The Lake Cliff Amusement Park was established in 1906 and immediately became a popular destination for Dallas-area residents. The park featured an eighty foot tall, electrically powered Circular Swing (manufactured by the Traver Circle Swing Company of NYC), a Skating Rink, Carousel, Bathing Pavilion, restaurant, roller coaster, and the ride shown here: “Shoot the Chutes”. A 1906 booklet promoting the park described the ride this way:
In the swift, smooth, gliding descent and the final sensational plunge of the boats into the water, while spray dashes high and the heart is thrilled with the ecstasy of rapid motion, is a something that appeals to the modern love of novelty and exhilaration. That’s the chief reason why the Shoot-the-Chutes is a perpetual favorite.
With spray flying to either side- but not on the passengers, the gondola takes the water as easily and naturally as a sea-gull swoops down on the breast of Old Ocean and settles in its God-given element.
It is noticeable that nearly all who try the Shoot-the-Chutes are not satisfied till they have taken a second ride at least, often several more. A common remark, especially of girls who take the ride, is- ‘I’m going down again and keep my eyes open this time.’
Here’s an interesting postcard that advertises the theatrical production of “Hawthorne of the U.S.A.” Starring Douglas Fairbanks (who, interestingly, didn’t repeat the role in the 1919 film version), the play appears to have had a lengthy run at Brooklyn’s Montauk Theatre as well as at many other venues.
Can someone explain this one to me? I’m afraid I’m at a loss. The postcard, mailed in 1919, has plenty of writing on both the front and back, and given time I could probably decipher it. Just hearing about Murdo, South Dakota makes me smile, as our road trips from Texas to the Black Hills always includes catching I-90 at Murdo. (after the mandatory tour of the Pioneer Auto Museum)
Most folks down Texas way probably know about “Crazy Water”, but for the remainder of the Union I’ll share a little back-story. In the late 19th century the natural mineral springs in and around Mineral Wells, Texas began to acquire a reputation for having healthful properties. (as they did in countless other locations across the country, I might add) One well in particular, today referred to as the “Crazy Well”, was originally dug by “Uncle” Billy Wiggins in 1881. It seems that a local woman, the town lunatic, hung around this well daily asking people to fetch her a drink. Well, apparently the regular doses of the miraculous water helped her condition immensely, and soon folks from all over, crazy and otherwise, flocked to Mineral Wells to fix what ailed them. And they still do: Crazy Water