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Thread: Old Amusement Parks

  1. #61
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    Default Tivoli Pier was not at Ocean One...

    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.

  2. #62
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    Default Kiddie Karnival Pinebrook NJ

    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
    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.

    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.

  3. #63
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    Smile Kiddie Karnival Pinebrook Nj

    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.

  4. #64
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    Default Days Gone By

    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

  5. #65
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    Default Carousels

    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.

  6. #66
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    Default Outer Space Theme Park??

    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.

  7. #67
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    Default Was it Space City?

    Quote Originally Posted by FanwoodStation View Post
    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.

  8. #68
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    Default Was it Space City?

    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!

  9. #69
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    Default Space City

    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).

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