Jantzen swimsuit

Jantzen Beach

Jantzen Beach Amusement Park was a popular amusement park from 1928 to 1970 in Portland, Oregon, on Hayden Island in the middle of the Columbia River. "The Coney Island of the West" opened on May 261928 as the largest amusement park in the nation, covering over at the northern tip of Portland.


In 1927, William A. Logus and Leo F. Smith purchased 40 acres of land on Hayden Island from the Portland Electric Power Company. Logus and Smith headed the Hayden Island Amusement Company and they built an amusement resort and tourist park named Jantzen Beach Amusement Park for one of the park's investors, Carl Jantzen, of Jantzen swimsuit fame. The door opened to the public on May 261928. It surpassed all attendance expectations; over 30 million people patronized the park through its 42 years.

On opening day, Saturday May 261928, 15,000 people paid the $0.10 admission. The following day, 25,000 people came out to the park. The amusement park included a merry-go-round, fun house, Big Dipper roller coaster, Golden Canopy Ballroom, four swimming pools, a natatorium, 25 acres of picnic grounds, and 15 acres of parking.

The C.W. Parker merry-go-round, built in 1904 for the St. Louis World’s Fair was moved to Jantzen Beach in 1927. Some of the hand carved horses were made by inmates of the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The amusement park's popularity peaked during the 1940s.

In the late 1950s, attendance declined while, unrelatedly, the commercial value of the land increased. The park closed on Labor Day, 1970. The pumping system from the swimming pools remains and is used to pump drinking water to residents of Hayden Island. The C.W. Parker Carousel is now at the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter, a shopping mall located on the grounds formerly occupied by the park.



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