Lincoln Beach amusement park
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Lincoln Beach was an amusement park in New Orleans, Louisiana, functioning from 1939 through 1965. The park was for the area's African American population during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation.
Lincoln Beach was located along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain near Little Woods, in a portion of the Eastern New Orleans section of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans that was little developed in the 1930s. The land where Lincoln Beach was located was deeded to the city by Samuel Zemurray in 1938 and purchased within a year by the Orleans Levee Board. The Levee Board first designated this section as a swimming area in the lake for "colored" New Orleanians, then built out additional land in the lake for the amusement park to be built on. The park was similar to the then "whites only" Pontchartrain Beach amusement park, only on a smaller scale. It featured various rides, games, restaurants, a swimming pool in addition to lake swimming, and frequent live music performances. In the last decade, Fats Domino was repeatedly a featured musical act.
Pontchartrain Beach was desegregated in 1964, and business declined rapidly at Lincoln Beach, which, having been rendered obsolete, closed soon afterward. Although there have been various proposals to redevelop the Lincoln Beach site, the decaying ruins of the park have remained vacant for decades. The history of Lincoln Beach is recounted in the book, The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South (published by Harvard University Press, 2012).
Andrew W. Kahrl, The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South (Harvard University Press, 2012).
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