Seaside Park: 1930-1942

Seaside Park, Inc. Brochure, c.1930

In 1930, Seaside Park Inc. was formed by railroad men Landis, Fox, and Detrick, who financed renovations and hired an experienced amusement park specialist  to design the park. It opened with the slogan “Everything New but the Bay.” In addition to the refurbished carousel, new attractions included a miniature golf course, a Whip ride, a roller coaster, a Skooter ride, an airplane swing, and Custer cars. 

A new saltwater pool was built, that would remain a huge attraction for decades, allowing people to safely swim when sea nettles were active. It was 100 feet long and could handle 12,000 swimmers daily. Another major addition was the ballroom, adjacent to the new pool, where popular orchestras played. A miniature railroad was built on the long pier that carried passengers between the docked steamboat and land that  delighted visitors of all ages.  A nice harbor suitable for a fishing fleet was created at the end of Fishing Creek by the Army Corps of Engineers in the late 1930s.

“Chesapeake Bay Trips, Seaside Park”, a Wilson Line steamboat brochure of the early 1930s, promoted the park as being ”…unlike most so-called amusement parks in that it is a spot of great natural, scenic beauty. The grounds are rolling and covered with groves of trees of all sorts. A promontory rises from the bay and overlooks the steamboat wharf. Below this is the mammoth dance hall, from the many broad windows of which one looks directly down on the huge swimming pool. The bath houses are in the lower portion of the Casino. Off to the right is the roller coaster, whose serpentine tracks disappear and reappear in the leafy woods.”

While the train stopped running in 1935, visitors continued to reach the park by car, bus, and steamship. Accommodations had already been made for the growing need for automobile parking spots in the 1920s, and this was simply expanded when the train stopped running. Seaside Park had spaces for 1,200 vehicles and steamships continued to bring excursionists from Baltimore until the early 1940s. WWII and gas rationing led to the end of steamship operation to Seaside Park.

Excerpt from a postcard in the last year that Seaside Park was open (1942), and the last time steamers came to the beach. Addressed to Oklahoma, August 27, 1942.
Excerpt from a postcard in the last year that Seaside Park was open (1942), and the last time steamers came to the beach. Addressed to Oklahoma, August 27, 1942.