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Thread: Old Amusement Parks

  1. #41
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    Default Bellewood Park Documentary

    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

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGRLVR
    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.
    Last edited by BlueIrishEyes; 04-10-2007 at 03:07 PM.

  3. #43
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    Default Reply about Carousel Horses at BI

    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.

  4. #44
    New Jersey Tour Guide Jersey Warren's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #45
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    Default Bertrand Island Shooting Gallery

    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???

  6. #46
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    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.

  7. #47
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    Default bertrands Island

    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...

  8. #48
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    Default Dorney Park Illion's Carousel?

    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.

  9. #49
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    Default Million Dolare Pier etc

    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!

  10. #50
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    Thumbs up Ride Identification

    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.

  11. #51
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    Welcome Rissky1!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rissky1 View Post
    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.
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  12. #52
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    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. 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

  13. #53
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    Default What's Up At Asbury Park?

    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.
    Last edited by OlympicParkFan; 06-18-2008 at 05:51 PM.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlympicParkFan View Post
    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.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil View Post
    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?opt...d=39&Itemid=28

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

  16. #56
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    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

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    Smile Butlers Amusement Park

    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.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylineA View Post
    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.
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil View Post
    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.

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    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.

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