The Amusing History Of Savin Rock, From 1870 To Now -- Courant.com

Full story: Hartford Courant

What was the Savin Rock Amusement Park in West Haven? C.K., Wallingford. Named for the savin tree , Savin Rock lies along the western shore of New Haven harbor.
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61 - 80 of 88 Comments Last updated Tuesday Jul 15
Stop the madness

Waterbury, CT

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#63
Dec 27, 2009
 
Have to add my 2 cents. My parents took us there off and on. My older sister remembers a lot more than I do. I was probably around 5 the last time we went. I DO remember it as magical. In one of the shops, my sister and I got these lifelike monkeys. Just saw one at Santa's Workshop in Torrington. I thought Jimmies had the best fried shrimp (along with the hot dogs). Good memories!
cat

Topsham, ME

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#64
Feb 1, 2010
 
Carousel member wrote:
It would be great if everyone in this posting would like to help us bring back the carousel. A donation in any amount would be welcome. Please contact the Office of the Mayor (West Haven) if you would like to help. He can then get in touch with the committee( a nonprofit organization).
See ya at the Rock!
I live in Maine now but bringing the carousel back would be great! I have a PIECE of the rock and a sign
mikepc45

West Haven, CT

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#65
Feb 13, 2010
 
I used to work at the old Jimmies and the old Turks. Many fine memories. My friend lived on Oak Street second floor and we could see part of the races from there. My buddies and I went on the Wild Mouse so many times in a row the operator gave us a free ride. As a small child I loved the kiddie roller coaster. Never had the nerve to go on the B-29 though.

Since: Sep 07

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#66
Feb 15, 2010
 

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mikepc45 wrote:
I used to work at the old Jimmies and the old Turks. Many fine memories. My friend lived on Oak Street second floor and we could see part of the races from there. My buddies and I went on the Wild Mouse so many times in a row the operator gave us a free ride. As a small child I loved the kiddie roller coaster. Never had the nerve to go on the B-29 though.
I was 10 years old when I saw a guy get into the B-29, only to pass out on the second time it went over. That was over 50 years ago, and I can still remember the ride operator pulling him out of the ride, and telling myself that I would NEVER EVER NEVER get into that thing, EVER.
george farino

United States

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#68
Mar 14, 2010
 
I lived most of my life in the savin rock area. I along with my brother ran Farino's seafood restaurant. We were very susessful for serving the best soft shell crabs We were redeveloped out of business not by shoice.
Old Saybrook native

United States

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#69
Oct 26, 2010
 
What a wonderful thread.

We used to go to Savin Rock back in the 50's. The "Merry Go Round" was my favorite ride. Couldn't wait to get on it.

I had forgotten all about Lake Coumpounce.

Thanks for the memories.

Since: Jan 11

Canada

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#70
Jan 1, 2011
 
My dad used to tell me all about the rides and how fun it was.. I'm 25 and I wish I could have seen it.. You can actually see some of the old foundations of the big rides along side the boardwalk in the wooded area.. My father passed away in 2006.. He used to DJ at the beach boardwalk from 1997 till 2005.. He was well liked in the community and always made us realize how life in the 50s 60s were a lot better than the days now.. I love to hear more about the. Savin rock days.
LJs

New Haven, CT

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#71
Jan 5, 2011
 
Wonderful memories of Savin Rock Amusement Park from my childhood. Too bad is was torn down by short sighted, corrupt politicians and real estate developers.
There are two videos on YouTube from 1949 that provide views of the Park.
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Bobbyc

United States

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#72
Jan 17, 2011
 
Wow what memories. I can add that if you bought soft drinks over the counter the summers of 1965-1968, or winter breaks about that time, I was probably the one that served them. I was paid cash because I was under age, and I worked my butt off and loved it. Fourteen hours a day.
Jimmies was great because it came from the top. I remember Sal (Jimmies son), the silver haired guy with the big smile, having his finger on the pulse of the operation. Sauerkraut came in barrels from Cosmos on Leete Street, and Sal would make the delivery guy crack open each barrel for Sal to taste raw. Sabbret's rolls were baked daily , shipped from New Jersey, and would arrive by 10 AM. Any leftovers from the dfay were fed to the (well fed0 sea gulls.
The onion rings were these huge, beautiful, bermuda onions sliced daily. One of my AM jobs was to "punch the onions", that is, take them from their sliced state and turn them into individual rings. The potatoes were Idaho spuds, peeled and cut and fried daily. the fryolators were changed daily. The Hummels truck would pull up every morning, and Sal would go inside the truck to eat a few raw dogs before he let them deliver.
Everything down to the condiments, was top of the line. No skimping, no frills. No wonder this place insired so many fond memories.
Sal was also a moral man; he did not want people in his lot drinking alcohol. Thus, he provided chilled beverages with NO ICE. He also had a policeman, who you may remember as Bill, on duty all night at weekends. If you were in your car and weren't chewing, you got tossed out.
But the best was the shrimp. They were delivered early each morning, then boiled in a huge pot. When the waitresses came in it was their job to cool and peel them. then they were breaded (I'd trade the breading recipe for the Peter Frank's Popcorn Recipe) and fried to order.
I no longer live in CT, but my wife and I were back a year or so ago to have a "Shrimp-out". We bought an order of shrimp from Turks, Jimmies, Chicks, and Oyster River (no longer there). After all these years, Jimmies was still the hand's down winner.*sigh*
Jean Jamieson

North Haven, CT

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#75
Apr 17, 2011
 
Wow, it's great to read these. 1956, walking from Spring Street down Campbell Avenue, approaching Beach street, the tinny, calliope sounds of the flying horses hit you first, bumper to bumper cars, with drivers (kids) slumped down, only head showing toooo cooool. Take a right at the Virginia reel, the greasy spoon restaurants and that darned food smelled SO good. No cholesterol worries then. Save your last quarter for PETER FRANK'S FUN HOUSE. I loved the 'platter' we sat on which spun and centrifugal force took over, you were thrown off that platter into a padded area, other feet following you, bumping into, over other kids. What wonderful memories.
Joseph

Hilton Head Island, SC

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#76
Aug 10, 2011
 
Dianne Crowell wrote:
<quoted text>
**Where is the carousel now??? We where frequent flyers of the carousel back in late 50's early 60's. Went to West Haven High....
The carousel was bought (1969?) and renovated by the park commission in Fullerton, California where it is quite active to this day.
Linda Clower

Wheeling, WV

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#77
Dec 10, 2012
 
I grew up on Holmes st. As kids every day we would go to Terry's popcorn and he would give us the ends he trimrd to make the squares of candy corn he sold..Our Landlord Johnny Chancy also owned a toy store on the back side of the Virginia Reel. My fav place was the flying Horses...whent have a few years ago no signs of what use to be ..A Veterans. HOSPITAL stands where our home use to be ..but did find Scotties icecream and treated my daughter to one.the beach is so different too they put breakers in closer than they where ..
Michael F Kelly Sr

Bloomfield, CT

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#78
Jan 12, 2013
 
CTguy1955 wrote:
Your very welcome "Just another poster"!!! I just let my 18 year old son watch the two videos and it gave him an idea of why I am not shy, and love to talk to anyone. Growing up a few blocks from the Rock and going there every day on my bike, I knew so many people and just learned to be friendly. I think anyone who grows up near a beach is more open minded, but to have an amusement park so close is another story altogether.
1966 is when they say the Rock shut down. I remember going into Franks Funhouse and using cardboard (not original burlap) to go down the slides. The Merry-Go-Round building was the very last to be torn down. I thought that happened around 1968? So I was only 11 years old in 66, but I feel like I spent my life at that park.
In 58-59 I was spending many hours with BILL changing out cigarettes in the machines, meeting the owners and going on the rides for free. I knew the Blakeslee Family who had a house on Bradley Point, and we spent summers playing games outside when it was dark, and the sights and sounds of the rock could always be heard.
My Dad played ball at Donovan field for the Sailors, and I saw a small article in the West Haven Voice or whatever hometown paper it was then, that he had under the glass on his desk, where babe ruth had played in exhibition games there, and that the longest ball ever hit was by
my Dad. He was a catcher, and the scars on his legs from the metal cleats were really bad. I have tried to find that article and have never found it. I would love to get a copy. I remember hearing and going to stock car races at that field, and I remember somewhere at the rock a big barrel with motorcycles going around and around.
The Wild Mouse is the only ride I have ever seen that went the closest to the water. The Merry go round building in the back was built on piers (pylons). Thanks for confirming the Wax Museum, I dont remember it but a friend of mine did.
Being 8 in 54 means you grew up at the best time......you are so lucky!!!!! Jimmys parking lot must have been a riot for you, with hot cars and motorcycles.
Laters/Mike
Well I now know that the "Sailors" did not play at
Donovan's Field, but rather Quigley Stadium. I know my Dad played at Donovan's, so it was not for the WH Sailors, although I know He hung around with Joe Digorsi, who was a WH Sailor player and fellow lu 90 electrician. The two of them got me drunk in 1981 and talked me into becoming an Electrician. Now I have close to 31 years in the trade.... Time sure flies and I do miss Savin Rock very much and am so fortunate to have had the chance to live the dream that so many of todays youth will never know of. Heck, you cant even bring your dog down the beach and throw a ball or frisbee now !!! What fun is that?
Books on Savin Rock

Monroe, CT

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#79
Jan 12, 2013
 
For you Rock lovers, it is well worth a trip to the Savin Rock Museum, which occupies a portion of the old Phyllis's Restaurant next to Jimmies. You may even get lucky on your visit and meet with Harold Hartmann, who was the lead mechanic at the Rock for many years.
Mary Symmes Gambino

Springfield, MA

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#80
Jan 12, 2013
 
Debbie wrote:
Zuppardi's Apizza on Union Ave, across from St. Lawrence School. The best pizza around!! You couldn't get in there on a Friday night. It's amazing how Savin Rock touched so many lives. we lived on Leete St. My dad would take my sister and me just about every night. We never got tired of it - well, maybe my dad did. When you were sleeping at night, you could hear the stock cars racing. To us, Savin Rock was just plain magical - that wooden roller coaster, the tunnel of love - my poor dad. I think our favorite was the bumper cars. Sadly, our kids just didn't have a place like SR. It's so unfortunate. I remember skipping class to get lunch at Jimmies. Then there was Phyllis too. I do remember the antique cars...... I think I'm still in mourning.
I went to sLs 1961-6 most students had birthday party at Zuppardi's. After marriage in 1985, we'd take-out a lg moots w/pproni every Friday night! They're on fb.
Mary Symmes Gambino

Springfield, MA

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#81
Jan 12, 2013
 
joanQ wrote:
We re trying to re-create the locations of the roads, rides, hotels, restaurants etc of Savin Rock.any one out there with this information? Where was "The Beach House",Jacksons Palace De Dance, Stanfords Inn, Jack's Hotel, the Gate Ways into the Grove and White City? This is to name just a few of the areas we are trying to locate. Thanks

I am admin for fb group named The West Haven Corner. I am also trying to re-create the park on a map. We're using aerial photography from 1934, 1961, and 1964. We also have two drawings of streets and attractions but they are more like before & after in one glance (new atop old features). We have an active discussion going on about the different areas of the park, the surrounding neighborhood and the people who amused themselves at the Rock.
Mary Symmes Gambino

Springfield, MA

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#82
Jan 14, 2013
 
East Haven 5 wrote:
Thanks, Dave. My grandfather was the Laughing Lady. Sadly he died 11 years ago, but he was truly a happy, nice, and sweet man. My real grandfather died prior to my being born, so Frank was the only grandfather I knew, and he was a terrific person. He would have been so happy to know that he gave people some great memories!
:)
<quoted text>
My family's house was on Second Avenue and if the wind was just right, we'd hear the announcer at WH Speedway. We'd attend Sunday mass at the Savin Rock Chapel, which was seasonal as well.
Across from the chapel on Summer Street was a white wooden roller coaster. One Sunday I was standing in from of the church with my father and I asked him if anyone ever rode on that roller coaster, because it was always closed. He said my grandfather and he helped build it, and lots of people used to ride it years ago.(Mind you, I was no more than 8) I asked him if Nana and mommy helped? No, they just painted it white when we were done.
Myamiphil

Oakland, NJ

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#83
Jan 15, 2013
 
For those of you on Facebook. There's a new group called "The West Haven Corner" Its all about Savin Rock and West Haven. Lots of stuff showing up, pics and links etc.
Dale

Myrtle Beach, SC

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#84
Jun 19, 2013
 
hello, can anyone help me ? I heard of stories in the early days of savin rock amusement, was there ever a game where the threw base balls at negros ? I over heard a story sitting down at jimmies a few years back, and recently heard It again..just wondering if its true

“Heart is still in Meriden!”

Since: Aug 11

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#85
Jul 6, 2013
 
Being born in Meriden back in 1949 was great! I got to go to Lake Coumpounce and ride the inboard speed boats! I liked the space ship ride too. It just went round and round but it had a ray gun you could "shoot" everyone with! Not today, you'd go to jail for making threats!

Here is a link on Google for images back in 1955. Enjoy..

https://www.google.com/search...

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