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Bill Cotter

Can anyone ID this theme park?

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Here are links to two photos dated 1965. I thought perhaps some of this band of experts might know were these were taken:

<a href=" unknown-1965-1.jpg" target="_blank"> unknown-1965-1.jpg</a>

<a href=" unknown-1965-2.jpg" target="_blank"> unknown-1965-2.jpg</a>

The paddlewheeler has the name SHOWBOAT on the side. No other clues I could find.

Thanks

Bill

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The trees look like totally different seasons in the two pictures. Is it possible that they were taken at two different times in 1965, if not two different locations?

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The 1st photo reminds me of <a href="http://www.theimaginaryworld.com/slvNJ.html" target="_blank">Storyland Villiage </a>in Neptune NJ.

This link may prove somewhat helpful <a href="http://www.agilitynut.com/fairyparks2.html" target="_blank">Storyland theme parks.</a>

A good friend of the family helped demolish the Neptune NJ Storyland park to make way for a new Sears. In his yard, to this day, he has the pumpkin and shoe. We used to play in them all the time as kids.

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Last year I found a similar web site to be a good resource.

I was trying to figure out the location of some slides of me when I was a rugrat in the 50's at a park like that- I suspected the town but knew nothing beyond that.

I found a match and even some 70's pictures roughly lining up with my 50's slides- the same fairy tale buildings (at Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida).

<a href="http://theimaginaryworld.com/lands.html" target="_blank">http://theimaginaryworld.com/lands.html</a>

Randy

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<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->It seams as if Giant shoes were more common dwelling places than the old fairy tails implied.

I can't identify the shoe; but I do want to thank you for the wonderful links.

After the New York World's Fair: I believe my favorite thing to research and look back upon fondly, are "old time" amusement parks. (Lincoln Park, once on the N. Dartmouth/Fall River line is my favorite of these. It also had a giant shoe. )

What wonderful links, and some wonderful renewed memories (Kings Castleland!)<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

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I grew up going to Oregon's <a href="http://www.enchantedforest.com/index.htm" target="_blank">Enchanted Forest</a> which opened the same year I was born.

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Wow - an exact match for one of the photos already! Thanks, gang.

Randy - yes, the slides are dated MAR and OCT, so it is very possible they are two different parks. There was another slide of a giant man at the Danbury State Fair (CT), and some of women next to a plastic horse. No ID on those or the ones I posted.

Glad to get a name for at least one of them. I always enjoyed this sort of place when I was a kid and wish that there were more of them still with us in this day of the Mega Park.

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It's Fairy Tale Forest in Oak Ridge, New Jersey.

<a href="http://fortuna.home.pipeline.com/cafe-compendium/fairy.htm" target="_blank">http://fortuna.home.pipeline.com/cafe-compendium/fairy.htm</a>

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I think there will be some here that recall Freedomland U.S.A.? The theme park in the Bronx that opened in 1960 and closed in 1964 because of all the crowds going to the world's fair. That was pretty much one of the last old kiddie/family parks, before the 1990s revival in major parks.

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I remember Freedomland well. Years ago I had the pleasure of working with CV Wood, who was one of the men behind that project. He was working on theme parks for us at Warner Bros. After one meeting I asked him about Freedomland and he was amazed that anyone in Los Angeles knew about it.

Woody said they made three blunders that killed the park:

1) They figured that people coming to NY for the Fair would also want to see Freedomland, but the Fair turned out to be so big that people didn't have the time, money and energy for Freedomland as well. Even worse, the locals skipped it, figuring they could always go after the Fair had run its course.

2) They really miscalculated the severity of the NY weather. Winter turned out to be worse than expected and really raised their maintenance costs far higher than expected, with a smaller window to actually do the work than planned. They also didn't realize the Memorial Day to Labor Day mentality that means people wouldn't go to Freedomland even if it was open before Memorial Day, or how tough it would be to get workers for other than the summer season.

3) The real killer, though, was labor unions. Woody said they had to pay several times to get one job done, and in some cases, outright pay protection money to avoid stoppages that would have shut the park down. I believe there was a major scandal at the time at the Fulton Fish Market, and that this sort of shakedown was a common cost of doing business. Woody said the unions basically broke them. They may have been able to outlast the Fair, and may have found ways to get around some of the weather issues, but the backers decided they couldn't beat the unions and refused to keep throwing good money after bad.

I have a small collection of Freedomland souvenirs, including some photos. I'll try to remember to add a few to the gallery sometime soon.

Bill

"Mommy, daddy, take my hand

take me out to Freedomland"

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<a href="http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/robfriedman/" target="_blank">http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/robfriedman/</a>

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Woah... Lakewood.

I made just one of my 125 sport parachute jumps in Lakewood, NJ - my 77th. (lucky 7, right?)

Parachute didn't open.

Had to cut away my tangled main parachute and come down under my reserve.

I was seventeen.

My back still hurts from the snap of the reserve opening!

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Woah... Lakewood.

I made just one of my 125 sport parachute jumps in Lakewood, NJ - my 77th.  (lucky 7, right?)

Parachute didn't open.

Had to cut away my tangled main parachute and come down under my reserve.

I was seventeen.

My back still hurts from the snap of the reserve opening!

Hi Doug,

Yes..I remember the airport.I believe it was closer to Bricktown than Lakewood.I used to live in Lakewood then moved to Toms River.I bet we crossed paths.

Rocketthrower has brought back some memories of Neptune.

SpaceCity and Deer Park were located off Route 9 like many of the attractions.Somewhere along route 9 was a train museum.Closer to Sayreville was a Large ship used a clothing store which was on land.Some amazing sites for someone traveling from Newark to Lakewood.

Now if someone can remember the Robinhood DriveIn in Lakewood that would be something.Only a local person would know of it

Regards,Dave

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Parachute jumps! 1, Been there, Done that, got the T-shirt! Never again, not in this life. It was fun and scary at the same time, but once was enough.

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I own a parachute. I wear it every time I fly (FAA requirement for acrobatics). I hope I never find out if it works. You guys that jump out of a perfectly good airplane have issues.

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Hi Doug,

        Yes..I remember the airport.I believe it was closer to Bricktown than Lakewood.I used to live in Lakewood then moved to Toms River.I bet we crossed paths.

       

        Rocketthrower has brought back some memories of Neptune.

Three of us may have crossed paths. I was born and raised in Neptune. Maybe 4 miles west of the Storyland Village in Neptune I posted about, just off Asbury Ave.

Lakewood was a semi-regular haunt. We loved the park there and the thick trees (daytime was like almost night when you drove through there) and many deer that lived there. We had a good freind that lived in Lakewood as well.

I have cousins that still reside in Bricktown. And I remember going to the movie set for The Amityville Horror when they were filming in Toms River (all 3 of them). I also worked for a guy when I was a kid that had a huge florist/decorating business (Alan's) in Brick and Toms River. Now out of business.

Small World eh?

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Three of us may have crossed paths. I was born and raised in Neptune. Maybe 4 miles west of the Storyland Village in Neptune I posted about, just off Asbury Ave.

Lakewood was a semi-regular haunt. We loved the park there and the thick trees (daytime was like almost night when you drove through there) and many deer that lived there. We had a good freind that lived in Lakewood as well.

I have cousins that still reside in Bricktown. And I remember going to the movie set for The Amityville Horror  when they were filming in Toms River (all 3 of them). I also worked for a guy when I was a kid that had a huge florist/decorating business (Alan's) in Brick and Toms River. Now out of business.

Small World eh?

Hey RocketThrower,

My Dad used to take me to Neptune.Was there a place called "Two Guy's" a sporting goods store?The original name would be "Two Guy's From Harrison".If my memory is correct it was located in Neptune.

I used to live at 198 prospect street in Lakewood.It was located right behind Paul Kimball Hospital.A few years later we built a house in Toms River.That was located at 117 Point "O" Woods Drive.It was about a half mile from the Amityville film location.I already had moved to Florida,however I visited my old haunts;)again in 1986 and 87.My neighbor filled my in on the location of the Amityville shoot.In fact I was invited to pilot his new homebuilt sailboat right past the location from the river.If I recall it wasnt directly located on the river.

Now later on in New York...out on the island I visited the real Amityville house.At the time there was no address posted on the house because of tourist always coming by.While I was taking a picture of the real house...one of the neighbors came out to ask what I was doing.I told them that I was interested in the story.They told me that their house was the one that was haunted...not the Amityville house.This house was located just to the right of the Amityville House.Anyway I had a goodtime while I was out on the island.

Now getting back to the park.You must mean Rockerfeller Park.Thats where the Ocean County Fair was located.I used to go there all the time as a kid.I believe this was refered to as "Deer Park"Thats not the one Im talking about.The original Deer Park was located off Route 9 near county line road.So was Space City.They were located opposite of each other.If you remember the Gas Light restaurant.It was only a stones throw of them.

If I had only known Doug was risking his life on all those jumps.I would have warned him At the time I was probably shooting off those model rockets at the sandpits in Lakewood

Dave

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Dave,

Yes, the song at the Pepsi pavilion is very true. Two Guys was more than a sporting goods store. It was very much like Wal-mart of today. They had a huge one in Manalapan that had it's own liquor store and Grocery all in one location. Way ahead of it's time. And we had one in Neptune, but not as huge, with no grocery section.

About the Amityville stuff. I am currently reading a book "The Night The Defeos Died". Very good book, from Ronnie Defeo's (the tried and convicted murderer of the family) perspective and his secret wife that no one new about. Pretty good read. I am almost through with it.

the movie house was right on the river in Tom's River. Beautiful location. The Movie house was relocated for the 3rd movie and a new home was built in it's approximate location. So, two homes now reside in that lot in Tom's River. And it lost it's beauty in the process if you ask me. The Movie house was for sale when I was out there in '93 for $1.5 mil. (You know they are working on a remake of that original Amityville movie?)

The real house has been altered to appear differently and the address has been changed. I never made it to the real house.

I beleive you are correct about Rockerfeller Park. I am not great with park names (unless it's WF related) or road/highway #s. But Route 9, I have been all up and down it.

I never heard of this "Space City". I am intrigued. I want to know more.

It seems so good to speak with someone from my area. Now can someone bring me a good Italian made Jersey Pizza??

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I never heard of this "Space City". I am intrigued. I want to know more.

It seems so good to speak with someone from my area. Now can someone bring me a good Italian made Jersey Pizza??

Space City was an Amusement Park that was closed down soon after it opened.It was rumored that funds had been stolen,and the people that ran it were not nice people I remember being inside a space ship vehicle and riding a fake elevator as a kid at Space City.It wasnt there very long.The rocket vehicle was visible from route 9 and it called alot of attention to everyone driving by.

Robinhood DriveIn was located right in front of Acme Gas and right across from the lake in lakewood

We have a place here in florida called Steve's Pizza.Thats as close as you can get to a ny pizza.We all know the water in the dough is part of the secret.

Dave

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Trini Lopez was a big draw in 1964, he sold out the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium a few times in the 60's. Dionne Warwick was also on this bill.

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Here are links to two photos dated 1965. I thought perhaps some of this band of experts might know were these were taken:

<a href=" unknown-1965-1.jpg" target="_blank"> unknown-1965-1.jpg</a>

<a href=" unknown-1965-2.jpg" target="_blank"> unknown-1965-2.jpg</a>

The paddlewheeler has the name SHOWBOAT on the side. No other clues I could find.

Thanks

Bill

Hi Bill,

I saw a print of a simular looking boat on EBay today, January 23, 2006,

DORNEY PARK SHOW BOAT, Allentown, PA 1969 8 x 12 Photo Item number: 7739414548

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