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

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. Full Story
Carol M

Montgomery, NY

#43 May 2, 2009
VROSS wrote:
MY God I Cant Believe Someone Remembers "Zuppardi's" Pizza! I Scan This Fantastic Site Every So Often, I Lived On Lower Union Ave.I Spent Many A Friday Nite There,I Live In The Hartford Area Now And Havent Been In West Haven In A Long Time.Is "Zuppardi's" Still THere?
Yes - Well, at least it was 3 years ago. Still great food and extremely nice people! I live in the Hudson Valley area of New York and it's about a two hour drive. My cousin still lives in West Haven.
Peter Franks Fun House

West Orange, NJ

#44 May 3, 2009
Was the best attraction in town.... Thru my step mother I got to know Mrs Frank... Peter Frank had already passed away. Mrs Frank lived right across from the Trolley terminus by the Roller Coaster and Flume ride.

Kids today don't know what a fun house is! The tumbling tunnel, the slide and the disk! I recall thr tilted room to but I dont know if that was part of the fun house... I think it was.

I was in San Fransisco recently, and while on tour they mentioned a carousel in the Golden Gate Park. Ive since found out its the carousel from Savin Rock! Plans are underway to get it back to West Haven!
Gina G

Charlotte, NC

#45 Jun 6, 2009
Wow- did your comment about Peter Franks Fun House at Savin Rock in West Haven, Conn. bring back memories!- Kids today have no idea how much they have missed! How I wish I could just go back in time and savor just a little more and a little longer those moments I so took for granted!.
Peter Franks Fun House wrote:
Was the best attraction in town.... Thru my step mother I got to know Mrs Frank... Peter Frank had already passed away. Mrs Frank lived right across from the Trolley terminus by the Roller Coaster and Flume ride.
Kids today don't know what a fun house is! The tumbling tunnel, the slide and the disk! I recall thr tilted room to but I dont know if that was part of the fun house... I think it was.
I was in San Fransisco recently, and while on tour they mentioned a carousel in the Golden Gate Park. Ive since found out its the carousel from Savin Rock! Plans are underway to get it back to West Haven!
Ctguy1955

Waterbury, CT

#46 Jun 6, 2009
Puttintane wrote:
Anybody remember when the Grove got grown over in the 70's and became keg-party central? Kind of "Dazed and Confused" with a beach.....
I grew up on Washington Ave between Thomas Street and Park Street. I only had to cross Thomas, California, and Beach to get to the beach and then walk a very short distance to Savin Rock. I used to sweep the floors for tony guiliano and he let me ride on the merrygoround and bumper cars, and gave me some cash. My moms boyfriend Bill O'Sullivan had all the cigarette machines so I went with him when I was able to and got to meet all the ride owners and workers. My aunt Helen worked at APPS for years. Ok-----so now lets skip to more future events that answer the above quote. I worked at Woodland Liquor at the parkade and most of the kegs for the SHI**ouse parties came from that store. Buzz and little annie and so many names. I used to jump off the SHI**house building onto the beach sand, some people didnt make it. Lots of broken legs.
I may think of myself as a rock rat, but I guess Im too young. To have owned a car in 58 and then gone to jimmies would have been the best. There were hills near savin ave where we used to go sled riding. Hills had names like daredevil, ballbreaker, telescope, peewee. So much fun growing up. My kids grew up in Yalesville, and sports was all they ever had, and july 4th fireworks.

Mike Kelly Sr
Miles L

Virginia Beach, VA

#47 Jun 7, 2009
Used to spend summers and winter weekends at my grandparents house in Milford (10 miles from West Haven). The Rock was a MUST VISIT place for the rides and Jimmies. The lobster rolls, soft shell crabs, clams (raw and fried) and the famous hot dogs. I was born in New York City and nobody could tell me Nathan's hot dogs were better!
I went back to Jimmies in the late 80's and it was not the same....(prices were way up.. sure), but the quality was not there.
FYI: I do remember the cost of Lobster Rolls at $0.80 per (probably 1956). I make my own now and down here in Virginia, they are imported so one pays $10-14 / pound..... ahh the good old days.

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#48 Jun 11, 2009
Does anyone happen to know where the wax museum was located? I thought it may have been over by the go
carts that ran on a large oval track that was banked on both ends,very close to Mikes pizza, a block and a half over.....

Thanks for any help on this

Mike

Since: Sep 07

Location hidden

#49 Jun 12, 2009
CTguy1955 wrote:
Does anyone happen to know where the wax museum was located? I thought it may have been over by the go
carts that ran on a large oval track that was banked on both ends,very close to Mikes pizza, a block and a half over.....
Thanks for any help on this
Mike
I can't remember where the wax museum was located, but I DO remember begging my father to take me into it when I was 10. I STILL remember how scared I was of the gruesome exhibits downstairs: the woman in the jail cell when you got to the bottom of the stairs - then on your left, the guy cutting up little kids and putting the pieces into a furnace - and then next to that, the barber slitting his customer's throat. That was more than 50 years ago and it still gives me the creeps!

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#50 Jun 13, 2009
quoted text
I can't remember where the wax museum was located, but I DO remember begging my father to take me into it when I was 10.
**********
Well I found out a few things:



is part one of two, and at 5:35 may be the wax museum.
The location of the museum can be seen on this map I found :
http://members.tripod.com/~willshepa/mapeast....
Palace and Grove street near the carousel is where the wax museum was.
Laters/Mike

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#51 Jun 13, 2009
Peter Franks Fun House wrote:
I was in San Fransisco recently, and while on tour they mentioned a carousel in the Golden Gate Park. Ive since found out its the carousel from Savin Rock! Plans are underway to get it back to West Haven!
I went to the National Carousel Association website and they say the savin rock Big one that was in the Merry-Go-Round building and run by Tony Guilliano, is at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA, 1971 to present
Here is the website: http://www.nca-usa.org/census/census-CLA.html scroll down to six flags magic mountain and look at the HISTORY of the carousel. If you go to the history of the one at
golden gate park, it never left California.

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#52 Jun 13, 2009
Just realized that the other carousel that was near the wax museum was unaccounted for. I found one in six flags in mass (the old riverside) the the history of it is:
Description: Mangels-Illions
Carousel Class: Classic Wood Carousel
Last Update: 2006
Status: Active
Model: menagerie
Year Built: 1909
Type: 4 rows, Park, All Wood composition
Figures: 48 Jumping Horses, 20 Standing Horses, 4 Menagerie Animals (1 Lion, 2 Deer, 1 Tiger), 2 chariots
Music: Band Organ: Wurl 146-B
Comments: Restored to original 86-87 from Barney Illions' notes. Includes 1 of only 4 "American Beauty" lead horses by Illions.
History: Savin Rock, West Haven, CT, 1909 to 1940
6 Flags NE/Riverside Park, Agawam, MA, 1940 to present
Directions/Hours: On Route 159. Located 1623 Main St. in Agawam. Hours vary during season. Call for hours of operation.

So 1909 to 1940 at Savin Rock. Im starting to wonder just how many carousels were there at Savin Rock? I had always heard the big one went to Ceder Point in Ohio, but now I know that's not true. I will have to visit the West Haven Library
and try to find out some more info.

http://nca-usa.org/cgi-bin/census/census.pl...

I find this all very interesting, and I would really love to find some aerial photography of the late 50's and early 60's, the time I remember it the most.

Thanks Everyone !!!!!!!!!!

Since: Sep 07

Location hidden

#53 Jun 14, 2009
CTguy1955 wrote:
quoted text
I can't remember where the wax museum was located, but I DO remember begging my father to take me into it when I was 10.
**********
Well I found out a few things:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =YZvrBzrMsicXX
is part one of two, and at 5:35 may be the wax museum.
The location of the museum can be seen on this map I found :
http://members.tripod.com/~willshepa/mapeast....
Palace and Grove street near the carousel is where the wax museum was.
Laters/Mike
You're right about that shot of the "world's museum" - that IS the wax museum.

Thanks for the link, I really enjoyed the film clips - and especially liked the part with the old wooded roller coaster that was built partly out over the water. I can remember my dad (who is now 90) telling me about how he went on that all by himself when he was 9 or 10. He had gone on a trip with a group from his church, if I recall correctly. He said his bottom didn't touch the seat from the time they started down the first big drop to the end of the ride. By the time I recall going to Savin Rock as an 8 year old in 1954, that particular roller coaster had been torn down, but it was still being used in those 1949 films.

Great memories! thanks so much

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#54 Jun 14, 2009
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
Dee

Glens Falls, NY

#55 Jun 14, 2009
Carol M wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes - Well, at least it was 3 years ago. Still great food and extremely nice people! I live in the Hudson Valley area of New York and it's about a two hour drive. My cousin still lives in West Haven.
I just found out that Zuppardi's moved to Wilmington,VT! I am a former West Havener now living in SW NH - this is a must trip for me - only about 40 miles due west. I haven't had their pizza since I was a teenager at Giannotti Middle School back in the 70's

Since: May 09

West Orange, NJ

#56 Jun 14, 2009
I do remember the wild mouse.... It was near the Flying Horses...

I recall when it went up... I did ride it a few time... It was a hoot to get to the top and curve around right at the edge and peering over into the water.... Now if Disney took that ride and surrounded it with and Indiana Jones Mine ride... wow!!

I dont particularly like roller coasters... but that was fun...

Thanks for reminding me!
joanQ

Longboat Key, FL

#57 Jul 1, 2009
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
joanQ

Longboat Key, FL

#58 Jul 2, 2009
Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
I just found out that Zuppardi's moved to Wilmington,VT! I am a former West Havener now living in SW NH - this is a must trip for me - only about 40 miles due west. I haven't had their pizza since I was a teenager at Giannotti Middle School back in the 70's
ZUPPARDI'S IN VT? DID LORRIE SELL AND MOVE THERE?

“now living in Weatogue, Ct ”

Since: Oct 07

West Haven, CT is my Hometown

#59 Jul 3, 2009
They are still advertised in the yellow pages as being in west haven.

http://www.zuppardisapizza.com/

And their own website still says WH as well.
Carol M

Montgomery, NY

#60 Sep 16, 2009
Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
I just found out that Zuppardi's moved to Wilmington,VT! I am a former West Havener now living in SW NH - this is a must trip for me - only about 40 miles due west. I haven't had their pizza since I was a teenager at Giannotti Middle School back in the 70's
My cousin said they're still in West Haven - they've ordered pizza from there just last week! lol. Perhaps it's another place with the same name that you're looking at in NH?
Carol M

Montgomery, NY

#61 Sep 16, 2009
Ooops - VT. I was confused for a moment between what 'Dee' wrote and then 'JoanQ'. Sorry.
tylertooo

Poway, CA

#62 Dec 26, 2009
I wish there were photos available from the different amusements at Savin Rock. I have the best memories from it. I lived at the very top of Kelsey Avenue, right across from painter park. My mom would drop us off at the penny arcade, and it seems so magical to try our luck in the arcade. We usually came out with those little metal clickers, or a fake cigarette (red tinfoil at the end, and when you blew in the end, a bit of powder would come out, looking like smoke) We would ride the carosel for hours, and although my older sister did go into the fun house, I was petrified of Laff in the Dark and the fortune teller. Candy Apples, popcorn bricks were the best. My relatives had a food stand right at the end of East Ave, the stand was a bit removed from Savin Rock, but right at the beach. Another aunt lived right across from the stand. Jimmies was the best as a drive-in. The hummels split hotdogs were so good. At the top of Kelsey Ave, we would sit on our front steps on the weekends and watch the stock cars being trailered down to the track. We were real young, and would scream out the number and color of the cars as they went past, jumping on the lawn, and would giggle over the fact that we spotted another car. At night we would fall asleep to the sounds of the cars screeching around the track, and to the people screaming as they went over the crest on the roller coaster. We could even hear the cars go up the steep track at the very beginning-a clanking sound. I absolutely loved those sounds-they never kept us up at night. It was also great having the ball park across the street as we could watch baseball almost everyday during baseball season. Jimmies was the place everyone ate. The split hotdogs were the best. Years later, after rebuilding Jimmies as an eat-in only restaurant, I worked there as a waitress. What a tough place to work. They didn't take reservations, still many people waited for hours to get in. It was hard because the management was always on us-we could never sit, we had to always stand at attention, and the cooks were not a nice bunch-if you didn't order the meals in precisely the correct order, they would yell at you to go to the back of the line. We toughed it out, though as tips were great. My great-aunt even worked there, and was the only waitress no one ever yelled at as she was a little italian grandmother, the kind that would pinch your cheek. When I left there she was still working, and was 77 at the time. the management would give her only 2 tables of 2, so she could handle it, and all the waitress would help her if she got behind. I miss the food. Their hummel hotdogs, fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, and stuff filet were to die for. I even had someone freeze and fly out a stuff filet one year. I have been told the Carousel from Savin Rock ended up at Magic Mountain in Valencia. If that is the case, I have since ridden on it. I do wish they had never torn it down, as the memories I have from Savin Rock are so special. All children should have memories that special.

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