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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Tillie

Vienna, ME

#1 Jul 18, 2007
My best childhood memories with my grandparents, Arthur and Margaret LeMay are at Savin Rock. Who could ever forget the 'Laughing Lady'? The Flying Horses, cotton candy,the sights, the smells or the excitement.
Another favorite memory are the 'foot long' hot dogs at Jimmies.
tonyclock

Hartford, CT

#2 Jul 20, 2007
Wish I could over been there to see it.

Since: Feb 07

,Connecticut

#3 Jul 21, 2007
We just moved here when they knicked it down
Judge and Jury

North Branford, CT

#4 Jul 21, 2007
Occaisionaly CPTV has the Bob Steele narrated documentary on Lake Coumpounce and Savin Rock. Great show. Most towns had an amusement park with in 15 to twenty miles near them. The transportation was the trolley. Weekends were all day outings on the trollies to smaller towns Both trolley museums in CT. were used for tranportation of passengers to these parks and you could ride the trolleys out of state if you needed to with transfers. These parks declined after WW I and the only one left is Lake Compounce. The good old days.
Tille

Vienna, ME

#5 Jul 21, 2007
Lake Compounce!!! After my grandparents moved to Prospect that is where they took my sister and I.
The rides my grandparents went on with us were the boat and the train that went around the lake.
My sister was older than me and FORCED me to ride the roller coaster with her!! I was in terror!! Of course today she denies forcing me!!
Those also were the days when kids could walk around safe!!
Child of the 50s

Stratford, CT

#6 Jul 22, 2007
I remember Jimmy's [the BEST french fries and fried clams]. Whenever my uncle was on leave from the airforce, a visit to Savin was at the top of the Must Do List.
Tripper

Pico Rivera, CA

#7 Aug 22, 2007
Child of the 50s wrote:
I remember Jimmy's [the BEST french fries and fried clams]. Whenever my uncle was on leave from the airforce, a visit to Savin was at the top of the Must Do List.
Fried clams were the best at the Rock. I was in the Navy stationed on both coasts, and I've never had fried clams that came anywhere close to deliver a taste like Savin Rock. If you know of any place in San Diego, that has a good fried crab lunch, please write it down.
Memories from Maine

Old Town, ME

#8 Sep 2, 2007
Savin Rock was also waht my childhood was about. My grandparents lived just up the hill on Kelsey Avenue, about half way between the amusement park and the ball park, and that was the big thing when I was a kid on the weekends-- getting to go to my grandparents' house for the weekend, because you could be sure that right after mass at St. Michael's, we'd be headed back to the house to change clothes, and then down to "the ROCK"!!

Even after the park came down, I went to Notre Dame HS, and friday night mixers just wouldn't be the same without heading down to Jimmie's (When it was a drive in) afterward!!

Good times, and alot of fond memories.
John Vedder JR

Metter, GA

#9 Feb 13, 2008
My grand father Bob Vedder helped tear down savin rock.along with his pay he also got 5 little gas powered 1920s packard cars.you know the car ride that followed the track.I dont know what the ride was called.my grandfather gave one car to each grand child.my Grandfather is now deceased many years but his stories still live along with my little car I still have.I have spent many years researching my little car with no luck.if any one has a picture of this ride from when the park was still active I would love to see them.if anyone would like to see my little car just email me at johno3@usacops.com and i would love to share a picture.thanks John Vedder JR.metter ga
B Straub Cartersville GA

Englewood, CO

#10 Apr 2, 2008
I remember the stock car races at the Rock then going to Jimmies. Watching out for "westies", since I lived in Milford at the time. Great times to be young.

Since: Feb 08

AOL

#11 Apr 3, 2008
The two things I remember most about Savin Rock was the miniature train ride and the power boat ride in witch you could steer your own boat. My brother, friends and I used to go down the rock on school promotion day. What a treat.
Jeff H

New Britain, CT

#12 Apr 3, 2008
John Vedder JR wrote:
My grand father Bob Vedder helped tear down savin rock.along with his pay he also got 5 little gas powered 1920s packard cars.you know the car ride that followed the track.I dont know what the ride was called.my grandfather gave one car to each grand child.my Grandfather is now deceased many years but his stories still live along with my little car I still have.I have spent many years researching my little car with no luck.if any one has a picture of this ride from when the park was still active I would love to see them.if anyone would like to see my little car just email me at johno3@usacops.com and i would love to share a picture.thanks John Vedder JR.metter ga
I just want to say that that is so damn cool. Good luck in your search.
Stephanie Nichols Carty

Cumberland Center, ME

#13 Apr 19, 2008
My grandparents used to go here all the time! I am just learning about the history of this fabulous place.
I have a photo from about 1930 of my grandfather (Gordon Nichols) and his buddy Charles Plank, that they took in one of those photo booths.
So nice to see information on the net for those of us too young to have known this wonderful place.
Carol M

Middletown, NY

#14 Apr 20, 2008
My Uncle used to live on Court St, in West Haven. I used to spend my summers with him and my Aunt. They'd take me down to Savin Rock and eat at Jimmies (when it was a drive-in). I learned to swim there.
Last time I visited was 2005 and when I went down to the Rock the tide was out and I was fortunate enough to be able to walk out on the exposed sandy bar to it, with my son. He was in awe and I must say, so was I. I've eaten in the 'new' Jimmies and it was very good, but nothing like the 'drive in'.
Dave Lips Southwick MA

West Springfield, MA

#15 Jul 4, 2008
My mother spent her teen years at her house right on the beach at Bradley Point.My grandparents,Joseph and Beatrice Bennis lived there until someone in 1968 decided to buy all the properties and tear down the houses for new development.I used to spend my summers there.Savin Rock will live in my memory forever.I recently visited there and I long for pictures of how it used to be.
Tony Gagoots

East Haven, CT

#16 Jul 10, 2008
When I was very young (4-5 years old) we lived within walking distance of Savin Rock (Clark Street - near the West Haven Town Barn/Armstrong Rubber). I remember walking there in the early 1950s with my older brother and sister. I thought that laughing lady in the window was a little scary. Fun place.
Anyone remember the "Wild Mouse ?"
Peter Mastracchio

Mesa, AZ

#17 Aug 4, 2008
I was born in West Haven in 1961. My years grwoing up in the fine beachfront community to this day make me smile. I remember going to Jimmies when it was still a Drive-In restaurant and getting split hot dogs and the best onion rings I have ever eaten to this day. We would eat them right at the waters edge. The gulls would fight to see who would be the lucky one to get that onion ring or french fry that was thrown to them. I will always have a special palce for West Haven in my heart.
Dave Lillis

United States

#18 Sep 9, 2008
On the last day of Grammar school --St Lawrence--all would head to the "Rock" for the afternoon. You saved your last quarter for Peter Frank's Fun House where there was no time limit. Some guys would get a girl to make out in the Old Mill Shute.
Hot dogs and lobster rolls at Jimmie's were a must. Perhaps later in the day you might swim at the beach known as Okinawa.
Very special memories.
Older than Yoda

United States

#19 Sep 9, 2008
As a very old ice cream junkie who has traveled all over the globe, I still have not found anything like the cold and very creamy delight I first tasted as a native nutmegger, Maple Nut frozen custard. Many recent frozen custard stands which have opened nearby do not have maple nut as it seems to be a New England favorite, but is difficult to get elsewhere. Also those candied popcorn bricks of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry made by the Peter Franks people. On our high school graduation night, four of us went to "the rock" and actually made a record together (they did have a recording booth for $1 for a 3 minute recording) and I still have that record. We tried to sing seriously but it is mostly laughing. Life was so simple then and I cannot believe how innocent we were compared to today's teens, even what we thought was "out-of-bounds" behavior was really only good clean fun. The draglines with cranes that never caught the good prizes, the hilarious bumper cars which you could not drive without cracking up, the grotesque-looking motorized "gypsy fortune tellers" that actually gave me nightmares when I was a kid and the smell of glazed, bright red candied apples, fried onionburgers, all the tantalizing smells of freshly prepared foods melding into one delicious craving. The very first (terrifing to a four year old) ride I ever took there were little airplanes connected to rods that swung you around in a circle and when it really got going, you were flung out close to the ocean and for a real coward of a child, I was sure I was going to end up drowned in the surf. It's a pity that those nostalgic events are now just a memory.
Carousel member

Stevenson, CT

#20 Sep 12, 2008
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!

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