Crescent Park History

The story begins in 1886, when George Boyden first opened an amusement park on Bullocks Point in Riverside, RI. The park was called the "Coney Island of the East," and named after the unique shape of the beach.

Crescent Park became famous for its many attractions. In the early years, the most popular attractions included:

 

Charles ID Looff Carousel, built over the water, later replaced by a second carousel
Shooting the Chutes: an early waterslide
Balloon Ascension: An up and down hot-air balloon ride
Witching Waves: a ride where folks went into cars on a floor that moved

Bamboo Slide
Flying Eagle: like today's swinging pirate ships, only operated by hand pullies
Rivers of Venice: An early dark ride
Flying Tobogan First roller coaster type ride at the Park

Miniature railroad
Steeplechase: Arcade and fun-house

Tickler
The Whip (Excluding the Carousel: Longest running ride in the history of Crescent Park)
Penny Arcade

 

By the 1950's there were many changes to the midway and various buildings had new uses. The mode of transportation moved from steamboats that used to dock at the pier to the automobile, meaning that the park would have to compete with the other parks in the state.

 

Attractions in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s that were popular:

 

Midget speedway
Pony Track

Roller Coaster designed by Ed Leis, destroyed in 1938, rebuilt 1939, and then finally dismantled in 1961
Penny Arcade
Roller Skating Rink

Silver Streak (similar to the music express rides of today)
Satellite Ride (The Round-Up)
Tumble Bug

Kiddie Land
Miniature Golf

Crescent Park Train
Westward Ho! (Mini-auto theme ride)
Haunted Riverboat (Dark ride)
Western Fun House (Walking dark house)
Flying Fish (Single car style coaster)
Dodgem (Bumper Cars)

Bubble Bounce
Flying Tigers (Cages)
 

The original Music Hall, later renamed to The Alhambra Ballroom burned in 1969.

The 1970s saw decling attendance.  Some new rides were added to try to boost attendance:

 

Turbo
Trabant
Scrambler
Tilt-A-Whirl
Go-Kart Track
New Comet Coaster
(smaller version of the original "Comet")

 

In 1979 the park was sold.  Much of the land was sold to a developer where a housing complex and later individual homes were built. 

The legendary Charles I.D. Looff Carousel was saved by a group of brave souls who fought to save the gem of the "Coney Island of the East" for future generations to enjoy!