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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Coaster Dips: 1928

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Coaster Dips: 1928

1928. Roller coaster at the Glen Echo amusement park in Montgomery County, Maryland. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

Coaster Dip

I worked on the Coaster Dips the last two years the park was open. What a great time I had working for the Baker Brothers. The largest attendance of my employ was when the Three Stooges visited. I stood in line to meet these guys, as my uncle was a former Stooge.

I usually ate standing in front of the wonderful theatre organ, and as a young bloke met girls there. That was my main reason for working there. The second year I ran most of the rides and then repaired the electric cars at Jungleland.

My downfall (getting fired) was that I was able to walk up to the second level and in almost complete darkness, and occasionally scare people as the car came off the chain. I miss it all.

1952

My mother once told me a story about the Coaster Dips. When she was 12 years old (1952) she won a contest as a newspaper carrier for the Washington Post. She won unlimited rides, she rode the Coaster Dips 100 times in a row, never exiting the ride. She always talked of how fun it was. I wish she was alive to see this picture, I'm sure it would bring back wonderful memories.

Glen Echo

I grew up in the Washington area, and went to Glen Echo many times, mostly in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I remember reading frequently about the turmoil it went through leading up to time it became, thankfully, racially integrated. Very near DC, it was in close proximity to a very large African-American population, who had little or no access to the amusement park. In the days I went there, it was all white, and I still regret that it took so long to change that. Here is a wonderful 2005 newspaper article about one African-American's memories of this time.
http://www.washingtoninformer.com/ARGlenEcho2005Sep8.html

Victim of the times

I read a bit of the history of the Glen Echo Amusement Park and it seems to have been a victim of the 1960s. The park was originally "Whites Only" and served by trolleys from Washington. In the early 1960s protests from civil rights groups led the owners to open it to all (quite rightly too). However the local (white) residents "complained about the influx of urban African Americans." The forced the closure of the bus and trolley service to the amusement park. Without easy public transportation to the site for patrons of all races, the Amusement park close in 1968. The only amusement park ride still remaining is the carousel built in 1921.

Glen Echo Park

 
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