Ontario Beach Park – #20

Before the Park opened in 1907 a change was made by the NY Central Railroad. They removed the loop that was inside the Park. Instead they built a large terminal platform just to the south of Beach Avenue.

It is the second year of the new owners of the Park and they are adding many new features. First thing that you would notice is the large new entrance that was designed by architect Herbert L. Messmore. It was said to blend Egyptian and Moorish styles.

Another new large attraction was Fighting the Flames that was on the western part of the Park. It was an attraction that had been popular at two parks on Coney Island. In fact, there is this old movie on You Tube of part of the show at Luna Park (Coney Island). It was a demonstration of “modern” fire fighting. In the old postcard view you can see they are dropping a person from the.burning building. It is probably a dummy. There were grandstands built so that people could watch the show.

The old Foolish House on the eastern part of the Park was completely remodeled to look like a stack of bricks and renamed The House that Jack Built. It appears to be some kind of fun house. Next to Jack… is another small building called the Temple of Mysteries. That has reproductions of sacred scenes such as “The Finding of Moses,” the “Sight of the Promised Land” and “Pygmalion and Galatea” (which had a statue that came to life).

Other new minor attractions are: “Dante’s Inferno,” “Spook Room,” “Katzanjammer Castle,” “Cave of the Winds”, and the “Magnetic Chamber” in which people are drawn together. The Trip to the North Pole attraction had some Eskimos that showed how they lived in upper Canada. From later descriptions of this attraction, it appears that they were at the Park for only part of the season.

In April of 1907 there were Japanese workers building a Japanese Village and tea garden. It would prove to be very popular with the Rochester audience.

Venetian Waterways appears to have replaced The Old Mill water attraction from the previous year. It has gondolas traveling through a building while guitar and mandolin music are playing in background.

The Scenic Railway has been extended 700 feet and now includes a tunnel. The cost of that renovation was $45,000.

All these new attractions drew 15,000 people to the Park on April 27th before the Park was officially opened for the season.

Next: Bands and vaudeville acts in 1907.

 

 

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