From 1907 until the 1920s, Trentonians had their own amusement park. It was called White City Amusement Park (Named so because all the buildings were painted white). One could take a trolley* line to what is now John Roebling Park (Part of the Hamilton - Trenton Marsh) and ride a ferris wheel and a roller coaster, whiz down a log flume into the lake, saddle up on a merry-go-round, take a scenic steam train, visit a mystical castle, get lost in a maze, and frolic in the dance hall. Boating, swimming, picnicking, and ice-skating (In the winter) were all a well deserved break from the long working hours, smell, and noise of the urban factories during Trenton's industrial age.
*A trolley is similar to a small train with tracks running along the streets.
The trolley owners realized that it was time consuming and costly to ride to other amusement parks such as Coney Island (Brooklyn N.Y.) or one in Philadelphia (Not many people owned cars during the early years of the 1900s). In order to promote their trolley business, they built an amusement park next to their office (A mansion that still exists today on the bluffs overlooking Spring Lake. Take Sewell Ave. off of South Broad St.).
Close your eyes and imagine men, woman, and children dressed in their finest enjoying the day. The smell of peanuts and popcorn filled the air. The sounds of piano music from the dance hall, kids screaming while on the roller coaster and log flume, and vendors selling their goods could be heard floating through the fairgrounds. The park would have been filled with up to a thousand visitors a day.
A visit to the area today reveals only a few signs of the revelry (fun, excitement) that once took place there. Most prominent (easy to see) are the remains of the grand staircase. But there's richness in the nature that one will find there today. Hiking trails, fishing, and nature viewing can be had in this now quiet location. The rides back then could not approach those found at Six Flags today, however, there was a grandness in that era in the architecture and attention to detail that is lacking today.
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