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Bibliography: Books: Amusement Park History

This bibliography covers books which may be useful in researching theme parks, amusement parks, and related subjects. Some of these books are available from the publisher or your favorite bookstore, while others are out of print but may still possibly be obtained through a used book dealer or from your library (in stock or through interlibrary loan). When possible a link has been provided to Amazon.com where you may check availability and order the book directly.

Bush, Lee O. and Hershey, Richard F.
Conneaut Lake Park: the First 100 Years. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books. 1992. 175p. B&W Photos. A history of the park published in its centennial year.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Butler, Lynn H. and Manbeck, John B.
Coney Island Kaleidoscope. Wilsonville, OR: Beautiful America. 1991. xii,108p. Color Photos. Book of art photos (i.e.: blurred and color altered so as to acheive an almost painting-like effect) of modern Coney Island with history and commentary.
Out of print. Search for a used copy at Powells.com.

Cameron, James M. and Bordessa, Ronald
Wonderland Through The Looking Glass. Maple, Ontario: Belsten. 1981. 136p. Some B&W Photos and Drawings. History of the plans and protests surrounding the building of Canada's Wonderland theme park near Toronto (now Paramount's Canadas Wonderland).
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Collins, Larry K. and Lorna
31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park. New York: iUniverse. 2005. 220p. Some B&W Photos. This is the story of a California couple that relocated to Osaka to work on the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Includes stories of the complications of constructing a major themed entertainment project as well as their challenges in adjusting to a foreign culture.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Dorman, Bennett W.
Savin Rock: An Illustrated History. North Haven, CT: Photo Restoration & Design. 1998. 255p. B&W Photos. Primarily a collection of photographs, with some text, from the Savin Rock amusement park and the surrounding area in West Haven, Connecticut.
No availability at Amazon.com.

Everett, Glenn D.
Fun At The Old Cedar Point. Rutland, VT: Academy Books. 1989. 154p. Some B&W Photos. Walks us through what a visit to the park was like in the 1930's, with stops at all the attractions.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Francis, David W. and Diane DeMali
Cedar Point: the queen of America's watering places. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books. 1995 (Revised 125th Anniversary Edition). 222p. Many B&W Photos. The complete history of America's roller coast.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Francis, David and Diane
Cleveland Amusement Park Memories. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company. 2004. 128p. Many B&W photos. A history of Cleveland, Ohio amusement parks with chapters on Euclid Beach Park, Luna Park, Geauga Lake, and Puritas Springs Park. Shorter sections cover White City, Memphis Kiddie Park, Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Cleveland Zoo Kiddie Park, and a general short round-up of other parks. Includes a list of other books (most written by these same authors) for further reading.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Francis, David W. and Diane DeMali
Luna Park: Cleveland's fairyland of pleasure. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books. 1996. 157p. Many B&W Photos. The story of this lost Ohio park that operated from 1905 to 1929, an imitator of the Coney Island original.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Francis, David W. and Diane DeMali
Ohio's amusement parks in vintage postcards. Chicago: Arcadia. 2002. 128p. Many B&W photos. A history of Ohio's parks from 1895 through the 1960's as told through postcard photographs with captions. Includes Cedar Point, Euclid Beach, Idora Park, and many less known and long gone parks. From the Postcard History Series.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Francis, David W. and Diane DeMali, Scully, Robert J., Sr.
Wildwood By The Sea: the history of an American resort. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books. 1998. xi,256p. Many B&W, and some color, Photos. A history of the amusement piers here on the Jersey Shore from the 1800's to today.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Futrell, Jim.
Amusement parks of Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. 2002. xii,212p. B&W Photos. Includes a short history of amusement parks in general as well as a history of Pennsylvania's parks. The state's major existing parks are profiled in detail with individual histories and a visitors guide, and there is also a chapter on lesser known parks. Includes an index of major rides operating in Pennsylvania and a bibliography.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Gargiulo, Vince
Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories. NJ: Rutgers. 1995. xvi,155p. Many B&W and some Color Photos. The history of New Jersey's fabled defunct amusement park, from the 1800's to its end in the 1970's.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Goldsack, Bob
A Century of Fun: A Pictorial History of New England Amusement Parks. Nashua, NH: Midway Museum Publications. 1993. 138p. Many B&W and some Color Photos. Covers Northeastern US parks like Quassy, Canobie Lake Park, Savon Rock, Old Orchard Beach, etc.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Jacques, Charles J., Jr.
Goodbye, West View Park, Goodbye. Jefferson, OH: Amusement Park Journal. 1985. 124p. Many B&W Photos. Chronicle of a lost, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania amusement park.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Jacques, Charles J., Jr.
Hersheypark: The Sweetness of Success. Jefferson, OH: Amusement Park Journal. 1997. ix,221p. Many B&W and some Color Photos. Story of the park for Milton Hershey's chocolate factory workers that became a major theme park.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Jacques, Charles J., Jr.
Kennywood: roller coaster capital of the world. Natrona Heights, PA: Amusement Park Journal. 1982. viii, 203p. B&W Photos. A nicely illustrated history of this great Pennsylvania amusement park from 1818 to the 1980's.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Jacques, Charles J., Jr.
More Kennywood Memories. Natrona Heights, PA: Amusement Park Journal. 1998. 217p. Photos. The story of Kennywood continues... and more on Idlewild and Sandcastle, too.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Kane, Martin and Laura
Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. 2000. 128p. Many B&W and some color photos. History and a collection of photographs about this trolley park at Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Kasson, John F.
Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century. NY: Hill and Wang. 1978. 120p. Many B&W Photos. History of the rise of New York's seaside playground.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Lewis, Rob and Young, Ryan.
Rhode Island Amusement Parks (American Century Series). Charleston, SC: Arcadia. 1998. 128p. Many B&W Photos. Collection of photographs (with some text) of lost parks including Crescent Park, Rocky Point, and more.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Morrell, Robert S.
Winds of Imagination: Morrell Family Attractions flight of fancy. NY: The Newcomen Society of the United States. 1991. 24p. B&W Photos. Pamphlet containing the text of an address delivered in 1990 by the founder of Glen, New Hampshire's Story Land park on his attraction's history. (Newcomen publication 1350.)
Out of print.

O'Brien, Tim,
The Wave Maker. Orlando, FL: Ripley Publishing. 2005. 352p. B&W Photos. Biography of George Millay, a founder of SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild, and Magic Mountain.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Ping, Liu Chi
Shenzhen Splendid China Miniature Scenic Spot. San Francisco: China Books. (Undated). 124p. Color Photos. Guide to this China in miniature attraction in Shenzhen (big brother to the Florida Splendid China park in Central Florida.)
Not available at Amazon.com.

Register, Woody
The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements. NY: Oxford. 2001. xi, 400p. B&W Photos. Biography of Fred Thompson, theatrical producer and co-founder of Coney Island's Luna Park, which uses him as a symbol of the eternal child fueling the growth of the culture of consumption.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Shale, Rick and Jacques, Charles J., Jr.
Idora Park: The Last Ride of Summer. Jefferson, OH: Amusement Park Journal. 1999. 141p. Many B&W and some Color Photos. Youngstown, Ohio's lost park's rise, decline, and destruction by fire.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Shilling, Donovan A.
Rochester's Lakeside Resorts and Amusement Parks. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. 1999. 128p. Many B&W photos. Collection of photographs (with some text) covering Ontario Beach Park, White City, Glen Haven Park, and other defunct amusement parks and Rochester, New York, resorts.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Siegel, Alan A.
Smile: A Picture History of Olympic Park 1887-1965. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers U. Press. 1995 (First published by The Irvington Historical Society 1983). 176p. Many B&W Photos. A history of this New Jersey park with text, many photos, and news article reprints.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Thomas, Joseph D., McCabe, Marsha L., and Furtado, Tracy A. (Editors)
Lincoln Park Remembered. New Bedford, MA: Spinner Publications. 1999. 199p. Color and B&W Photos. A loving remembrance of this New England park that operated from 1894 to 1987.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Young, Eric
The Giant Dipper: A Pictorial History. San Diego, CA: Amusement Park Publications. 1991. Color and B&W Photos. San Diego, California's Giant Dipper, built by Prior and Church in 1925, has been through fire, closings, and neglect, only to finally be restored to its former glory.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

See Also:

Bibliography: Disney Theme Parks
Bibliography: History/Analysis
Bibliography: Zoos
Links: Amusement Park History
Links: Enthusiast Clubs
Links: Rides & Roller Coasters
Links: Theme Parks, Waterparks, & Zoos
Help: How To Find Hard To Find Books

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