Eldorado Amusement Park

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Eldorado Amusement Park was a 25-acre amusement park that opened in 1891 in the Highwood Park section of Weehawken, New Jersey.[1][2][3] It operated as an amusement grounds through 1894,[4] after which time the main building, the Casino, was used to host boxing matches and other athletic events and vaudeville performances.[5][6] A massive fire in the early morning of November 4, 1898, destroyed the building.[7]


Eldorado was formed by local prominent political and business leaders through the creation of the Palisades Amusement and Exhibition Company[8][9][10] with Bolossy Kiralfy, one of the Kiralfy Brothers, being named as General Manager/Amusement Director.[9] One of the principals of the company was Hillric J. Bonn; he was the founder of street railways and he directly or indirectly owned large parcels of land in Hudson County, New Jersey.[11][12]

The Palisades Amusement And Exhibition Company also published the show program for Auguste Francioli's Egypt Through Centuries in 1892.[13][14]

Attractions and themes[edit]

Karl Bitter Weehawken home

In 1891, Kiralfy's King Solomon's Mine was the opening production in the park's amphitheatre[15] Augusto Francioli's 'Egypt Through Centuries' was the theatre's 1892 season show, one of numerous Egyptian Theatre of the 19th and 20th centuries in America. The five acts depicting 110 years of Egyptian history depicted, in some part, the virgin sacrifice to Osiris.[15] Kiralfy's King Solomon show was also produced during the Eldorado's 1893 season.[16]

The park stated it was "the most beautiful amusement resort in the world"[17] with the amphitheatre having a claimed seating capacity from 12,000[18] or 15,000 persons.[9]


The park contained "The Castle" which was the studio of Karl Bitter[19] until 1898.[20] Residential neighborhoods[1] and commercial development now occupy the original area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Beck, Henry C. (1983). Tales and Towns of Northern New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. p. 286. ISBN 9780813510194. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Eldorado Hotel in 1890, Highwood Park, NJ (Postcard)". E.F. Walter, Hoboken, NJ. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide, Volume 74. F.W. Dodge Corporation. 1904. Retrieved November 25, 2012. from "Highwood Park" on the south which was the scene of the former Eldorado festivals 
  4. ^ "Eldorado to Reopen". Evening [Jersey] Journal. April 28, 1894. p. 6
  5. ^ "North Hudson [news]". Evening [Jersey] Journal. Nov. 29, 1895. p.4
  6. ^ "Events in the Ring". Evening [Jersey] Journal. March 29, 1897. p. 4
  7. ^ Eickmann, Walter T. "Eldorado," in History of West New York, New Jersey. Golden Jubilee Committee, West New York. 1948. p. 72-77
  8. ^ "Weehawken Time Machine website" (PDF). Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "A Big Amusement Scheme". New York Times. December 14, 1890. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Palisades Amusement and Exhibition Company" (PDF). 
  11. ^ Court Of Chancery, New Jersey; Prerogative Court, New Jersey; Court Of Errors And Appeals, New Jersey (1907). New Jersey. Court of Chancery, New Jersey. Prerogative Court, New Jersey. Court of Errors and Appeals. Vol 69. 
  12. ^ "John Hillric Bonn". Genealogical History Of Hudson And Bergen Counties New Jersey. 
  13. ^ "Egypt through the Centuries". Augusto Francioli. 
  14. ^ Weehawken. 
  15. ^ a b Sherman, Lauren; Ellen Robb Gaulkin (2009). Weehawken. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 32–33. ISBN 9780738562681. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  16. ^ "New Features At Eldorado - A Thrilling Aerial Feat by a Female Trapeze Performer". New York Times. August 6, 1893. 
  17. ^ "Program page from 'Egypt Through Centuries'(ca.1892)". WeehawkenHistory.org. 
  18. ^ "Program page back 'Eldorado '(ca. 1892)". WeehawkenHistory.org. 
  19. ^ "The Castle and Bitter Studio (undated photograph)". WeehawkenHistory.org. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ Grissom, Carol A. (2009). Zinc Sculpture in America: 1850-1950. Associated University Presse. p. 431. ISBN 9780874130317. Retrieved November 25, 2012.