Bay Beach Amusement Park

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Bay Beach Amusement Park
Location Green Bay, Wisconsin
Coordinates 44°31′51.3″N 87°58′51″W / 44.530917°N 87.98083°W / 44.530917; -87.98083Coordinates: 44°31′51.3″N 87°58′51″W / 44.530917°N 87.98083°W / 44.530917; -87.98083
Owner City of Green Bay, Wisconsin
Opened 1892 (125 years ago) (1892)
Previous names Bay View Beach (until approx. 1920)
Operating season May - September
Rides
Total 22[1]
Roller coasters 1
Website greenbaywi.gov/baybeach
Status Operating

Bay Beach is a municipal amusement park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Situated near the mouth of the Fox River, on the east bank as it flows into Green Bay, the park contains rides, concessions, a roller coaster, and a food pavilion. Dances, movies, and other events are held in a pavilion. The park is adjacent to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

History[edit]

The park's history dates to the 1890s when entrepreneur Mitchell Nejedlo purchased the land. Originally intended to be divided and sold for summer cottages, he turned it into Bay View Beach. Bay View Beach had a dance hall, a bar, and a bathhouse, however, because it was swampy and infested with mosquitoes, the park didn't attract many visitors. In 1908 Captain John Cusick bought the resort from Nejedlo. Cusick built an 8-foot dock that extended 570 feet into the bay, then bought a steamboat to transport customers from Walnut Street Bridge to Bay View Beach. When swimming became popular, Cusick began renting swimsuits for $0.10. On a good day, he could bring in as much as $450. In 1901 a roller coaster was built. Then in 1908, Cusick built a ride called "Shoot the Chutes", a flat-bottomed boat that could hold 12 people. The boat was slid down a 50-foot ramp and onto the water. The ride cost $0.10.

In 1911 Bay View Beach was sold to Frank Emery Murphy, Born 1862 (Green Bay Alderman, Corporate Executive of Murphy Lumber, Murphey Supply, Morley - Murphy Company, Owner of The Prestigious Horse Shoe Bay Farms in Door County, Wisconsin ) and Fred A. Rahr Born 1863, (Green Bay Alderman, Operator of The Rahr's Brewing Company, Treasurer of the Volunteer Green Bay Fire Department when it was organized in 1887). In 1920 they Both donated the 11 acres, along with all its buildings and attractions, to the city of Green Bay to be used as a City Park, Called Bay Beach Park.[2]

From the site's earliest days as a private park, a public beach was available, but pollution of the bay eventually caused the swimming beach to close. From the 1930s to the early 1970s, Bay Beach's pavilion hosted concerts, political rallies, dances, Fourth of July fireworks, and other events. On August 9, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Bay Beach in celebration of Green Bay's tercentennial of the landing of French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634.

Today the park is a family place, with scenic views and rides for children, including bumper cars, a small-scale passenger train ride, a large slide, and a Ferris wheel.

Upgrades[edit]

Zippin Pippin 2013 opening morning

In 2006 46 acres (190,000 m2) of land west of the Bay Beach boundary was purchased to upgrade and expand the park. Plans include tearing down and replacing the original Ferris wheel, replacing the Scat with a new ride, and expanding the train tracks to circle the enlarged acreage.[needs update] On March 2, 2010, the city of Green Bay approved the purchase of the nearly century-old Zippin Pippin wooden roller coaster from Memphis, Tennessee, where it had sat derelict for five years. A groundbreaking took place on August 25, 2010, and construction on the Zippin Pippin began in September 2010. Construction was completed in April 2011 and the Zippin Pippin is now open.

In early 2013, a Bay Beach Master Plan was proposed. Phase 1 of the plan is broken into five two-year segments. The first is the addition of the Sea Dragon ride and expanding the train track to loop under the Zippin Pippin. In 2017 and 2018, two more rides are scheduled to arrive at the park.[3]

Images[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rides". Bay Beach Amusement Park. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Tim Freiss. Haunted Green Bay. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2010.
  3. ^ WLUK Fox 11 News "Council to vote on Bay Beach master plan"

External links[edit]