Ontario Beach Park – #16

I couldn’t find very much of happenings at Ontario Beach Park in 1904. There was the ad on right from June 23rd. That mentions the band and the weekly fireworks. There weren’t any good articles mentioning rides and nothing that told what was in the Auditorium.

The season started with a tragedy. George Reiss a gatekeeper at the railroad entrance to the Park was struck on June 10th and had his legs crushed. He died within an hour. Reiss was aged 63 and had only started working at the park on May 29th. He had to stand on the tracks to open the gates. He could only see 250 feet from his standpoint. In 1903 the gate was struck twice by trains and was still bent. George Reiss is buried just down Lake Ave. in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Another trouble for the Park was from Lake Ontario. The lake level in July is higher and the beach is almost gone. One man says that lake is 2½ feet higher than in 1903. A lot of rain in the upper Great Lakes can effect the level of lake Ontario. Today there is supposed to better controls in place but as people living on the lake in 2017 found out the levels can rise at any time and they take a long time to recede.

There was a mention that the crowd numbered at about 30,000 on July 4th and lots of beer was sold. That same article mentioned that the Ferris Wheel was extremely busy. It would turn out to be the last year there was a Ferris Wheel at the Park.

One of the bands playing in June was Kilties Band of Belleville, Ontario. Besides the band their was a choir and Clan Johnson; Irish and Scottish pipers & dancers. In August, The Roman Imperial Band and Operatic Concert appeared with 40 musicians.

One vaudeville act that appeared in August was Barber who did a “Loop the Gap” on a bicycle. The postcard below may be him or someone else as there were other people that did a similar act.

NEXT: Lots of new attractions in 1905.