Ontario Beach Park – #12

In 1901 there was a large addition to the Park. It was a Scenic Railway by L. A. Thompson. Thompson was formerly known for his switchback railroads which were coasters where the people sat on benches and faced off to one side. The Scenic Railway was much larger and had cars like many coasters today. It was such a big hit that it would be added on to a few years later. There is still another roller coaster in the Park. The picture at the bottom of this post is from across the Genesee River and is probably after the addition had been made.

Short’s American Band (50 pieces) played afternoon and evening, every day for the whole summer.

The first vaudeville act of the season was Lee Schuyler a high diver who jumped from 90 feet into a 5 foot deep tank. The week after that was Lavelle’s dog circus. Appearing on the 4th of July was Kitamura’s (Japanese) troupe that did acrobatic and contortion acts, juggling, and Japanese magic. They were such a big hit that they were extended for another week. Mid July saw The St. Belmos, aerial act. For the week of July 28th to Aug. 4th, a monkey named Sapho went up in a balloon and then parachute back to earth.

On July 12th occurred an unusual incident at the beach. Murray C. McNair was whipped by his estranged wife, Alice Townsend McNair. Also Mr. McNair was hit with an umbrella by Mrs. McNair’s mother. Mr. McNair had a suit against Mrs. McNair’s lover for $10,000 and also he hadn’t been paying Mrs. McNair any support. Mrs. McNair was sent to see a local justice of the peace and she was fined $30 for her transgression.

In mid August there were two attempts to burn down the grandstand at the baseball park. Both times fire was put out before much damage could be done. No one was ever charged for the crime.