2011-12-23 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Part Of Coney Island Came To Rockaway In 1905

Way back in 1901, Mr. George C. Tilyou decided it was time to build an amusement park in Rockaway Beach, Queens – a place that was showing promise as an up and coming ocean beach resort area.

His park in Coney Island, Brooklyn known as Steeplechase Park, which had the famous gravity-operated horse ride called ‘The Steeplechase,’ was very successful and it was time to branch out.

Tilyou bought a large hunk of beachfront, boulevard to ocean, on Beach 97 Street … and built an almost identical Steeplechase Park …complete with the gravity-operated Steeplechase horses.

One other popular attraction was the down and out slide, built in a silo-type enclosure.

The slide was rather steep and was similar to a giant auger bit, used by carpenters to drill holes in wood.

Pictured in Historical Views is the same slide, but at Coney Island, where it was called the Dew Drop! As you can see, this slide was enclosed with a lattice work theme, so outsiders could watch the action. As at Rockaway Beach, access was by a stairway … stairs like this were a piece of cake to people of the time (1907). Think you could handle it today? Eh?

If You have Any Old Photos or Historical Information About The Rockaways Please Send It To: HISTORICAL ROCKAWAY

C/O THE WAVE P.O. BOX 930097 ROCKAWAY BEACH, N.Y. 11693

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