No, the headline isn’t in reference to the recent controversy surrounding the port development. I wanted to take a look back, at the “good ole days,” when Ontario Beach was known as the Coney Island of central and western New York. Here’s a birds eye of view of all the shiny happy fun… The Dentzel carousel. The L.A. Thompson’s Scenic Railway. The Auditorium (a.k.a. the House of Hilarity). Such good times.
Then I noticed the peculiar site of smoke and flames in the background (click the image for a larger view). Holy smokes! Charlotte is burning! Somebody call 9-1-1!!
Fear not. As it turns out, this isn’t an actual fire. Well, it is… but it isn’t. This is actually a unique amusement park attraction called Messmore’s “Fighting the Flames.” Each day during the beach-going season, a dramatic fire rescue scene was produced here – all for the crowd’s entertainment.
Local history enthusiast Donovan Shilling explains here :
“Terribly exciting” indeed. We don’t have fun quite like this anymore. Thanks to my friend Howard Decker for this one. And on a related note…
…don’t forget that the Ontario Beach Kite Festival is THIS weekend, May 4, 2014 (11am to 3pm). Join expert kite flyers from around the area as they fly their unique, colorful creations. City recreation staff will also be on hand to provide free, kite-building workshops for youth 12 and under.
I doubt there’ll be fire… but hopefully there’ll be wind.
Tags: carousel, Charlotte, Charlotte Beach, Donovan A. Shilling, Livingston Hotel, Messmore's Fighting the Flames, Ontario Beach, Ontario Beach Park, Ontario Hotel, Port of Rochester/Charlotte, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, The House That Jack Built crazy house
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