Thursday, October 08, 2015

Vintage Postcards - Coney Island, Ohio

Today is the eighth installment of GDB featuring vintage postcards from the collection of Ken Martinez! This time we're visiting Coney Island - but (perhaps) not the one you are thinking of! Here's Ken:

Before Kings Island there was Coney Island

Not the Coney Island of Brooklyn, New York, but of Cincinnati, Ohio. Coney Island was built along the banks of the Ohio River which allowed riverboats to bring patrons to the park. Because of its location it was also prone to flooding. Edward Schott, the owner and son of the original founder of Coney Island, always stressed cleanliness in the park by making sure trash was not left lying around and the landscaping was manicured and well kept. When Walt and Roy Disney visited amusement parks across the country in 1953 for ideas about Disneyland, one of the parks that impressed them was Coney Island, Ohio. Due to Schott's efforts, which gave Coney Island, Ohio the clean amusement park image, he was one of several key men consulted by Disney during the planning of Disneyland.

The Land of Oz was the kiddie-land section of the park. Later, Kings Island would feature a theme area for children called the "Happyland of Hanna-Barbera".

Here's an example of the beautiful and meticulous landscaping throughout the park. The architectural style of the Skee Ball building is pretty cool too.

The Shooting Star was an L-shaped out-and-back wooden coaster built from the original lift hill and final spiral of the old Clipper coaster.

Here the Sky Ride travels along the Coney Island Mall. The park looks great with the formal landscaping and beautiful central fountain.

This last postcard sort of reminds me of Disneyland with the Sky Ride gliding across while the fireworks explode in the sky.

In 1969, Taft Broadcasting purchased Coney Island and announced it was building a new theme park near Cincinnati. Following the 1970 season, the park was closed and many of the rides were transferred to the new theme park known as Kings Island. (One of the theme areas of the new park was "Coney Island" which recreated the look and feel of the old park). Coney Island was popular right up to the end and some of its components still remained open after the amusement park was closed. The park still exists today and is an amusement center once again, albeit on a smaller scale.

Hope you enjoyed!

Information source material:
The Great American Amusement Park, copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
The American Amusement Park copyright 2001 - Dale Samuelson

THANK YOU as always to Ken Martinez for sharing his awesome collection of Vintage amusement park postcards with us! Stay tuned for Part Nine, coming soon.


Nanook said...


Thanks for sharing these images. In spite of all my trips to King's Island, I never made it here. They still have one hell of a swimming pool, @ 401' x 200'. Yeeesh-!

Ken, it's always great to see images from your collection.

D Ticket said...

The Banana Splits! The opening titles were filmed here.

TokyoMagic! said...

I am totally digging that Skee Ball building and well as the surrounding landscaping. Thanks for sharing more of your collection with us, Ken!

D Ticket, I remember that opening for the Banana Splits! Tra la la, Tra la la la.....♫ ♪ ♫

Chuck said...

I spent 6th Period Study Hall of my 8th grade year as a Library Aide in a junior high in Southwest Ohio, and I fondly remember a photo book in the collection called "Goodbye, Coney Island, Goodbye," about the final season of operation in 1971. We moved to the area 10 years too late to visit this park, but I had teachers who had affectionate memories of the place and were only to happy to share them. I also had a friend who described boating on the Ohio and passing the park, which she said at that time still featured the abandoned Shooting Star.

Always a pleasure, Ken. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

Melissa said...

Coney Island looks like a lot of good, clean fun! And that's easily the nicest Skee-Ball Palace I've ever seen.

Melissa said...

Also, BAM! Whita babushka, second row of the Shooting Star!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, Glad you're enjoying the postcard series. A Kings Island postcard article is coming down the pipeline and I'd love to hear about your memories of that park when the article is posted.

D Ticket, In the years I watched The Banana Splits as a kid, I always wondered where the opening was filmed. Thanks.

TokyoMagic!, The Skee-Ball building is definitely cool! On The Banana Splits show I remember the opening credits and segments of the serial called "Danger Island" with Jan Michael Vincent, but not much else anymore. That is so long ago to me now.

Chuck, I'm so glad you're enjoying these and I'm even more glad to know that you're able to view them now. BTW, I always enjoy reading about your memories and different places you've lived. You write it and capture it well.

Melissa, I wonder if the babushka made it all the way through the Shooting Star ride. I've retrieved my share of babushkas and other various items when I was a ride operator at the Boardwalk.