Bay Beach Amusement Park

Bay Beach is a municipal amusement park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Situated near the mouth of the Fox River, on the east bank as it flows into Green Bay, the park contains rides, concessions, a roller coaster, and a food pavilion. Dances, movies, and other events are held in a pavilion. The park is adjacent to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

Bay Beach Amusement Park
Previously known as Bay View Beach (until approx. 1920)
Train depot
Location1313 Bay Beach Road, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Coordinates44°31′51.3″N 87°58′51″W / 44.530917°N 87.98083°W / 44.530917; -87.98083
Opened1892 (131 years ago) (1892)
OwnerCity of Green Bay, Wisconsin
Operating seasonMay - September
Roller coasters1

History Edit

The park's history dates to the 1890s when entrepreneur Mitchell Nejedlo purchased the land. Originally intended to be divided and sold for summer cottages, he turned it into Bay View Beach. Bay View Beach had a dance hall, a bar, and a bathhouse, however, because it was swampy and infested with mosquitoes, the park didn't attract many visitors. In 1908 Captain John Cusick bought the resort from Nejedlo. Cusick built an 8-foot dock that extended 570 feet into the bay, then bought a steamboat to transport customers from Walnut Street Bridge to Bay View Beach. When swimming became popular, Cusick began renting swimsuits for $0.10. On a good day, he could bring in as much as $450. In 1901 a roller coaster was built. Then in 1908, Cusick built a ride called "Shoot the Chutes", a flat-bottomed boat that could hold 12 people. The boat was slid down a 50-foot ramp and onto the water. The ride cost $0.10.

In 1911 Bay View Beach was sold to Frank Emery Murphy, born 1862 (Green Bay Alderman, corporate executive of Murphy Lumber, Murphy Supply, Morley - Murphy Company, and owner of the prestigious Horse Shoe Bay Farms in Door County, Wisconsin) and Fred A. Rahr born 1863, (Green Bay Alderman, operator of Rahr's Brewing Company, Treasurer of the Green Bay Volunteer Fire Department when it was organized in 1887). In 1920 they donated the 11 acres, along with all its buildings and attractions, to the city of Green Bay to be used as a City Park, Called Bay Beach Park.[2]

From the site's earliest days as a private park, a public beach was available, but pollution of the bay eventually caused the swimming beach to close. From the 1930s to the early 1970s, Bay Beach's pavilion hosted concerts, political rallies, dances, Fourth of July fireworks, and other events. On August 9, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Bay Beach in celebration of Green Bay's tercentennial of the landing of French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634.

Today the park is a family place, with scenic views and rides for children, including bumper cars, two small-scale passenger train rides, a large slide, and a Ferris wheel.

Upgrades Edit

Zippin Pippin 2013 opening morning

In 2006, 46 acres (190,000 m2) of land west of the Bay Beach boundary was purchased to upgrade and expand the park. Plans include tearing down and replacing the original Ferris wheel, replacing the Scat with a new ride, and expanding the train tracks to circle the enlarged acreage.[needs update] On March 2, 2010, the city of Green Bay approved the purchase of the nearly century-old Zippin Pippin wooden roller coaster from Memphis, Tennessee, where it had sat derelict for five years. A groundbreaking took place on August 25, 2010, and construction on the Zippin Pippin began in September 2010. Construction was completed in April 2011 and the Zippin Pippin is now open.

In early 2013, a Bay Beach Master Plan was proposed. Phase 1 of the plan is broken into five two-year segments. The first is the addition of the Sea Dragon ride and expanding the train track to loop under the Zippin Pippin by 2015. Narrow gauged trains and 3 cars modeled after those at the Milwaukee zoo were donated in 2014, with +3000 feet of track operating for the 2015 season. For phase 2, in 2017 and 2018, two more rides are scheduled to arrive at the park.[3] In 2017 the Falling Star Ride was introduced. In 2019 a 100 feet tall Ferris wheel opened.

Rides Edit

Roller coaster Edit

Coaster Opened Manufacturer Model
Zippin Pippin 2011 The Gravity Group Wooden Roller Coaster

Thrill rides Edit

Name Opened Manufacturer Model
Bay Beast (Second Model) 2023 Moser Gravity Tower
Scat 1985 Venture Manufacturing Scat
Sea Dragon 2013 Chance Morgan Sea Dragon
Yo-Yo 1996 Chance Rides Yo-Yo
Big Wheel 2019 Chance Rides Ferris Wheel
NebulaZ 2023 Zamperla NebulaZ

Family rides Edit

Name Opened Manufacturer Model
Bumper Cars 1993 S.D.C. Bumper Cars
Ferris Wheel 1952 Eli Bridge Company Big Eli Ferris Wheel
Giant Slide 1971 Unknown Giant Slide
Helicopters 1964 Allan Herschell Company Helicopters
Merry-Go-Round 1971 Chance Manufacturing Merry-Go-Round
Rockin’ Tug 2016 Zamperla Rockin’ Tug
Scrambler 1977 Eli Bridge Company Scrambler
Tilt-a-Whirl 1982 Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-a-Whirl
East Train 1956 Crown Metal Products Train
West Train 2018 Train

Kiddie rides Edit

Name Opened Manufacturer Model
Boats 1972 Allan Herschell Company Boats
Granny Bugs 1998 Zamperla Jump Around
Jeeps 1972 Zamperla Jeeps
Lady Bugs 1977 Eyerly Aircraft Company Lady Bugs
Race Cars 1998 Zamperla Race Cars
Sky Fighters 1998 Molina & Son's Race Cars

Former Rides Edit

Name Opened Closed Manufacturer Model
Falling Star 2017 2021 Chance Rides Falling Star
Bay Beast (First Model) 2016 2021 Zamperla Pounce n' Bounce
Chairplane 2013 2023 Smith & Smith Swing
Roller Coaster[4] 1901 1922
Roller Coaster #2 1929 1936
Miniature Train 1929 1954

Images Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Rides". Bay Beach Amusement Park. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. ^ Tim Freiss. Haunted Green Bay. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2010.
  3. ^ WLUK Fox 11 News "Council to vote on Bay Beach master plan"
  4. ^

External links Edit