Pleasure Beach Timeline
From an article by
Mike Sembos, printed in the Fairfield County News Weekly, February 6, 2003.
read Mike's full article, click on: Pleasure Beach Article
1892: The privately owned park opens
with the name Pleasure Beach.
1905: Changes ownership, and name
temporarily changes to Steeple chase Island.
1920: Roller coaster and ballroom are
1938: The city of Bridgeport takes over
1947: Island is connected to the
Stratford mainland by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
1951: Rides are discontinued for the
1953: Bad wiring sparks a fire that
destroys the concessions, the fun house and penny arcade.
1957: A discarded cigarette sets the
1959: Plans proposed for a year-round
1961: Six rides, including the roller
coaster, are auctioned off.
1964: Oil tanker crashes into bridge.
1965: Fire destroys a section of the
1972: Much of the old
"midway" burns thanks to a portable stove.
1973: The ballroom burns down.
1980: Hotel/conference center proposed.
1983: Nudist camp proposed.
1984: Disney shows interest in the
property for a "regional entertainment center."
1987: Donald Trump wants to open a
world-class theme park.
1987: Steve Wynn wants to build luxury
1988: Maritime "Amazement
1990: A tugboat hits the bridge.
1990: Aquarium, nightclub and shops
1990: A man and his children go for a
walk and discover 72 empty crack vials in the parking lot as well as several
used hypodermic needles.
1996: A new $2 million bathhouse is
1996: Vandals burn the boardwalk from
the bathhouse to the beach.
1996: 150-feet of the bridge burns
making it uncrossable and stranding more than 200 cars. $20-$30 million needed
1996: City of Stratford decides not to
renew the leases for cottages on the beach. Some owners refuse to leave.
1999: New bridge proposed on Stratford
side of the park. It would cost $8 million.
2002: Water taxi proposed to allow
beach access from Bridgeport.
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