Pleasure Beach Timeline

From an article by Mike Sembos, printed in the Fairfield County News Weekly, February 6, 2003. 
To 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 built.

1938: The city of Bridgeport takes over the park.

1947: Island is connected to the Stratford mainland by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

1951: Rides are discontinued for the most part.

1953: Bad wiring sparks a fire that destroys the concessions, the fun house and penny arcade.

1957: A discarded cigarette sets the bridge ablaze.

1959: Plans proposed for a year-round resort/casino.

1961: Six rides, including the roller coaster, are auctioned off.

1964: Oil tanker crashes into bridge.

1965: Fire destroys a section of the bridge.

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 condos.

1988: Maritime "Amazement Park" proposed.

1990: A tugboat hits the bridge.

1990: Aquarium, nightclub and shops proposed.

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 completed.

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 to repair.

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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