The inclusion of the following article was prompted by the announcement on December 5, 2021 by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy of their purchase of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park. Click on the link below to read the article.
Reprint of an article that appeared in The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now’s quarterly newsletter, Volume 17, Issue 4, Summer 2006. Author: Sandra Wesley, Euclid Beach Park Fan and Euclid Beach Park Now Board Member.
Well, I guess Euclid Beach and me began in 1953. The year I was born. Although I don’t remember it in my early years. I was told that I went there in my “Taylor Tot” and that in my toddler years was very fond of the Fairy Whip. My earliest memories were probably around 1958-59. My father and mother divorced and my father, Ed Svigel, took me and my sister, Sharon, quite regularly-maybe my father didn’t quite know what to do with us, and relied on Euclid Beach to entertain us, but I’m not complaining! I can remember being on the Racing Coaster and Thriller with the three of us in the front seat. We were quite young, but I don’t remember being afraid. My father liked amusement parks-we also visited Geauga Lake, Cedar Point and Conneaut Lake. My stepmother was from PA, and we often attended the Westinghouse picnics at Conneaut Lake. Once when standing in line for the Conneaut Lake Blue Streak, my stepmother’s niece told us that the Blue Streak was the best coaster in the world, but my sister and I looked at each other and knew that we had the best coasters back at Euclid Beach, although the Blue Streak is one of my favorite coasters today. (Note 1)
The Thriller seemed so high-I can remember the first and second hills taking my breath away-it was a smooth and wonderful ride. The Racing Coaster, also wonderful, we couldn’t decide which side to ride, they were both good, of course, the Kennywood Racer reminds me so much of the Racing Coaster. The brake run with its fiberglass walls was always loud to me coming into the station. A lot of people don’t remember the Aero Dips, but we spent a lot of time in the front seat, I can still remember going over the first hill, and over the Main Lunch. We spent a lot of time riding the Rotor, I always thought that I was the only one sliding down-I then remember leaning on the center when the floor went up. Laff In The Dark was very special to us, the man in the bathtub being one of my favorites. The man that usually ran the ride was very fitting-looking like he belonged to the ride, we were disappointed when someone else was there. The Dodgem had scenes of cars on the walls, and the “one way” signs (which is the way all dodgems should be!) The Rocketships would fly through the trees and hit some of the leaves! I remember the band organ just before the steps-I always covered my ears as it was too loud for me. My Dad also owned a boat and we could park the boat in the lake by Euclid Beach so we could listen to the music of the band organs.
The Dippy Whip had the picture of the lady on the horse on the wall above us; we always looked at her throughout the ride. The Flying Scooters seemed to almost hit the Colonade, at least it seemed that way as a child! The Over The Falls also took my breath away, the hill seemed so very high, I can still hear the sound the boat made coming down the hill. The Sleepy Hollow Railroad went under the coasters-I wanted to live in the little village, also liked passing the red paddle wheel. I could tell when the train went over the fish pond-it made a different sound. Sharon and I also loved the Kiddie Over the Falls-we rode that until we were much too big, I’m sure! The Carrousel and Racing Derby were also favorites, my mother remembers when the winner on the Racing Derby got a flag on their horse and got a free ride.
The Flying Turns-I probably rode when I was a little older-once you took off, all you could do was hold on, it was quite a thrill! I remember watching the cars going up the lift hill next to the Thriller entrance. The Flying Gyms was a ride we could only watch, we were too small to get them to move. Even the bathrooms intrigued us-they were really clean, smelled like disinfectant, and there was always a matron in there. I only remember one bathroom in the park-I don’t know if there was another one. The Scrambler was always a must to ride, so close to the trailer park. The Surprise House (in Euclid Beach green) also a must-we used to look out the exit door that faced the Colonade and Sleepy Hollow Railroad. The Surprise House also had “Sal”, who always had people in front of her, some of them laughing, some just looking, some crying. I can remember watching the skaters in the roller rink, but I probably remember it housing the Antique Cars more.
And the food-we couldn’t pass by without watching the candy kiss taffy being pulled-I think that we were mesmerized by it, and watching the popcorn and popcorn balls being made, the vanilla whip as it came out of the machine in a square chunk. My Dad used to say “a kiss for a kiss” for a candy kiss; I think my dad got a lot of kisses! I also remember walking the pier-I always wondered why people didn’t fall off the edge-I remember the life preservers along the side. The fountain was wonderful-you just had to stand there and stare at it! We went for fireworks for the Fourth of July, I can remember my Dad throwing firecrackers out the car window on the way to or from the fireworks (they must have been legal back then?!) The Colonade was unusual and interesting with the covered walkway from the Colonade to the bus stop entrance.
Hopefully my Euclid Beach memories will never fade-I still have dreams to this day about Euclid Beach and have that “feeling” of that special place. Spring is just not the same without watching for that “Open for the Season” sign that used to make us so happy.
Note 1: Geauga Lake closed the year after this article was written. The park closed in September of 2007 after its operating season. Here is a current link for Conneaut Lake Park https://newconneautlakepark.com/ The Blue Streak coaster is not in operation. Final closure was in 2019 after the park closed for the season. The coaster was standing but not operating form 2020-2022. On January 4, 2022 during demolition of the ride, the Blue Streak caught on fire. Source Wikipedia.
THE ARCH Editor: John Marn
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EUCLID BEACH AND ME
Reprint of an article that appeared in THE ARCH Euclid Beach Park Now's quarterly newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 4, Summer 2006. Authored by Sandra Wesley; Euclid Beach Park Fan And Euclid Beach Park Now Board Member.
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