahoning County Courthouse basement, and the property comes “as is.”

“Hopefully, someone will purchase it and bring it back into some sort of a park-type business so it brings a good tax base back to the township and the schools,” Bob McCracken, chairman of the Goshen Township trustees, told the local Vindicator.

“It has a lot of potential. It just needs a tremendous amount of cleanup,” McCracken said of the park, which is about five miles north of Salem on state Route 45.

The township has no zoning ordinance, so a new owner would face no restrictions other than county building and health department regulations.