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BlueIrishEyes
10-22-2005, 05:08 PM
I would love to hear about memories of visits to amusement parks that are closed and gone. Bertrand's Island, Bellewood in Pattenburg, Butler Park in Washington/Hunterdon County and others that are no longer there. Thanks.

JerseyDevil
10-23-2005, 02:57 AM
Welcome BlueIrishEyes. There are a lot of coll old atrractions in NJ that sadly are no l;onger here. The most famous is probably Palisades Park.

Another that is often talked about, but isn't exactly an amusement park, is Brigantine Castle.

You can check out some of the information on this great attraction on - Revisit a Legend: Birgantine Castle (http://www.frightscape.com/article1.html)

BlueIrishEyes
10-23-2005, 04:43 AM
Palisades Park is indeed famous and I visited there when I was growing up. Many of the rides were sold when the park closed to a complex in Pennsylvania. The race track/amusement park combination lasted for a short time and the area is now abandoned and the rides are idle and overgrown with weeds.

There were 3 parks in the Bayonne area, one in Singac, and several in Paterson that I can find no additional information on other than the fact they existed and once had roller coasters of some type. Numerous amusement parks were located throughout the state and only a few remain. The history of these parks in NJ and the entire northeast is a passion for my research.

I visied what remains of the Gingerbread Castle several weeks ago. The once charming place is now a shadow of its former self and the plans for restoration seem to be in a holding pattern.

davegering
10-23-2005, 11:07 AM
The Haunted Mansion in Long Branch was Another Great spot

JerseyDevil
10-24-2005, 07:49 PM
The history of these parks in NJ and the entire northeast is a passion for my research.
I was wondering if you were writing a book. I do have a NJ amuseument park book and it does include some of the lost parks in there. I worked with someone - at least on a very limited basis for a book on NJ Taverns.

BlueIrishEyes
10-24-2005, 09:02 PM
Writing a book would be a challenge and my ultimate goal. Right now I am trying to compile a list of all the lost parks. There is a website called Defunct Amusement Parks but it is grossly incomplete for many of the US States. I am concentrating on the Northeast mainly because I can drive to the sites and libraries for information. I have also discovered that memories from individuals that have visited the parks are invaluable.

I enjoy visiting the locations of closed parks and walking through the ruins of yesterday.

What is in the name of the book? I have Great American Amusement Parks and the ones by Jim Futrell but they are mostly about current parks.

When I found this site I took the opportunity to poll your readers for their memories and maybe mention some parks I have no information about.

JerseyDevil
10-24-2005, 10:01 PM
Writing a book would be a challenge and my ultimate goal. Right now I am trying to compile a list of all the lost parks. There is a website called Defunct Amusement Parks but it is grossly incomplete for many of the US States. I am concentrating on the Northeast mainly because I can drive to the sites and libraries for information. I have also discovered that memories from individuals that have visited the parks are invaluable.

I enjoy visiting the locations of closed parks and walking through the ruins of yesterday.

What is in the name of the book? I have Great American Amusement Parks and the ones by Jim Futrell but they are mostly about current parks.

The one I was referring to is the Jim Futrell book - Amusement Parks of NJ. In there it has a chapter on the history of amusement parks in NJ as well as a list of defunct ones...

Action Park; McAfee 1977 - 1996
Advenure Village; Egg Harbor 1959 - 1969
Alcyon Park; Pitman 1892 - 1945
Bayonne Kiddieland; Bayonne early 1950's - late 1960's
Bayonne Pleasure Park; Bayonne 1909 - mid-1930's
Bellwood Park; Pattenburg 1902 - 1916
Belmar Playland; Belmar 1966 - 2000
Belvidere Beach; Keansburg 1912 - 1933
Bergen Point Park/Uncle Mitty's; Bayonne early 1900's - early 1970's
Bertrand Island; Lake Hopatcong 1925 - 1983
Brigantine Castle & Amusement Pier; Brigantine 1976 - 1984
Burlington Island Park; Burlington 1910's - 1934
Captain Good Times; Turnersville 1989 - 1994
Casino Amusements; Asbury Park 1932 - 1990
Casino Arcade; Wildwood 1916 - 1980
Central Pier; Atlantic City 1921 - 1993
Children's Stroybook Farm; Parsipanny mid-1950's - late 1960's
Colombia Park; Union Hill 1919 - 1930's
Cowboy City; Farmingdale 1950's - 1966
Days of Fun; Florence 1950's - 1970
Dinosaur Beach Adventure Park; Wildwood 1996 - 1998
Dreamland Park; Elizabeth 1922 - 1939
Ed Brown's Playground; Allaire 1991 - 1999
Electric Park; Newark 1903 - 1912
Exhilarama; Voorhees 1992 - 1996
Extension Kiddieland; Trenton early 1950's - late 1960's
Fairyland; Sprinfield early 1960's - 1982
Fairy Tale Forest; Oak Ridge 1957 - 2003
Fun City; Sea Isle City 1971 - 2000
Fun Fair; Point Pleasant Beach 1965 - 1987
Fun Pier; Wildwod 1957 - 1987
Gillian's Fun Deck; Ocean City 1930 - 1987
Gingerbread Castle; Hamburg mid-1950's - late 1960's
Hartman's Park; Beach Haven 1960 - 1984
Herman's Amusements/Schiffel's; Point Pleasant Beach 1949 - 1987
Hillside Pleasure Park/Riviera Park; Belleville 1904 - 1927
Hunt's Pier; Wildwood 1957 - 1991
Kiddie Karnival; Pine Brook 1950's - 1987
Kiddieland; Pennsauken mid-1950's - mid-1960's
Kiddieland; Saddle River early 1950's - 1960's
Kids World; Long Branch 1985 - 1987
Lincoln Park; Paulsboro 1890 - 1906
Long Branch Pier; Long Branch 1902 - 1987
Marine Pier; Wildwood 1931 - 1976
Million Dollar Pier; Atlantic City 1906 - 1981
Nolan's Point; Lake Hopatcong 1920's - 1933
Ocean Pier; Wildwood 1905 - 1943
Olympic Park; Maplewood 1904 - 1965
Palace Amusements; Asbury Park 1887 - 1988
Palisades Park; Cliffside Park 1898 - 1971
Playland/Marine West/Nickels Midway Pier; Wildwood 1919 - 1998
Rendezvous Park; Atlantic City 1921 - 1924
Riverview Beach; Pennsville 1891 - 1968
Scheutzen Park; Jersey City 1875 - 1964
Sportland Pier; Wildwood 1928 - 1982
Stainton's Playland; Ocean City 1929 - 1955
Steeplehase Pier; Atlantic City 1899 - 1986
Storyland Village; Neptune City 1956 - 1962
Tivoli Pier; Atlantic City 1988 - 1995
Tumbling Dam Park; Bridgeboro 1893 - 1946
TW Sports; Egg Harbor 1994 - 2001
Warne Bros. Jungle Habitat; West Milford 1972 - 1976
Washington Park on the Delaware; Woodbury 1895 - 1913
White City; Trenton 1908 - late 1910's
Woodlyne Park; Camden 1901 - 1912
Wuest Casino; Point Pleasant Beach early 1930's - 1975

Maybe this long list will bring back some memories for people.

I'm sort of suprised at all the parks that went under in the 30 or so years.


When I found this site I took the opportunity to poll your readers for their memories and maybe mention some parks I have no information about.
Sadly at this time, the messageboard is still developing a following, so many people read, but few post. Hopefully people will contribute to this thread. The more threads there are for people to post on, the more likely people find a reason to join and hopefully stay on as a regular member.

BlueIrishEyes
10-24-2005, 10:19 PM
Thank you so much. This list has several that I do not have records for. He is also missing some and has the dates, spelling and locations wrong on one or two.

I don't just want my research to be a list, but a short history of each one including the origin, owners, rides and demise. Much of this information is available in different places but not one complete compilation exists.

People, like you, that provide forums and information are greatly appreciated and all your input is invaluable.

JerseyDevil
10-24-2005, 10:26 PM
Thank you so much. This list has several that I do not have records for. He is also missing some and has the dates, spelling and locations wrong on one or two.

I may have done the misspellings - unless you have compared them to the ones in the book. If you can post the correct information - that way the list will be accurate for others who read this thread.


I don't just want my research to be a list, but a short history of each one including the origin, owners, rides and demise. Much of this information is available in different places but not one complete compilation exists.

I understand. That would be much better. I thought this on had a little history on some of the major ones - but I guess I am wrong. Unless I have another amusement park book. I'll have to look - I have a pretty large NJ "library" and I forget which books have. :)


People, like you, that provide forums and information are greatly appreciated and all your input is invaluable.
Thanks. But with forums it's the members who provide the information. I just provide the means for people to discuss and disseminate their knowledge. :)

BlueIrishEyes
10-29-2005, 03:57 PM
Here are a few corrections to the list based on my reserach.

Bellewood Park 1904-1916 Pattenburg, NJ
Butler Park 1929-1952 Lebanon Township NJ
Gingerbread Castle 1930-1971
White City Park 1907-1921 Hamilton Twp. NJ. Not in Trenton but east of there. Also know as Spring Lake Park and Capital Park
Woodlawn Park 1922-1938 Trenton, NJ

Exhilarama was actually an amusement park within a large shopping mall in Vorhees, NJ.

Ed Brown's Playground may still be in existence. I am checking--Ed Brown owns an airport and golf course also. Will followup with additional information.

mte1961
11-09-2005, 09:13 PM
In late 1985 I had several field service calls to Fort Monmouth NJ. Once, I noticed a sign that said something about Asbury Park while driving home. The next time I was up there my service call was cut short so when I was heading home I decided to take a little detour, east at that Asbury park sign until I hit the ocean. It was snowing. I thought it would be cool to see the beach with snow on it. I thought there was a boardwalk. I had vague memories of amusment rides although I couldn't recall how I knew. I thought it would be cool to see a deserted boardwalk. But what I saw was more of a ghost town than a deserted boardwalk. It wasn't shut down for the summer it was shut down for good. I saw boarded up buildings and broken windows. I started walking and more memories came flooding back to me of kiddie rides and a fun house and a huge ferris wheel high in the sky. I saw this one building that was kind of round in the front and sort of freaked out and turned around and headed back to my car. I couldn't shake the feeling that I had been there before. Although I had a pretty good memory of all the dozens of places my parents took me as a kid. The trips to the shore. The differences between Wildwood and Atlantic City. The cheesy little storybook forest. Eating at Zaberers. But I could not recall being to Asbury Park. My parents had hundreds of pictures. Slides actually. Even as a teenager in the 70's I remember watching those slides with my younger sister who did not get to go based on the technicality that she wasn't born yet. That day was quickly forgotten as the weather got worse and the drive back to Philadelphia took 3 hours. And I did not have any more calls in that area again.

Twenty years later my mind is being hit with memories from 40 years in the past. I feel this strange need to open it up and capture some of it before it is forgotten. I start thinking of all the things I remember as a kid. The trips to amusement parks was the main thing. Before I tried remembering all that I dug as deep into my mind as I could. My earliest memories. Back all the way to nursery school. Then took a field trip back to that school. Easy to do since it is only 7 miles away. And my earliest memories cam flooding back.

Next step: Dad, where are our slides?

Two months ago my Father gives me a box with 1600+ 35mm slides in it. Divided up into 4 smaller boxes. He said someday he was going to organize them. Someday was here but it was my turn. My obsession. One at a time those 1600 slides were being fed into a borrowed scanner and 2 minutes later a picture pops up on my screen. But first the painstaking process of sorting. First by year. Then by month. Slides are stamped with month and year of development and a sequence number. But some years had 6 sets developed the same month. Sort further. Match up subjects. Make good guesses. And finally feed into the scanner.

Two days ago, in the final batch of 60 slides, November 1964, I run across some "shore" pics I can't easily identify. Me as a 3 year old on kiddie rides. A strange river. And pictures high above an amusement park with the ocean in the background. For two days I have been trying to identify that place. For two days I have been thinking I know that place. And then today while trying to work I mindlessly type in Asbury Park Carousel to a google image search. That was rather enlightening but depressing all the same. I stopped looking after about 3 pages. Another set of pics identified. Yeah there are two pics in that same bunch of a western ghost town and me and my mother on a stage coach that don't seem to fit but even before I get to ask the question it looks like there is already an answer here to that one.

Now if I could just figure out a marketing angle I would write a book or something. Until then I'll just keep rambling these memories and mention 2005 MTE just in case :)

Mark

JerseyDevil
11-09-2005, 10:36 PM
Welcome Mark - awesome story. Don;t worry - I don't think anyone has any plans of taking it. :) Even if I did ultimately take things off AboutNewJersey.com to do a story, I would give the people credit.

I have a lot of memories of attractions we used to go to when I was little. I think most, if not all are still in existance though. :)

It would be great if you can maybe start a Asbury Park thread in the shore section and post some of your Asbury Park photos. It's really sad at how run down the city and beach had become. They're starting to make headway now on improving it, but in the process they're destorying a lot of great history. :( Once your history is gone, there is no way to bring it back. It's like Palisades Park, now it's a housing development I believe. Now the only thing left are the songs and the photos.

I wish I had some of our old photos, my father used to have a lot of slides to from when I was growing up, but I'm not sure where they are. I'm going to have to do what you did and ask my father. :)

mte1961
11-10-2005, 08:41 AM
It's nice to be here.

My memories seemed like they were mostly from watching the family slide shows and hearing stories about them. Now I get bits and pieces flashing back and I can actually remember things that I don't have slides for.

My mother and father take some prodding before they start remembering things. My mom says she didn't like Asbury park because everything was too expensive and her biggest memory is of having to pay for a cup of water. So we only went there once. I couldn't start a thread but I will post the pictures once I edit them down to web size.

I thought I had been to storybook forest several times but all the pictures are really from Fantasyland in Gettysburg PA. I do have a bunch of pics from the Land Of Make Believe though.

I have pics from Steel Pier and Steeplechase Pier and Wildwood. My parents were a bit trip happy and in 1966 alone I have shots from 4 different New York amusement parks. In 1965 besides the Worlds Fair I also have another 4 or 5 different amusement park trips.

So thats why amusement parks would be a focus when I write a book about it.

Oh yeah, I have Adventure Village pics too and it doesn't seem anybody else has any.

So I'll start posting and feel free to quote me anytime :)

Mark

JerseyDevil
11-10-2005, 10:38 PM
Mark- I forgot to mention - you were the 100th member. Not that all the members are "real" posters since some were spammers who came onboard awhile ago - but I thought you should know that technically you are the 100th member. :)

As for your prize... welll... you get... ...This Post...

mte1961
11-11-2005, 08:39 AM
Mark- I forgot to mention - you were the 100th member. Not that all the members are "real" posters since some were spammers who came onboard awhile ago - but I thought you should know that technically you are the 100th member. :)

As for your prize... welll... you get... ...This Post...


Now I feel special. :)

I'm amazed that out of 1600 slides there are only a handful where I can't identify the location. I don't think any are in Jersey though.

Ok I'll give you a prize. If the attachment works right that is.

Seeya
Mark

JerseyDevil
11-11-2005, 08:46 AM
Well that has to be Brigantine Castle. :) I remember that castle - although I had never been there. I remember the commercials and I always wanted to go there. We were on our way down there the one time, but then for some reason, we didn't go.

mte1961
11-11-2005, 09:59 AM
Well that has to be Brigantine Castle. :) I remember that castle - although I had never been there. I remember the commercials and I always wanted to go there. We were on our way down there the one time, but then for some reason, we didn't go.

Back in 1980 I ran into a girl named Darlene working in the gaming area. She was from Philadelphia from the Wissahickon area, Kalos St. I think. But she was living down the shore that year to work at the castle. Darlene is one friend I had lost touch with that I was extremely surprised to see at the Brigantine Castle working.

I have been writing an autobiography and it needs some more exciting moments. And there are possible synchronistic coincidences that would never be exposed if it wasn't for the internet. Like how peoples lives may have gone in parallel after an encounter. I met Darlene on the CB radio in 1978 and I remember very little details on the circumstances. Except that she lived right around the corner on Kalos St. and that she was the best kisser I have ever encountered. But sadly only had one oppurtunity at that. And never saw her again until that day in 1980 at the Brigantine Castle.

Curiously enough, when I ran into Darlene at the Castle I was with another girl who I met in 1978 that I had finally gotten to hook up with. And there was so much I wanted to ask Darlene, like her last name, that I didn't have a chance to. How could I have asked Darlene what I wanted to with another girl right beside me?

I broke up with that girl I was seeing shortly after that wondering if my interest in Darlene might have been more apparent than I would have liked.

The Brigantine Castle was amazing. But by the time I had my first family in 1983 it was not such a good place to go and there was so much bad press about it we stayed away.

Mark

Maz
04-23-2006, 09:33 AM
You forgot about Jungle Habitat in West Milford (1972-1976)

Jersey Warren
04-25-2006, 02:50 PM
I could write a book about my visits to New Jesey's old parks and attractions.

I spent the first ten years of my life in Hackensack, which was just a 15-minute ride from Palisades Park. (The amusement park, not the town.) My father worked in construction as a young man and he became friends with a man named Angelo (the construction unions were dominated by the Irish and Italians in those days.) Angleo used to run a booth at Palisades Park where you had to knock over a pyramid of metal milk bottles with a softball to win a prize. It was right across from the Dodge-Em cars.

I still measure French fries against those at Palisades Park. They were made from real potatoes and were CRISP. They were served in a little cardboard "boat" and you ate them with a two-pronged wooden fork. McDonald's fries are but a paltry excuse for a French fry compared to PP's.

As the years went by, the park declined. They advertised heavily on New York TV and made arrangements to have buses run directly from the Port Authority bus terminal to the park. I still remember the jingle: "Skip the bother and skip the fuss [beep-beep] take a Public Service bus. Public Service sure is great, it takes you right up to the gate." As hoards of New Yorkers who looked like extras from the movie West Side Story flooded the park, people with families became afraid to take their kids there, for fear they'd wind up in the middle of a Shark stabbing a Jet in front of the roller coaster! Eventually the land became too valuable for such low-density usage and the original owner of more than half a century sold it to a developer who built condos on the spot.

The coaster at PP was the only "full-size" roller coaster I've ever been on. (Once, was enough for me! Flying doesn't phase me at all, but something about hurtling towards the ground at 60 mph unnerves me!) I also had my very first taco at PP, years before I ever saw a Taco Bell.

My grandfather's brother (who was married to my grandmother's sister!) lived in Jersey City but had a summer house at Lake Hopatcong. So, as a boy, I went to Bertrand's Island park many times while visiting them. It was a neat spot, right on the edge of the lake. It was smaller than PP, but nicer in many ways.

Though not an amusement park, my family also visited Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg many times when I was a kid. "Hansel and Gretel" warned us kids not to touch anything or the entire castle would turn to stone! Though it was probably only 30 miles from Hackensack, it always seemed to take hours on the winding, two-lane country roads. I always heard Doris Day sing "Que Sera Sera" at least once there and once again on the return ride.

Something I remember very fondly about traveling the back roads of New Jersey is a certain kind of roadside food stand I have never seen in any other state. See if anyone else remembers these, and if so, do they still have them?

Along a deserted stretch of road, you'd see a parking lot that was usually only gravel covered, not paved. Behind it, you'd see a very rustic looking building that looked like a log cabin. (Picture a facility at a state or national park and you get the idea.) These places usually had a counter with a window that opened to the outside for take out orders, and a very limited menu. (They were the forerunners of fast food places.) Most of them had a barrel on the counter filled with either lemonade or birch beer. Smaller barrels with pumps held mustard and ketchup. The menu was usually hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries as good as those at Palisades Park, and some even had Taylor Pork Roll (which we used to call Taylor ham).

And most of them had benches and picnic tables that were unlike any you see today. They were made from giant logs created by sawing the trunks of trees in half lengthwise, and then sanded very smooth and very highly varnished.

Am I remembering a vestige of forgotten Jerseyana, or do places like these still exist?

OlympicParkFan
06-01-2006, 08:10 PM
Hi,
I am new to this forum. I now live in Florida but previously lived in New Jersey and I am a great fan of roller coaster and amusement park history. I would like to add a few that I found to be missing from the lists. I don't have opening and closing dates off hand but they are now all defunct.

Arcola Park - Rochelle Park
Atlantic Beach/Bayview - Atlantic Highlands
Bayonne Pleasure Park - Bayonne
Colonial Lake Park - Colonial Lake
Crystal Lake Park - Eagle Rock, So. Orange
Fairyland - Between Patterson and Passaic - very short lived
Grandview Park - North Caldwell/Singac
Lakeside Park - Gloucester City
Newport Beach Park - East Orange
Olympia Park - Penns Grove

Most of the above had roller coasters of some type and I am presently doing an article on Wood Coasters of NJ for the Wood Coaster Fan Club. I would enjoy sharing data with Irish Blue Eyes and discussing these parks with any forum members.

Thanks and keep the thread going,
George

OlympicParkFan
06-01-2006, 08:12 PM
Hi again,
This one didn't have a roller coaster (to my knowledge) but I forgot to list Sunset Beach - Almonesson. It is my understanding that this park may still exist as a lakeside resort without the rides.

JerseyDevil
06-01-2006, 08:22 PM
Hi,
I am new to this forum. I now live in Florida but previously lived in New Jersey and I am a great fan of roller coaster and amusement park history.

Welcome to the forum and I hope you will continue to explore the messgaeboard and share your thoughts in other threads. :wave:


I would like to add a few that I found to be missing from the lists. I don't have opening and closing dates off hand but they are now all defunct.

Arcola Park - Rochelle Park
Atlantic Beach/Bayview - Atlantic Highlands
Bayonne Pleasure Park - Bayonne
Colonial Lake Park - Colonial Lake
Crystal Lake Park - Eagle Rock, So. Orange
Fairyland - Between Patterson and Passaic - very short lived
Grandview Park - North Caldwell/Singac
Lakeside Park - Gloucester City
Newport Beach Park - East Orange
Olympia Park - Penns Grove

Most of the above had roller coasters of some type and I am presently doing an article on Wood Coasters of NJ for the Wood Coaster Fan Club. I would enjoy sharing data with Irish Blue Eyes and discussing these parks with any forum members.

Thanks and keep the thread going,
George
Thank you for the additions. It's sort of sad to see all this history go away - especially places like Palisades Park. Someday places like the Steel Pier, and Seaside and Pt Pleasant and Wildwood, as well as so many others, may one day be history and have to be added to the list. :(

Jonboy
06-05-2006, 09:55 AM
I can't tell you how much I miss the Wildcat Roller Coaster at Bertrand Island. My first ride was about 1962 I was about 8 years old. I went with my cousin and my uncle in the front seat. My other cousin refused to go and I wondered why? Then I knew! The ride took off through a tunnel and was grabbed by the chain and pulled to the top of the first hill. This is my first time on any rollercoaster. I was not afraid of heights, however when the ride started down the first hill, my eyes closed, my body became stiff and I thought I was going to die. The ride approximately 1.5 minutes seem to last for 20 in my mind. I decided that day, rollercoasters were not for me. After that experience the rollercoaster caught fire in 1970 or so and as a teenager I continued to go to the park for the other rides every Tuesday and Thursday night in summer. One night as I drove into the parking lot the lights were on at the normally dark rollercoaster entrance. Could it be, this thing was working again. Not even a fire can keep it down I thought. As the night went on, my girlfriend at the time insisted we ride the thing. I mustered up all my courage and rode it for the first time in over 11 years. The anticipation climbing the first hill was almost unbearable. I was determined to not be afraid of this thing. It was just as horrible as I remembered, but I held my eyes open. For the next several years, that was the only ride I took on at the park. I would wait for the front seat and ride the coaster continuously all night long every Tuesday and Thursday night (nickel night, but it wasn't a nickel to ride the coaster). In 1980 I moved to Ft Lauderdlae, Florida and was shocked when I heard the park was closing in 1983. I could not get back in time for the end, but have never forgotten the best ride in the world. I have ridden many others such as the Cyclone at Astroland, The Dragon at Rye Playland, 6 Flags Great Adventure, Dania Beach Hurricane. None compare to PTC's Herbert P Schmeck and the Bertrand Island Rollercoaster. I will miss it. By the way, I had ridden the rollercoaster at Bertrands Island before it closed 2313 times. Jb.

OlympicParkFan
06-05-2006, 12:19 PM
Hi Jon,
I rode that coaster many times in the last 5 years of its existance. When I was younger we would go to Bertrand Island several times a year as an afternoon/evening event after a day of boating & swimming. The Lost River Mill Chute(a P.T.C. creation built the same year as the coaster-then named the Cyclone), the Circle Swing, Whip and the devilish Boomerang Ride were always the ones I rode. In the 60's they also had a AH Moon Rocket that was extremely fast and while waiting to ride the Rocket I use to watch the lift hill & second hill of the Wild Cat sway back & forth as the train traveled across the layout. John Allen of P.T.C. said that he inspected the ride in the sixites and fell through a rotted walkway. I had heard about the fire and while only confined to the tunnel & lift hill, when repaired by the park apparently it wasn't a smooth job-this resulted in that "bump" at the top of the lift as the train went over the crest. But regardless, the park on the whole was clean and maintained the fun that is now sorely missed by many.

Roadbldr '59
07-12-2006, 10:21 PM
In late 1985 I had several field service calls to Fort Monmouth NJ. Once, I noticed a sign that said something about Asbury Park while driving home. The next time I was up there my service call was cut short so when I was heading home I decided to take a little detour, east at that Asbury park sign until I hit the ocean. It was snowing. I thought it would be cool to see the beach with snow on it. I thought there was a boardwalk. I had vague memories of amusment rides although I couldn't recall how I knew. I thought it would be cool to see a deserted boardwalk. But what I saw was more of a ghost town than a deserted boardwalk. It wasn't shut down for the summer it was shut down for good. I saw boarded up buildings and broken windows. I started walking and more memories came flooding back to me of kiddie rides and a fun house and a huge ferris wheel high in the sky. I saw this one building that was kind of round in the front and sort of freaked out and turned around and headed back to my car. I couldn't shake the feeling that I had been there before. Although I had a pretty good memory of all the dozens of places my parents took me as a kid. The trips to the shore. The differences between Wildwood and Atlantic City. The cheesy little storybook forest. Eating at Zaberers. But I could not recall being to Asbury Park. My parents had hundreds of pictures. Slides actually. Even as a teenager in the 70's I remember watching those slides with my younger sister who did not get to go based on the technicality that she wasn't born yet. That day was quickly forgotten as the weather got worse and the drive back to Philadelphia took 3 hours. And I did not have any more calls in that area again.

Twenty years later my mind is being hit with memories from 40 years in the past. I feel this strange need to open it up and capture some of it before it is forgotten. I start thinking of all the things I remember as a kid. The trips to amusement parks was the main thing. Before I tried remembering all that I dug as deep into my mind as I could. My earliest memories. Back all the way to nursery school. Then took a field trip back to that school. Easy to do since it is only 7 miles away. And my earliest memories cam flooding back.

Next step: Dad, where are our slides?

Two months ago my Father gives me a box with 1600+ 35mm slides in it. Divided up into 4 smaller boxes. He said someday he was going to organize them. Someday was here but it was my turn. My obsession. One at a time those 1600 slides were being fed into a borrowed scanner and 2 minutes later a picture pops up on my screen. But first the painstaking process of sorting. First by year. Then by month. Slides are stamped with month and year of development and a sequence number. But some years had 6 sets developed the same month. Sort further. Match up subjects. Make good guesses. And finally feed into the scanner.

Two days ago, in the final batch of 60 slides, November 1964, I run across some "shore" pics I can't easily identify. Me as a 3 year old on kiddie rides. A strange river. And pictures high above an amusement park with the ocean in the background. For two days I have been trying to identify that place. For two days I have been thinking I know that place. And then today while trying to work I mindlessly type in Asbury Park Carousel to a google image search. That was rather enlightening but depressing all the same. I stopped looking after about 3 pages. Another set of pics identified. Yeah there are two pics in that same bunch of a western ghost town and me and my mother on a stage coach that don't seem to fit but even before I get to ask the question it looks like there is already an answer here to that one.

Now if I could just figure out a marketing angle I would write a book or something. Until then I'll just keep rambling these memories and mention 2005 MTE just in case :)

Mark

Scary, isn't it?

I remember in 1977 when I was 17, just a couple of years after moving out West, my Mom brought my siblings and I back to NJ to visit relatives and friends. We ended up at Asbury Park and it was the same as it had always been when I was a kid: there were the win-a-kewpie-doll games, ferris wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl common to most amusement parks, but what I liked most was the aerial cable car ride over the entire length of the boardwalk.

Then, fast forward to 1984. I was back in Jersey as an adult, again visiting friends, when we decided to drop by Asbury Park on the way to the beach further south. Our jaws dropped in horror at the abject desolation you just described above. And this was only seven years later!

Apparently Asbury died a fairly swift and painful death. Was it the legalization of gambling down in A.C., in 1978, I wonder, that killed it?

Roadbldr '59
08-03-2006, 04:30 AM
The one I was referring to is the Jim Futrell book - Amusement Parks of NJ. In there it has a chapter on the history of amusement parks in NJ as well as a list of defunct ones...

Belmar Playland; Belmar 1966 - 2000



Just a nitpick, but Belmar Playland opened in 1936, not 1966. My mom used to hang out at BP in the late 30s/early 40s... when I started going there around 1968 it had already been a fixture at 14th and Ocean for many, many years.

I'm glad I got to play Skee Ball there one last time in 2000, which did in fact turn out to be its final summer :-(.

NJFirefighter
08-21-2006, 05:48 PM
Not to be confused with Sterling Forest in New York. This was a kiddie themed park located somewhere in North Central NJ. Sorry, I really don't remember the exact location. The park consisted of several animal themed rides, and you were able to paddle around a lake in a frog shaped paddle boat. I think it closed in the late 70's or early 80's.

BlueIrishEyes
09-16-2006, 03:40 PM
First time on in a while, but I have not been idle.

The last few months, I have done more research and paid some visits to some haunts of my youth.

The Gingerbread Castle is no longer being renovated. Despite a grant from Hampton Inn to begin work, the money was soon disappaited and Frank has closed the Castle Grille and no longer pursuing fixing the Castle. The site is sad and so forlorn.

We also went to Asbury Park and the deterioration is tremendous. The once grand hotel is a shambles, but its majestic pride is evident. The carousel building still stands, the carousel long ago auctioned off in pieces. Other buildings stand in various states of disrepair, but some new condo projects seem promising. The Howard Johnson's closed it doors for the final time as a Hojo's several months ago. I don't think it was AC that killed Asbury Park. Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant are still going strong. The clientelle and lack of upkeep may have been a strong contributor. I remember going to a Doors concert there back in 68 or 69, walking the boardwalk and riding the rides. It seemingly became a ghost town overnight.

Some additional information on Arcola Park-it was built in 1926 and burned to the ground in 1929. It had numerous rides on over 20 acres. The swimming pool was the only facility to survive the fire. It operated as a swim club and finally succombed to fire in 1970.

Atlantic Beach was first know as Bay View then Joyland and finally Atlantic Beach Amusement Park. It was built in 1915 and closed after the summer season in 1940. The carousel was sold to the city of Philadelphia.

I went to Seaside also this summer and remembered a dark ride in the back of the carousel building. It was gone and no signs of the ride remain. I wrote to the Park management to ask about the ride. I received a most abrupt response saying he had no idea. No more, no offer to ask--just he didn't know. So if anyone has information on the ride, I would appreciate some additional information. Thank you.

MGRLVR
12-27-2006, 10:29 AM
Hi! I'm new to the message board. I found this discussion and hope to contribute in the future.

I'm looking for defunct carousel information for NJ and other parks. Also, any vinatage carousel images.

Thanks for the info posted on this thread so far.

Patrick Wentzel
National Carousel Association Director/Census Chairman

BlueIrishEyes
12-27-2006, 10:51 AM
How in depth do you want information? Can I assume you have the basics on the more popular ones such as the one at Asbury Park that contained a menagerie of horses by different carvers including Denzel? The carousel was eventually broken up and sold at auction in pieces.

Another carousel from Asbury Park was moved to Myrtle Beach, SC. I am not sure of it's current status. I think it is still operational--it is not the same one at the Pavillion though.

BlueIrishEyes
12-27-2006, 11:52 AM
There were several carousels at Nolan's Point on Lake Hopatcong. The first was powered by people and then converted to steam. Another electric carousel was purchased and the original went to Bertrand's Island. I do not know the demise of this one. The last carousel at Bertrand's Island came from Coney Island. I don't know it's fate after the park closed.

OlympicParkFan
01-15-2007, 10:28 PM
The BI Illions Carousel went to Circus World Florida where it was later broken up and the horses sold to collectors. The last BI carousel was an AH framed model and I have no idea what happened after the park closed. BTW the carousel before the Illions (the one from Nolan's PT?), when the Illions replaced it, the horses were thrown into the lake. They were found after the park closed, brought up by divers and sold to collectors to be refurbished. I saw these horses before they were sold and they were in remarkable shape for being underwater for 60+ years.

MGRLVR
01-16-2007, 09:09 PM
OlympicParkFan & BlueIrishEyes,

Thanks so much for the replies. I need to check back more often.

OPF, what else can you tell me about the Nolan Park machine that ended up in the lake? I'm not familiar with this machine.

BIE, I welcome all information. Yes, I have info on the most recent carousels. I am looking for photos of PTC #87 last operated at Asbury Park. The horses where sold and the machine with replacement horses operates in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Also, dates and leads on other carousels operating on the Jersey shore or surrounding areas would be great.

Thanks again for your replies.

Patrick

houdinisgirl
02-18-2007, 01:53 PM
Hello,
TW Sports was located next to The Ground Round (also no longer there) near the shore (Black horse pike). There were indoor arcade games. Outside there was a racetrack with cars and alot of big bright lights. All of the employees wore racing caps and shirts. There were no "rides" (like Ferris Wheels etc.). It was more of an entertainment center. Some friends of mine actually worked there and for a brief time during the Holiday season I was hired to sing Christmas Carols with a group of friends. I remember that the people who ran TW sports were very nice, but it was freezing cold and there were only a handful of people/kids actually there each night. Winter at the Shore...Not a popular time for outdoor activities.
Tivoli Pier was part of Ocean One Mall (directly across from Caesar's on the Boardwalk. Ocean One was a mall shaped like a huge ship (it too is gone now). Tivoli Pier was located at the very back of the mall (toward the ocean). It was set up like a casino floor (but for kids), there were arcade games, and some games of chance (but all were self contained). Kids could redeem tickets/tokens for prizes.
Exhilarama was in a building by the Echelon Mall in Voorhees NJ (it was practically attached to where the movie theater stands). Inside there was an indoor roller coaster. It was fun. Not too daring (no upside down turns or huge hills). There were arcade games, pool tables, air hockey, laser tag, ski ball. Kids could redeem tickets for prizes.
I was lucky enough as a child to visit Atlantic City before the Casinos and lucky enough to have Grandparents and a Mom that remembered the old Atlantic City. I remember the boardwalk without casinos when Million Dollar Pier, Steeple Chase Pier and Steel Pier were still standing. Going to the boardwalk was an event for the senses as a child. The smell of popcorn and peanuts and cotton candy mixed with the salt air and the old boards on the boardwalk, add to that the twinkling lights from the rides, the hawkers at each game of chance, it was amazing! Along the boardwalk where the casinos now stand were little Mom and Pop shops, souveniers, restaurants, psychics, arcade games of chance, big old wedding cake hotels, a wax museum, movie theaters and then on the other side the beautiful ocean and beach. Million Dollar Pier was actually built out over the ocean. I remember a double decker carousel that was magical. There were also shows, freak show types of exhibits "The Ape Woman". Before my time my Grandparents told me about the huge ballroom that used to sit at the end of million dollar pier, big bands would play and couples would go to dance and hear the latest big band. It was very elegant and glamourous then. Steel Pier was of course renowned for the diving horses that would climb up a very high encline ramp and then dive right off making a huge splash. I remember there was also an indoor aquarium like sea show. In the main building there were glass enclosed exhibits of various animals. One I particularly remember involved a chicken. You placed a quarter in the slot and a live chicken would play tic tac toe with you. There was also a flea circus. It was an exciting experience, one that always makes me happy to think about and of course melancholy too. I notice no one has posted in a while. Hope you are still writing your book.

rwk
02-24-2007, 12:02 AM
This was one of my favorite now defunct parks. It had several themed rides and dark rides, the Flyer rollercoaster, and more. Bud Hunt the son of the original owner sold it following 1985 and the next owner razed the Flyer, Jungleland, Pirate Ship, ghost town train around the Flyer, and mini cars under the Flyer in 1989. The Keystone Kops, Whacky Shack, Golden Nugget, Log Flume and Rapids were the only rides to survive into the '90's. Keystone was removed early 1995, and Whacky early 1996. Log Flume was removed 2001, and the Rapids 2006. The Rampaging Rapids was the final new ride added during the last year of Hunt ownership, in 1985. Vincent Kostek, the former manager from 1957-1985 passed away last June. He helped build many of the pier's rides including the Flyer in 1956-57. There are quite a few sites about this place. Also on some of those sites other defunct piers and lost rides. There are plans by Morey's Pier to revive the Golden Nugget Mine Ride, the last ride left from the Hunt's Pier era and the only built pre-1980 dark ride left in Wildwood. It was built in 1960 and closed for the last time in Sept, 1998 as well as closed in 1992, 1995.
www.mrboardwalk.net
www.funchase.com
www.darkinthepark.com Memories of Wildwood article
www.huntspier.com By Bud Hunt's granddaughter Kristen Steindl coming soon
http://ctacke.tripod.com/ Chuck's Dark Rides sound of Whacky Shack ride and Jungleland
www.laffinthedark.com Hunt's Pier article with rare interior shots of Whacky Shack and Wildwood article

I would love for anyone who sees this to visit the sites, and tell any stories they might have about Hunt's Pier-An Oceanic Wonderland. That is, if you were born in time to experience it before it went downhill post-1980's. I was born in Jan 1974, so I made it in time by the early 80's. My father who passed away Mar 1986 took us there. I can still remember riding the Golden Nugget Mine with him, walking through the Pirate Ship, riding the Ghost Town train, riding Keystone Kops. I live with my mom, her friend, brother near Dorney Park in Allentown, PA where I grew up just to the west of the Turnpike in an 1880's house but renovated by us after dad passed. There is video of Hunt's Pier on Youtube from 1986 and 1988. Just type Wildwood 1986 and Hunt's Pier 1988.

sweethonesty
02-24-2007, 09:39 PM
Hi,
I am new to this forum. I now live in Florida but previously lived in New Jersey and I am a great fan of roller coaster and amusement park history. I would like to add a few that I found to be missing from the lists. I don't have opening and closing dates off hand but they are now all defunct.

Arcola Park - Rochelle Park
Atlantic Beach/Bayview - Atlantic Highlands
Bayonne Pleasure Park - Bayonne
Colonial Lake Park - Colonial Lake
Crystal Lake Park - Eagle Rock, So. Orange
Fairyland - Between Patterson and Passaic - very short lived
Grandview Park - North Caldwell/Singac
Lakeside Park - Gloucester City
Newport Beach Park - East Orange
Olympia Park - Penns Grove

Most of the above had roller coasters of some type and I am presently doing an article on Wood Coasters of NJ for the Wood Coaster Fan Club. I would enjoy sharing data with Irish Blue Eyes and discussing these parks with any forum members.

Thanks and keep the thread going,
George
Hi there, i too moved from Jersey to south Fl.....love it here so much. We couldn't afford to buy a house in Jersey.

JerseyDevil
02-25-2007, 07:30 PM
Welcome to all the new members. I hope you will share many of your New Jersey experiences with the rest of the board.

I am happy to announce that we will not be adding the Steel Pier to list of "Old Amusement Parks". They will be back this season and will once again be holding their annual easter egg hunt. Be on the lookout for our announcement to win tickets to the Steel for this Season!

Jersey Warren
02-26-2007, 07:56 AM
Hi to Sweethonesty and Olympic Park Fan:

I'm a New Jersey native who has lived all over the United States, but we are now in the Northwest Florida panhandle.

We recently bought a house in the new community of Ave Maria being built about 25 miles inland from Naples. We should move down there around August.

When I went to my high school reunion in Ramsey lat October, there were several old classmates now living in Florida. Thank goodness for Publix supermarkets, my source of Taylor Pork Roll in Florida!

Welcome! :)



Hi there, i too moved from Jersey to south Fl.....love it here so much. We couldn't afford to buy a house in Jersey.

sweethonesty
02-26-2007, 11:35 AM
Hi to Sweethonesty and Olympic Park Fan:

I'm a New Jersey native who has lived all over the United States, but we are now in the Northwest Florida panhandle.

We recently bought a house in the new community of Ave Maria being built about 25 miles inland from Naples. We should move down there around August.

When I went to my high school reunion in Ramsey lat October, there were several old classmates now living in Florida. Thank goodness for Publix supermarkets, my source of Taylor Pork Roll in Florida!

Welcome! :)
Thanx much...well i'm glad you're enjoying your pork roll..LOL...i can't get a few spices i used to have in Jersey...LOL.

Nobodyknowsme
02-28-2007, 04:26 PM
Hi All,

Brand new here. Thisis my first post!!

I'm sorry to being a topic that might have already been discussed but I am dying for photos of Kiddieland in Pinebrook and any photos of the Pinebrook speedway.

If anyone has any or knows where I can get a link to one please let me know!!


Also, does anyone know where there was a Chuck E Cheese in Morris or Passaic counties in the 1980's. I went to one as a kid and the drive always seemed so long. I think it was in Wayne? Does anyone remember?

torinodon
03-19-2007, 07:03 AM
Hi:

I am in the process of gathering information (pictures, postcards, artifacts, stories etc) to be compiled into a documentary. I live just next to the park location and have found the locations of many of the park sites. I also have a good collection of scanned images thanks to some contributing collectors.

Please see the yahoo Group that pertains to Bellewood Park for more info.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BellewoodPark

Thanks,
Don

BlueIrishEyes
04-10-2007, 11:51 AM
OlympicParkFan & BlueIrishEyes,

Thanks so much for the replies. I need to check back more often.

OPF, what else can you tell me about the Nolan Park machine that ended up in the lake? I'm not familiar with this machine.

BIE, I welcome all information. Yes, I have info on the most recent carousels. I am looking for photos of PTC #87 last operated at Asbury Park. The horses where sold and the machine with replacement horses operates in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Also, dates and leads on other carousels operating on the Jersey shore or surrounding areas would be great.

Thanks again for your replies.

Patrick

I do not like to contradict, but I wrote to the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society regarding the carousel that was "in the lake". This is the response I received:

"No truth to the rumor. The NoIan's Point Carousel was an early one at the park and predated the Illions which was there from 1937-1972 at which time a smaller carousel replaced it until the park closed in 1983. I am attaching information from our recent book Greetings from Bertrand Island Amusement Park. I am also attaching a page from Richard Willis' book Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong concerning the Nolan's Point carousel."

I do not have a response to my inquiry regarding the disposition of the Nolan's Point Carousel--

I am trying to gain information about another amusement park in the area that operated around 1910 or so. It was at Cranberry Lake -very little information exists--I do know there was a miniature train and a carousel, but not much documentation is available. The area has been called Cranberry Lake, Cedar Lake and Silver Lake and is in northern Jersey.

I talked with my father about parks and they went often to Bertrand's Island as children and he remembers driving by Nolan.s Point on the way. He said the park was closed but the coaster was still standing.

OlympicParkFan
08-12-2007, 10:16 PM
Hi,

It has been awhile since I visited the site.

Concerning the carousel horses found off of Bertrand Island; I saw them in the truck, even though they were in good shape you could tell they were underwater.

My father was on the Springfield NJ Police Dept at the time and he was the one who told me that his diving friend had found the horses off of the shore of BI at Lake Hopatcong. The diver had no reason to lie to my Dad and I about the location of the horses and said they were found by accident (and no, I don't know what happened to them after I saw them) while scuba diving off of the shore of the at that time, closed, amusement park.

The original machine at Nolan's Point was what I call a track machine. According to other information this machine was replaced by a standard carousel. There was a carousel at BI BEFORE the Illions Machine. I have a photo and postcard showing a carousel/merry-go-round, sans building in the carousel location.

Since the Illions machine went to Circus World in Fl.(with its horses), and I doubt the horses from the last carousel (I believe an AH - at least the framework suggested AH) were the ones thrown in the lake, it would make sense that the ones found in the lake were from the pre-Illions machine.

NOW, it is also possible that the horses were found in some other body of fresh water in NJ and not in Lake Hopatcong but again the person had no reason to lie about the location to my Dad and I. Since my Dad is in his 80's I don't know if he would remember the person who showed us the horses but he may remember seeing them. BTW the truck with the horses was shown to us in Springfield,N.J., on Morris Ave, behind a diner (I think the name was Gibsons) and a group of stores near it.


It was common practice at some parks that got new machines that the early carousels were either sent back to the factory for refurbishment or that the horses were DISPOSED of. Even the late Charlotte Dinger, a respected Carousel collector, told me of cases where older horses were plowed under in the dirt and newer machines were erected above the remains.

Jersey Warren
08-13-2007, 07:49 AM
I went on the carousel at Bertrand's Island around the age of 5, which would have been 1953. I was with an older second cousin, and she was big enough to grab the carousel rings. They had a machine that dispensed rings, but you could only reach it from the outside horses, if your arm was long enough, which mine wasn't at the age of 5.

I guess you had to return the rings afterwards, but sometimes someone would swipe one and return the rest. I remember my cousin collecting four or five on one ride on the carousel.

My grandfather's brother (and his wife, who was my grandmother's sister) owned a summer place on Lake Hopatcong, so we went there often in the early 50s.

darticus
09-15-2007, 08:03 AM
I know the place like the back of my hand. The only thing I can solve is what type of rifles were used in the Shooting Gallery. I can't seem to find any info. I would like to get one of these rifles. Anyone have info???

NJBarb
09-18-2007, 06:24 AM
I remember seeing pictures of Olympic Park and someone once told me that when the park closed down the carousel horses were bought by DisneyLand for the Magic Kingdom.

amx
10-10-2007, 12:12 PM
i have many pictures as well as a video of bertrands island park...the original merry-go- round wound up at circus world in florida...i rode it there... the merry-go-round is now in somewhere in michigan...dis-assembled...from what i have heard...the wooden horses have been sold off...i have heard about the nolans point merry-go-round parts being thrown into lake hopatcong...i also haerd that they were retreived in good shape many years later...i also haveve to ask...if anyone remembers Tonys hotdog stand...near succasunna new jersey...they had foot long hotdogs...and a miniature train ride...i miss that place...wild west city is still up and running...here is another question...what happened to the old Dorney park illion merry-go-round...thanks in advance...

OlympicParkFan
12-01-2007, 08:02 AM
Hi,

I was unaware that Dorney had an Illion's Carousel. I know the old Plarr Machine was a Dentzel (stationary-no jumping horses) which was colored gold for the 50 year anniversary. That carousel was later broken up and the horses sold.

The large PTC machine that most folks remember was destroyed in the 1983 fire.

The "Rooster" carousel (Chanticleer) at the top of the hill, which originally came from Coney Island, was put in storage but most of it was destroyed in a 1973 fire. Roosters were exhibited in the Grand Carousel building but the fire there further damaged the carvings.

Although I haven't been to the park since the 80's it is my understanding the carousel there now is a Dentzel that came from Cedar Point.

Rissky1
01-03-2008, 08:24 PM
In the glorious summer of 68, I ran some of the rides on Million Dollar Pier in AC. Don't remember all their names. There was one called the Trabant I think. A ride like a plate with seats around the edge. It spun around and tilted up. We used to hold it down and just spin it and people went around so fast they got sick. (boys will be boys!). Then there was the one that looked kind of like a spider with three or four clusters of seats on a steel shaft. The whole thing revolved and each pod spun around as well. Then there was the ferris wheel which had enclosed shells instead of seats. It went around and the individual compartments revolved as well. At the end of the night, we'd pick up all the loose change that fell out of people's pockets at the bottom of the ride. Then there was this contraption where you sat in a car which was on tracks and it first went straight up this tube (so you were on your back and facing up) and when it came out the top it rode down tracks with curves and hills. The trick there was to time the brakes towards the end so the cars didn't hit each other. Sometimes we missed :-) Then there was the wild west spooky house - forget what it was really called. The usual where you sit in a car and it goes on rails into a dark building and when it hit certain spots it would light up a skeleton or something. A buddy and I figured out how to make it more scarey by going in a back door and waiting for the cars to come by after our eyes adjusted to the dark. We would reach out and grab someone on the shoulder and that would scare them because it was unexpected. Oddly enough, we tended to wait for the cute girls for our best performances. I'd even get dressed up in a cowboy costume and jump around outside at the second story railing daring people to come in. (I was 18 :-) Then I discovered I could make more money in tips driving the Blue Shell chairs up and down the boardwalk and try and pick up Miss Hawaii (or whoever - they were all babes) when the pagent was in town. It was one heck of a summer!

OlympicParkFan
01-03-2008, 10:43 PM
Hi,

The generic names for the rides in your post:

1) You are indeed correct, that was a Trabant (most likely the Chance Version)

2) This was either The Spider or Monster (Spider had two cars at the end of the beam, Monster had four and was a larger ride) by Eyerly

3) This is known as a Rock-O-Plane. A great ride that loose change always fell out of. Another Eyerly device.

4) This compact coaster was called the Toboggan and "bumped heads" on the small dips at the bottom of the spiral track, collisions and being stuck in the tunnel tube caused many headaches for parks. Made by Chance, there are still a few of these around.

Hope I jogged a few more memories.

JerseyDevil
01-04-2008, 11:39 AM
Welcome Rissky1!!

Then there was this contraption where you sat in a car which was on tracks and it first went straight up this tube (so you were on your back and facing up) and when it came out the top it rode down tracks with curves and hills. The trick there was to time the brakes towards the end so the cars didn't hit each other. Sometimes we missed :-)
I remember riding a ride like this when I was little, although I'm not sure where it was. I know it was along the southern New Jersey Shore, because we lived in Bricktown at the time and we usually went to Seaside or Pt Pleasant. However, this time we drove quite a while to a different boardwalk I had never been to before. I remember my grandparents going with us and a ferris wheel I think that I rode on with my grandfather which overlooked the water. I also remember that we went down there after dark.

Anyway - it was a fun ride - especially going up the tube.

jeffm624
01-17-2008, 09:04 PM
I remember the "Wildcat" and the "Lost River" rides at Bertrand's Island. We would go there several times a year.
I also remember a ride, in that same area of the park, called "The Boomerang".
This was like a horrible car crash simulation ride. :evil: You and 2 or 3 of your closest friends sat in a small round car. Arms and legs intertwined, the operator pushed you out and hooked your car to one of the arms of the ride. I guess there was maybe 6 cars hooked to this blender contraption. The ride started and the world around you melted into a blur of colors. Except mine. I stared down at my shoes and the 3, or 4 legs wrapped around mine. Trying to make it through the ride without vomiting on everyone in the surrounding 50 feet of the ride.
When the ride ended. The car, still spinning around at high speed, was released from the arm, into a tunnel. A curved, boomerang shaped tunnel (hence the name). The car and it's intertwined passengers went spinning into the tunnel. Uncontrollably spinning and bouncing from wall to wall. Bringing you around to the start of the ride. Where you pried yourself out of the car and staggered away. Good Times

OlympicParkFan
06-18-2008, 04:45 PM
Hi,

I came up from Florida & visited a friend "down the shore" the first week in June. I stayed in Ocean Grove and decided to walk to the last Arcade on the Asbury Park boardwalk to obtain Skee Ball Tickets (the Arcade was closed during my last visit in May of 2007). I found out it was no longer there.

Walking through what remained of the Casino building (the ocean side is gone) I saw workers repainting the carousel house and western side of the Casino building. Being intrigued I walked around and saw the retaining wall of Wesley Lake was restructured and the street along the lake is now one large parking lot.

The Carousel building had a partition wall with two huge observation windows. Since the wall was behind where the carousel operated (the circular marks still visible on the floor) I thought that maybe they were going to place a new carousel in there. Everyone I asked had no idea. Do any of the thread members know if a carousel will be back in the building?. The main building (where the Fun House, Bumper Cars and Dark Ride were) was still a mess of removed walls and debris.

I took a walk on the boardwalk and noticed the Arcade was gone (big disappointment). The buildings, where the stands and food areas once occupied, look like chic store fronts with signs announcing "Candy Shops", "Botanicas", "Designer Clothes" all opening in the summer of 2008. There was not one food stand open (not to mention looking like one existed) with this being after Memorial Day and a fairly packed beach. One of the only two restaurants was a VERY overpriced one where HoJos was located. The Convention Hall was an empty building (other than the Paramount and a restaurant/bar).

I have real mixed feelings on all this. I was happy to see the miniature golf course being rebuilt but the only Asbury Park atmosphere items were the fortune teller, the Wonder Bar, and the Stone Pony. I am glad to see the boardwalk being revitalized but the Hoi Poli attitude that has invaded has left me feeling empty about a childhood place. If they keep an Arcade, Carousel and some rides in the Casino building I believe the Asbury Park atmosphere can be saved. Otherwise, in the name of progress, the "Park" is gone forever.

I finaly found a restaurant on the Ocean Grove side where I could get my beloved Taylor Pork Roll with Cheese on a Hard Roll.

If anyone can update me on ongoing changes I would appreciate it.

Jersey Warren
06-18-2008, 04:58 PM
Hi,


I finaly found a restaurant on the Ocean Grove side where I could get my beloved Taylor Pork Roll with Cheese on a Hard Roll.



This sounds exactly like something I would say! Too bad Asbury Park is not what it once was. I went there with my family often in the 1950s. By the way, they sell Taylor Pork Roll at most Publix supermarkets in Florida.

A-Line
11-07-2008, 12:08 PM
The one I was referring to is the Jim Futrell book - Amusement Parks of NJ. In there it has a chapter on the history of amusement parks in NJ as well as a list of defunct ones...

Action Park; McAfee 1977 - 1996

Ahh, Action Park! I had many fun times there! I believe I first went there on a field trip with my town parks and recreation department the first year it opened -- and then again the next four or five years.

At first, the park consisted of mainly a few alpine slides and not much else. Then it added a water park -- with water slides, a wave pool, cannonball shoot, Tarzan swing, and more -- and that's when the place really got famous -- and infamous.

There are a few good Web sites that expound on the history of the park. Here are a couple, including one from Weird NJ (the park was also featured in the second Weird NJ book):

http://www.weirdnj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=28

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Park

Jerseyboy1963
12-07-2008, 05:24 PM
Hi,

Hope you don't mind the reopening of an old thread. I love amusement parks. Did I mention that I'm also a Disney fan?

I remember Exhilarama (mentioned on the first page of this thread) which was part of the Echelon Mall in Voorhees in the late 1980s-early 1990s. Located next to the food court, it had a separate entrance and contained laser tag, an arcade, and a few rides. It was replaced in 1995 by a second-run movie theater, closed a few years later and demolished in 2007.

The mall, scaled down, renamed Voorhees Town Center and scheduled to become a residential community with its own roads and apartment and condoplexes, still exists. The rebuilding continues, with signs announcing the project's completion date constantly changing.

Jim

skylineA
04-06-2009, 11:05 PM
Offhand my father is not familiar with any old amusement parks, but he is quite curious on any information about Butlers Park. If anyone has any history facts on it, please contact me. Thank you.

JerseyDevil
04-06-2009, 11:12 PM
Offhand my father is not familiar with any old amusement parks, but he is quite curious on any information about Butlers Park. If anyone has any history facts on it, please contact me. Thank you.

Was that in New Jersey? I never heard of that one - but then again - New Jersey has had a lot of old amusement parks I was not familiar with before.

skylineA
04-07-2009, 06:04 PM
Was that in New Jersey? I never heard of that one - but then again - New Jersey has had a lot of old amusement parks I was not familiar with before.

Apparently it was active during 1929-1952, located in Washington, New Jersey. It's quite local for us, but on a vaster range it's small compared to other more renowned parks in this state. Well please keep in contact if you hear anything on it, thank you.

webkid90
06-02-2009, 08:36 AM
I am concentrating on the Northeast mainly because I can drive to the sites and libraries for information. I have also discovered that memories from individuals that have visited the parks are invaluable.

BigJohnnyV
07-14-2009, 01:16 PM
It was actually located inside of the TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort at the most Southern end of the Boardwalk down near Bally's Grand, they had games and a rollercoast ride called Tivoli Plunge. The amusement park operated from 1988 to 1995 and closed following the restructuring of the TropWorld back to using the Tropicana name. The space has since been converted into their poker room.

What you are talking about at Ocean One was simply a game room.

jsferry
04-04-2010, 06:44 PM
The one I was referring to is the Jim Futrell book - Amusement Parks of NJ. In there it has a chapter on the history of amusement parks in NJ as well as a list of defunct ones...

Action Park; McAfee 1977 - 1996
Advenure Village; Egg Harbor 1959 - 1969
Alcyon Park; Pitman 1892 - 1945
Bayonne Kiddieland; Bayonne early 1950's - late 1960's
Bayonne Pleasure Park; Bayonne 1909 - mid-1930's
Bellwood Park; Pattenburg 1902 - 1916
Belmar Playland; Belmar 1966 - 2000
Belvidere Beach; Keansburg 1912 - 1933
Bergen Point Park/Uncle Mitty's; Bayonne early 1900's - early 1970's
Bertrand Island; Lake Hopatcong 1925 - 1983
Brigantine Castle & Amusement Pier; Brigantine 1976 - 1984
Burlington Island Park; Burlington 1910's - 1934
Captain Good Times; Turnersville 1989 - 1994
Casino Amusements; Asbury Park 1932 - 1990
Casino Arcade; Wildwood 1916 - 1980
Central Pier; Atlantic City 1921 - 1993
Children's Stroybook Farm; Parsipanny mid-1950's - late 1960's
Colombia Park; Union Hill 1919 - 1930's
Cowboy City; Farmingdale 1950's - 1966
Days of Fun; Florence 1950's - 1970
Dinosaur Beach Adventure Park; Wildwood 1996 - 1998
Dreamland Park; Elizabeth 1922 - 1939
Ed Brown's Playground; Allaire 1991 - 1999
Electric Park; Newark 1903 - 1912
Exhilarama; Voorhees 1992 - 1996
Extension Kiddieland; Trenton early 1950's - late 1960's
Fairyland; Sprinfield early 1960's - 1982
Fairy Tale Forest; Oak Ridge 1957 - 2003
Fun City; Sea Isle City 1971 - 2000
Fun Fair; Point Pleasant Beach 1965 - 1987
Fun Pier; Wildwod 1957 - 1987
Gillian's Fun Deck; Ocean City 1930 - 1987
Gingerbread Castle; Hamburg mid-1950's - late 1960's
Hartman's Park; Beach Haven 1960 - 1984
Herman's Amusements/Schiffel's; Point Pleasant Beach 1949 - 1987
Hillsi:)de Pleasure Park/Riviera Park; Belleville 1904 - 1927
Hunt's Pier; Wildwood 1957 - 1991
Kiddie Karnival; Pine Brook 1950's - 1987
Kiddieland; Pennsauken mid-1950's - mid-1960's
Kiddieland; Saddle River early 1950's - 1960's
Kids World; Long Branch 1985 - 1987
Lincoln Park; Paulsboro 1890 - 1906
Long Branch Pier; Long Branch 1902 - 1987
Marine Pier; Wildwood 1931 - 1976
Million Dollar Pier; Atlantic City 1906 - 1981
Nolan's Point; Lake Hopatcong 1920's - 1933
Ocean Pier; Wildwood 1905 - 1943
Olympic Park; Maplewood 1904 - 1965
Palace Amusements; Asbury Park 1887 - 1988
Palisades Park; Cliffside Park 1898 - 1971
Playland/Marine West/Nickels Midway Pier; Wildwood 1919 - 1998
Rendezvous Park; Atlantic City 1921 - 1924
Riverview Beach; Pennsville 1891 - 1968
Scheutzen Park; Jersey City 1875 - 1964
Sportland Pier; Wildwood 1928 - 1982
Stainton's Playland; Ocean City 1929 - 1955
Steeplehase Pier; Atlantic City 1899 - 1986
Storyland Village; Neptune City 1956 - 1962
Tivoli Pier; Atlantic City 1988 - 1995
Tumbling Dam Park; Bridgeboro 1893 - 1946
TW Sports; Egg Harbor 1994 - 2001
Warne Bros. Jungle Habitat; West Milford 1972 - 1976
Washington Park on the Delaware; Woodbury 1895 - 1913
White City; Trenton 1908 - late 1910's
Woodlyne Park; Camden 1901 - 1912
Wuest Casino; Point Pleasant Beach early 1930's - 1975

Maybe this long list will bring back some memories for people.

I'm sort of suprised at all the parks that went under in the 30 or so years.

Sadly at this time, the messageboard is still developing a following, so many people read, but few post. Hopefully people will contribute to this thread. The more threads there are for people to post on, the more likely people find a reason to join and hopefully stay on as a regular member.

jsferry
04-04-2010, 09:07 PM
Hi, new to this board and this is the second time typing this in, hopw it works this time. My grandparents Anna and Joseph Sarnelle opened Kiddie Karnival in the 1950's. They lived in Brooklyn NY but my Grandfather was born in Hoboken NJ. They opened the park on Route 46 and rented the land from O'Dowd's Dairy. The park was in between the O'Dowds ice cream parlor/ bowling alley, and the auction house. Later O'Dowds wanted to sell the property- it then had I think an office complex on the property. My grandparents and their sons Al, Anthony and Joseph, and son-in-law Mario bought property close to Hook Mount Road and they moved the park, rides and all by themselves. In 1968 my grandfather died, and thepark was then taken over by the children. Later on NJ State decided that they wanted to build another jug handle- that NJ is famous for, and the park had to go. Meanwhile they would leave Roy Rodgers on the corner, like and island surrounded by this jug handle--so safe! They tried to fight the taking over of the land and their business but it was hopeless, meanwhile until this day the jug handle is still not built!
I have many wonderful memories of the "kiddie park" as we refered to it. We would go at least one day of the weekend and greet my grandmother selling tickets in the booth, and then search for my grandfather working the rides. We spent the day riding the rides all day long, if anyone asked for a ticket we would reply my grandfather owns the place. My dad and his brothers would also work the rides, and we rode. My grandmother would give us a $10 bill for us to get ice cream sundaes from O'Dowds, it fed the 5 of us and we got change, and we never finished those large sundaes. My grandmother died at the age of 101, I think the park kept her young. I am glad my children had a chance to enjoy the rides and enjoy them as much as I did, too bad my grandchildren can't enjoy them now.

NJGirl
04-30-2010, 06:00 AM
I love all the different stories that I've read here this morning and found myself reminising of the old days. I'm new to this site and only found it accidentally when I began a search for "Adventure Village." Yesterday I was going through a purse that belonged to my grandmother. It's totally vintage, but that's another story. The purse was pristine inside but then I felt what I thought might be some sort of label, so ever so slowly I pulled out a piece of paper and opened it up.

The piece of paper contained a "free admission" pass for any child under the age of 13 for Adventure Village. Not knowing or ever hearing that before I wondered if it was something that my grandmother had forgotten about and left in the purse but had planned to use on me ! Like some weird sign from my grandmother and it was me who found it.

At first I totally believed that ticket was meant for me and that my grandmother had never gotten around to using it. But as I read the piece of paper it talked about the "Gay 90's." My grandmother died in 1993 and by then I was 33 years old so I didn't figure it to mean this century 90's. But my curiousity lead me here to this thread and this webpage.

After reading all the messages on this thread I realized that it was indeed a ticket for me since the Adventure Village only existed during 1959 on up. I started asking people that I know if they had ever heard of this place and no one could give me an answer. Eventually during the course of the day yesterday I walked around with that piece of paper asking anyone who might be an approximate age (older) that may remember it.

Low and behold I found someone, an aquiantance who is in his 70's and surprise, surprise, he was born and raised in Atlantic City, as was my grandmother and he knew all about this place. He told me had gone their himself and that the pass that I possessed was probably 70 years old. So I am stumped. Reading here that it opened in the 50's and yet this man remembered it from his own childhood.

Could it be that he was right ? It's a possibility that it was around back in the early 1900's and had closed down, and was re-opened again in the 50's. I have no idea at this point since I have conflicting information. But to me that piece of paper is priceless of course. It re-ignited my memories growing up and all the place's that no longer exist.

I spent my summers in Atlantic City with my grandmother back in the 60's and I remember everything. I even managed to get a picture of the horse jumping off the diving board midway through the dive.

My grandmother's father owned the pharmacy on the boardwalk, the old fashion pharmacy where a pesdal was used to mix up the medications for his patients. The soda fountain with the marble counter tops and the little nicknacks one could find at the drug store. Right next to his drug store was the toy store, does anyone remember the toy store. Where all the stuffed animals were on display in the window's and I could stare into the window for hours had I been allowed, lol.

It was amazing part of my life and finding this site brings back all those good memories. The taffy, the taylor ham sandwiches, the Woolworth's store where the man played the gazoo. Wonderful memories, fond memories for sure.r

Then there was Asbury Park every Easter Sunday after Church when we would drive down in our Easter best and eat at Howard Johnson's and afterwards running up and down the path with all the railings. The convention center and of course the best part of the day was the carousel. I don't remember there ever being a rollar coaster in Asbury Park as some have said here, but the carousel stands out the most.

Many years later my father who was an aeronautical engineer decided he wanted to build a carousel as an exact replica of the one in Asbury Park. It took him 5 years, he built it from scratch, made his own molds for the horses and other animals, he built the music box, he built an exact replice of the carousel. His piece managed to make its way to the Museum of Art in New York City. It was on display for 3 months, and many of the rich and wealthy of New York City wanted one. He was offered $25,000.00 for the one on display, but he never made another one and he never sold the original one that he kind of dis-mantled and now sits in his basement collecting dust for the past 25 or so years.

My father is 76 years old now, in good health, and is interested in re-building the carousel again. He had taken off all the jewels, removed the music. This carousel was so life like that even the animals went up and down. He put his heart into building it and coming on here this morning looking for the "Adventure Village," but then finding all these other posts brought it all flooding back.

It's very sad to think about all the places that once were so modern and fun are now obsolete or are in disrepair, and are now gone forever. Wasn't life so simple and easy ? As one who grew up in North Jersey, I always remember that Pabst Blue Ribbon water tower and instantly knew we were going somewhere great for the day. Of course as a child I was never informed before hand because I would bugged my parents relentlessly until we got there. But when I saw us on the highway and that water tower I knew whatever the destination it was going to be a fun day somewhere and it always was.

Thank you everyone for sharing your own memories, and I know most of the posts are 5 years old I hope this thread could be re-ignited and discussed again. I remember most of the places and have been to them. But the two things that stand-out from my childhood would have to be Atlantic City and Asbury Park, its a terrible shame of what has happened to them all......

Hope to come back soon and see more comments about my memories. I have lotsa of them, and I can tell anyone alot about them if I recall them. Hope to see it soon ! Barbie

Carousel Lass
05-03-2010, 04:30 PM
I'm new to this website and I am not familiar with the Jersey shore area. I am researching a couple of carousels that were located in Point Pleasant. One was associated with the Wuest's Casino on the corner of Arnold and Boardwalk. I think it operated until the 1960's. The other is Herman's Amusements which became Jenkinson's South and was auctioned off in the late 1980's. Does anyone have any information or memories of these two carousels. I am specifically trying to identify the master carvers who created the horses. I have a carousel horse figurine that I am trying to match with the original horse. Thanks.

FanwoodStation
06-19-2010, 07:02 PM
Being new to this messageboard, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this message.
Does anybody out there remember a short lived outer space theme park that was located somewhere close to the Jersey shore? I have been trying to track this down since the early days of the internet and so far I have come up with nothing. I know I am not imagining it. I have very clear memories of driving to it, going through it, and driving home from it. My visit must have been in either the summer of 1960 or 1961, I was either 7 1/2 or 8 1/2 years old. I know it had to been one of those years because my Mom's father was with us on the trip, and he died in February of 1962.
The theme park was located amidst sand dunes, and I'm guessing it was located in the Neptune area. It was sort of designed like a spaceport -- there was a quonset hut-like structure which was the main building of the park. Inside they put on a marionette show about these characters traveling to other planets. The gimmick was that there three marionette stages next to each other. Each puppet stage represented a different planet in the story. When in the story the marionette characters had to travel, they would exit off-stage, the curtain would close, a sound effect of a rocket ship taking off and whizzing by would be played, and the curtain would open on one of the other stages, and our characters would enter that setting.
I don't remember what the story was about. It must have been fairly melodramatic, because I remember after the show we were all exiting the theater and it took us past the puppet stages. Some of the puppeteers were standing there saying good-bye to us as we went by. My grandfather made a jocular remark regarding one of the very big moments in the story and he and the puppeteer shared a laugh about that.
Scattered about the relatively landscape where these life-sized 50s-style rocket ships. We went inside one. Our guide/pilot took us on a rocket trip to Mars (I guess). The "view screen" was a movie screen (I realize now it was probably a motion picture rear-projection screen) depicting us rocketing away from earth, and going past the moon, and veering away from a deadly swarm of meteors. The rocket's body shook, and pitched, and rolled a bit in sync with the guide/pilot's manipulations of the control panel.
We landed on a some planet, ostensibly to look for a missing rocket ship, called X-1 or something like that. But then before we could leave the rocket ship to go out and investigate, some emergency came up, and we had to blast off and return to earth right away.
That's all I can remember about it. It must have had a very short life span, because I never heard anything more about it after that time.
I have read with interest all the posts on this particular topic, and some of them have brought back many found memories. I spend a lot of my summers going down to Asbury Park. Salt water taffy, hot dogs, and the amusement rides. (It's a wonder I didn't get sick.)
I remember in June of 1966, my 8th grade class went on a "field trip" to the amusement park on Lake Hopatcong, and that was my first and only trip there. But it was the first time I had the courage to get on a roller coaster.
My father has some home movies of my brother and I at Storyland Village. I loved going there when I was little and we visited it every summer for about 4 years, which I guess would be 1959 thru 1962. For me as a kid, I figured Storyland Village was the closest thing to Disneyland I could experience. So I just soaked it all in, as much as I could.

Olen1009
06-30-2010, 03:51 AM
Does anybody out there remember a short lived outer space theme park that was located somewhere close to the Jersey shore? I have been trying to track this down since the early days of the internet and so far I have come up with nothing. I know I am not imagining it. I have very clear memories of driving to it, going through it, and driving home from it. My visit must have been in either the summer of 1960 or 1961, I was either 7 1/2 or 8 1/2 years old. I know it had to been one of those years because my Mom's father was with us on the trip, and he died in February of 1962.
The theme park was located amidst sand dunes, and I'm guessing it was located in the Neptune area. It was sort of designed like a spaceport -- there was a quonset hut-like structure which was the main building of the park. Inside they put on a marionette show about these characters traveling to other planets.

Strange that you should have posted this just recently, and show as the latest post before me...because I was searching for the same place. And, I noticed that no-one else mentioned it in the lists of defunct parks. I had gone to Cowboy City when I was young, but I don't recall visiting this park. However, I passed by its site many times. It was not as close to the shore as you surmised. Actually, it was located off of US Route 9, south of Lakewood, in the general area where Route 70 crosses 9.

You might wonder how I knew about the place, since it was closed by the time I experienced it. Well, they had a couple of replica rocketships there that were so tall that they stuck up above the treeline. You could see them as you travelled down the highway. It was weird. They outlasted the park by years and years. I believe there was still a sign for the place out front at the former entrance, but I cannot remember what it was called either...maybe something like Space City? But, I have found no-one who remembers either. I should ask my cousin who grew up in Lakewood. Maybe he knows. In any event, at least now you know it wasn't your imagination. And, you must have been there right before it closed, because I would bet it had shut down by '62-63.

Just to mention a couple of other places...Ocean One pier, the one that looked like a beached ocean liner in Atlantic City has been completely rebuilt and is now called One Atlantic Ocean or The Shops at Caesars.

The remains of Frontier Village, on the Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, were bulldozed down last year. I moved down to South Jersey in the mid seventies, and it was already closed. But, it reminded me of Cowboy City...western style buildings around a town square. It had turned into a bunch of rental apartments by then. The buildings were all still signed, so you might have lived in or above the salloon, etc. But, it has made way for another furniture store.

Finally, if you really miss these old time themed amusement venues for kids, there is still one down here that is going as strong as ever, surprisingly...Storybookland, which, coincidentally, is also on the Black Horse Pike in EHT, down from the site of Frontier Village. Open every summer, it still attracts a lot of people to see Mother Goose and similar such characters. So, if you want to relive something that was probably new in the fifties...come down to Atlantic County.
:cool::cool:

FanwoodStation
07-04-2010, 11:16 AM
Wow! Thank you, Olen1009! That's the most information I've gotten from anyone regarding this former theme park. Someday I hope to be able to check through old newspaper archives from that time period, and maybe spot an advertisement for it. Meanwhile, when I next visit my parents (now living in Virginia), I'll pore through their photographs and see if I can find anything they snapped while we were at the park. Thanks again!

kingfisher552
02-03-2011, 09:14 PM
Space City was located around Lakewood. The entrance was "guarded" by a robot which stood about 50 ft. tall. The arms swung back and forth and the head turned from side to side. Somewhere in my house is an 8-mm movie of our family spending the day at Space City. I seem to recall the management taking off with the investors money. It was around about 1 year (late 50's, I think).