Monday, May 9, 2011

"There used to be a huge park called Jantzen Beach. I think there's a shopping mall there now, but the carousel remains"

Just got back from Oregon with many a photo and many a story from two wonderful and unique parks, Enchanted Forest and The Oaks. But I'd be remiss if I didn't make mention of the one long-gone park every Oregonian I spoke with reminded me to research: Jantzen Beach Park. Yes, Jantzen, like the swimsuits.

The park was called "the Coney Island of the Northwest" and with good reason. When it opened in 1928, Jantzen was the largest park in the country, square footage-wise. It lasted until 1970 when a variety of bad knocks finally created its demise, including fire and flood and a roller coaster-related fatality (never a good thing). Today, only the carousel remains, situated in Portland's Jantzen Beach Super Center Mall.

Word is the carousel is haunted by the ghosts of two small children dressed in 1920s garb.

But that's another story for another day.

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