Did you know: One of the world’s oldest amusement parks is in NJ?
We're known for so many negative things here in New Jersey, I'm always happy to find that we're renowned for something good.
I had no idea that Clementon Park & Splash World, also known as Clementon Lake Park, is one of the world's oldest operating amusement parks. That's right, it's ours!
New Jersey Assemblyman Theodore B. Gibbs and his sons, Edgar B. and Willard founded the park in 1907. That makes it the second oldest amusement park in New Jersey (Sorry, Keansburg beat them to the punch by three years.)
The amusement park was a popular destination in the early decades of the twentieth century with a trolley running from Camden to the park entrance. In the early twentieth century, amusement parks were built at the end of trolley lines to encourage weekend ridership.
In the 1920s, the park included a nickelodeon movie theater, a "dancing casino", a steam-driven carousel, the Jack Rabbit roller coaster and a "razzle-dazzle" ride. The Jack Rabbit roller coaster was considered state-of-the-art when added to the Park in 1919 for the cost of $80,000.
$80K In 1919? It better have been death defying!
Known as a "South Jersey pleasure resort", Clementon Park was where Philadelphia boxer Al Ettore trained for his heavyweight title fight against Joe Louis in Philadelphia on September 22, 1936.
Throughout the years many attractions helped bring renewed life to the park. Laguna Kahuna, a large interactive water playland was added in 2008, followed by Ring of Fire and Thunder Drop in 2010, and Torpedo Rush in 2011. Big Wave Bay was added in 2012.
It's humble beginnings, though, are captured for posterity on this cool video.
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