George C. Tilyou’s Great Steeplechase Park

January 31, 2009

Steeplechase Park opened in 1897 and after one of the great Coney Island fires, closed in 1907.  After half the park was destroyed, on the site, Tilyou promised a bigger and better Steeplechase Park and charged 10 cents to see the burning ruins.

The following is a series of Steeplechase Park post cards and images.

Photo by Bill Whitby (my dad).

 

Steeplechase Park, mechanical horse racing (postcard)

Human Roulette Wheel operated until the park closed.

A partial view inside Steeplechase.

Early Steeplechase Park (postcard)

Bathing Beauties around the Steeplechase Pool (postcard)

 

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14 Responses to “George C. Tilyou’s Great Steeplechase Park”

  1. [...] bookmarks tagged steeplechase George C. Tilyou’s Great Steeplechase Park saved by 10 others     Rikkuk bookmarked on 02/08/09 | [...]

  2. Ralph Williams said

    The human roulette wheel was taken down sometime around 1960 or ’61 to make way for a ride called (I think) the Round-Up — an early spinning ride in which centrifugal force held the standing riders against the outer grate of the cylinder which tilted to 90 degrees.

    I remember because I often went down the Panama Slide, which was next to the roulette wheel, as a kid. I yearned to be big enough to try the roulette wheel; by the time I was, they had replaced it.

  3. Chuck Simms said

    I have a few shots I took at Steeplechase in ’64 fust after the park closed for good. I remember riding the steeplechase ride once, it was thrilling. I can send you one to see if they have any value.

    Chuck

    • egulvision said

      Hi,
      If you would like to have them posted on the site, please e-mail me jpegs to either this site, or my other email, diane_howley@msn.com
      I’d love to see the images of memories past and share them. Of course, I’ll give you credit for the images, so please supply your name for copyright.
      Thanks for writing and I’m glad you like the site.

      Diane

  4. Joseph Salmonese said

    Hi
    I worked on the Parachute Ride for a number of seasons. Have some photos of the people who worked their with me. Even took my video camera up and took movies of the Island. On mondays when the park was closed part of the job was to grease the parachute and the rides in the pavilion.
    It was great working there had lots of fun.
    Sorry its not there now for my grandchildren to enjoy.

    • egulvision said

      If you have any photos that you’d like to share, please email me at diane_howley@msn.com and attach them with a brief story of captions of the photos and I’d be glad to post them!

      Diane

    • joseph salmonese do you remember working with a friend of mine by the name of ray white? we used to call him big ray. i worked for john tilyou over on 12 th st for many years.when the park closed ray came to work for john. do you remember fluffy who operated the train at the park? and lets not forget skippy with his cowboy attire. if you remember any of these folks please let me no.

      thanks jeff

      • Jimmy DelliPaoli said

        Hi Jeff, My name is Jimmy DelliPaoli, My Dad Jimmy owned the Bar and Grill inside of Steeplechase. I do remember Skippy and Fluffy. There was also a gentlemen name Pete who worked the roller coaster. I worked in my Dad’s place until 1964. Those were great times. My Uncle Tony used to operate the small merry go around. Was talking with my Mom today about Steeplechase, she remembers it very well, she’s 96 years old.

        Thanks Jimmy

      • pdgjoe9798@yahoo.com said

        JEFF OF COURSE I REMEMBER. WE HAD SOME GREAT TIMES THERE. BIG RAY, MYSELF AND SOME 5 OR 6 OTHER WORKERS USE TO CLIMB INTO ONE SEAT AND TAKE A RIDE UP TO THE TOP & CAME DOWM REAL HARD. SOME TIMES WE EVEN TOUCH THE GROUND ON IMPACT. WE EVEN TURN THE SEAT UP SIDE DOWN WHILE WE CAME DOWN. HOW IS RAY. MY UNCEL RALPH WORK ON THE RACE HORSE RIDE ON SURF AVENUE BY THE AIRSHIPS. HIS FATHER WASH ALL THE TOWES FROM THE POOL AREA FOR ABOUT 30 OR 40 YEARS. I THINK IT WAS OVER BY THE ROLLER COASTER. DO YOU REMBER LITTLE RAY, ARTIE AND BILL WHO WERE THE WEEK DAYS BOSSES AT THE PARACHUTE.

      • jeffrey w brettler said

        i’m sorry i didn’t follow up in here much sooner’ Big Ray passed away years ago from a massive heart attack’ he was in his early 60s.i even remember harry nelson and his son lester who owned the high striker on the bowery near the park entrance’ you had to hit the bell high a top the telephone pole and win a straw hat or a cigar. i’m still in contact with george c tilyou’ his brothers john and paul are no longer with us.

      • Jimmy McCullough Passed Away On August 19Th’ This Was The First Year Ever In The History Of Coney Island There Weren’t Any Tilyous Or McCullough’s Operating Amusement Rides.Very’Very Sad.

  5. Wayne said

    Fun to Read as I am the Great Grandson of James McCullough and the Great Great Nephew of George Tilyou
    Thanks

    • egulvision said

      I’m glad you liked this little blog. I did the best with what I had and could find. I grew up going to Coney Island every summer since 1962; and continued through the 90′s. My dad had friends who used to work at Steeplechase Park, and I’d get a free ticket to ride the rides. I also had the opportunity to ride the Parachute Jump twice with my dad.

      Your great grandfather had such vision and made Coney Island the best place in NYC (Bay Ridge Brooklyn being my home back then). I still refer to Coney as “Playground of the World” which it was and still is. I have visited a few times since I left NY after 9/11. I wanted to get there this summer, but my plans fell through.

      You have great heritage!

      Thanks again.

      All the best,
      Diane

    • egulvision said

      Hi! Happy New Year! I wanted to thank you for visiting my Coney Island blog. Since the Blog’s inception in Jan. 2009, we’ve had 37,927 visits, which is pretty impressive for a blog that is not often updated. Apparently people come back for the memories, which is what this blog was created for.

      I didn’t upload any new posts in 2013, as although I do follow other Coney blogs, I am trying to get a connection in Brooklyn who will co-write and post photos with and for me.

      I’m very excited about the new Thunderbolt coming this season. It will never compare to the original. However, it is a good thing that the new coaster is being called Thunderbolt and being builting on the original land.

      Keep coming back next season, when I will have some new posts and photos, or find some more relics and memorabilia to share..

      Again, thanks for stopping by!

      Best regards,
      Diane Howley

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