Some very old amusement park rides have survived to this day. Euclid Beach Park’s Great American Racing Derby turned 100 this year (2021), still operating at Cedar Point as Cedar Downs. The Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel turned 111 in May. A popular ride at Euclid Beach Park was the BUG. Wikipedia lists fourteen parks which operated a Tumble Bug ride. The number is now down to one as of April of this year, 2021. Conneaut Lake Park announced that their Tumble Bug, installed in 1925, would be disassembled. Kennywood now operates the only surviving Tumble Bug which they call the Turtle.
To the left is the Conneaut Lake Park Tumble Bug. Photo courtesy of The Meadville Tribune, used with permission. Photo accompanied an April 2, 2021 article; Conneaut Lake Park season won’t include Tumble Bug, Blue Streak.
A May 22nd Post on the New Conneaut Lake Park Facebook Page states: I wanted to give an update to our April 1 post about the Tumble Bug. As stated before the Tumble Bug needed many repairs and our hope was to have it fixed and ready for 2022. The issues with the Tumble Bug were not able to be repaired and we were unable to save it. Please believe me when I say, we tried. It was not the outlook we wanted but it was beyond repair. Unfortunately nothing lasts forever.We did not want to scrap the cars, so we have placed them inside the park, where they belong, to cherish the memories. When we open, guests may sit in them to take pictures. Thanks to all of you who are being supportive.
To the right is the Kennywood Turtle sign at the rides entrance. Turtle is what they call their Tumble Bug. Photo courtesy of Kennywood, used with permission.
To the left is the Kennywood Turtle ride itself. Photo courtesy of Kennywood, used with permission.
Reprint of an article that appeared in The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now’s quarterly newsletter: Volume 16, Issue 4, Summer 2005. Authored by John Frato, President of Euclid Beach Park Now and one of The Euclid Beach Boys.
The Bug was once a very popular ride located in many amusement parks. It was designed by Hyla Haynes, a talented inventor, who designed many other rides including the Caterpillar. The ride was built by Traver Engineering of Beaver Falls, P.A. Later the company was sold and operated under the name of R.E. Chambers. Rides were built with 3, 4, or 6 cars. The Bug at Euclid Beach had six cars and traveled in a counter clockwise direction over an undulating track. A 48 passenger (6 car), 100 foot diameter Bug would have cost approximately $12,500.00 in 1927.
To the left Euclid Beach Park's BUG, in 1930. Full cars and full loading area. Photo courtesy of Euclid Beach Park Now, used with permission.
There were two variations of the ride. One looked like a bug, hence the name Tumble Bug or Bug. The second looked like a turtle and was sometimes called the Turtle Ride.
There are only four known full-size adult Tumble Bug rides left operating,
To the right Euclid Beach Park's BUG, circa 1964. Photo courtesy of Euclid Beach Park Now, used with permission.
The Bug at Conneaut is the oldest and dates back to 1925. Among the many in Ohio with Bug rides were:
The ride at Chippewa is still standing to this day but is completely rotted away.
Note 1: The Kings Island Tumble Bug was moved from Coney Island Cincinnati to that park. It was sold, around 1985, to Kennywood for parts on their Tumble Bug. Reference Wikepedia.
To the left Euclid Beach Park's BUG is the Kennywood Turtle ride itself. Photo courtesy of Kennywood, used with permission.
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John Frato, Euclid Beach Park Now President and one of The Euclid Beach Boys wrote a brief article on The Bug.
This article appeared in The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now's Quarterly Newsletter Volume 16, Issue 4, Summer 2005