Lotus Isle

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Lotus Isle
Lotus Isle bumper cars.jpg
"Bulldog" bumper cars at Lotus Isle
Location Hayden Island, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Coordinates 45°36′39″N 122°40′26″W / 45.610945°N 122.673984°W / 45.610945; -122.673984
Owner Edwin F. Platt
Opened June 28, 1930
Closed 1932
Rides
Total 40

Lotus Isle Amusement Park was an amusement park that opened on June 28, 1930, in Portland, Oregon, just off the east tip of Hayden Island on the Columbia River. Known as the "Wonderland of the Pacific Northwest," Lotus Isle was located just east of the more successful Jantzen Beach amusement park. Lotus Isle spread out over 128 acres (0.52 km2) and at the time was Portland's largest amusement park.[1]

History[edit]

Lotus Isle Amusement Park opened on June 28, 1930 after a group of investors realized the success of the nearby Jantzen Beach Amusement Park.[2] At the time of its opening, Lotus Isle was the largest amusement park in Oregon.[2] The park consisted of forty attractions[2] including bumper cars, a rollercoaster, and a dance hall called the Peacock Ballroom.[2]

On August 28, 1930, a sixteen-year-old boy fell from the roller coaster into the Columbia River and drowned.[3] Edwin Platt, the park's owner, committed suicide the day after the drowning. For the following season, a promoter named Al Painter took over management of the park, and created a "Dance-A-Thon" event in the park's Peacock Ballroom, which held room for 6,600 dancers.[2] During this time, John Ringling sold Lotus Isle a temperamental bull elephant named "Tusko" who soon destroyed several pavilions after being spooked by a low-flying stunt plane.[4] The elephant, which had previously rampaged through Sedro-Wooley, Washington, eventually ended up in Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo.[2][5]

On August 24, 1931, almost a year after the drowning and Platt's suicide, the Peacock Ballroom burned to the ground.[2] The park operated once more in the 1932 season before going into bankruptcy, after which liquidation of the park property began.[1][6]

Attractions[edit]

  • "Whiz" - wood Roller Coaster
  • Alpine Scenic Railway
  • Bulldog Bumper Cars
  • 100-foot (30 m) neon Eiffel Tower sign at the entrance
  • 1914 Herschell-Spillman menagerie merry-go-round -- currently located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pintarich, Dick, ed. (2008). Great and Minor Moments in Oregon History. New Oregon Publishers. ISBN 978-0980243604. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g John, Finn J.D. (2012-09-10). "Lotus Isle, Oregon's most surreal amusement park". Offbeat Oregon. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Josh. "Lotus Isle: Backfiring Bamboozle". Center for Columbia River History. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  4. ^ "Lotus Isle". Portland History. 
  5. ^ Pierce, J. Kingston. "Tusko the elephant rampages through Sedro-Woolley on May 15, 1922". historylink.org. 
  6. ^ Klooster, Karl (June 1984). "Lotus Isle: Backfiring Bamboozle". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°36′39″N 122°40′26″W / 45.610945°N 122.673984°W / 45.610945; -122.673984