Another scooter SAVED!
In conjunction with Eldridge Park, in Elmira, NY (Google map), Flyer Addicts Anonymous is happy to be able to confirm the rescue and pending reinstallation of a vintage Bisch-Rocco 10-tub Flying Scooter!
The Eldridge Park Carousel Preservation Society and President Mike “Robby” Robertson announced the addition today during a press conference. Several months ago, the park emailed Flyer Addicts looking for assistance in finding an 8-car portable unit similar to one that ran in the park until its closing in 1989. While we scoured sources for a suitable portable unit, the park inspected and decided to buy the park model scooter that has been stored at Fun Spot Park in northern Indiana since that park closed in 2008. The park also announced it has purchased an Allan Herschell Pony Cart Ride from Fun Spot.
Eldridge Park has roots back to the early 20th century, where it was known as ”Elmira’s Famous Free Resort.” A 1915 ad showed the park offered “free entertainments, moving pictures, band concerts, carousel, [and a Figure-8] roller coaster.” More rides, including the Speedway out-and-back coaster, were added throughout the next 50 years. But, like so many small amusement parks, hard times crept in during the 80s and the park closed forever in 1989. Many of the rides and attractions, including their portable Bisch-Rocco scooter, were sold for scrap – although the tubs were sold to private citizens.
The next chapter for the park began over 10 years later, when the EPCPS was created to begin a 3 year journey to restore the park’s historic Looff Carousel. Since then, the park has added a couple other attractions reminiscent of the park’s heyday – including Miniature Golf, their Jasper the Dragon boat ride and Paddle Boats.
Park thanks Flyer Addicts for assistance and expects the ride to be operational soon
In the park’s press release, Robertson said, “We were able to locate the ride because of the tremendous database kept by Flyer Addicts Anonymous, a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the history of, and tracking of, the Flying Scooter, Queen of the Air Rides”. While the original ride was located along the lakeside and allowed the tubs to swing over the lake, the new ride will initially be land-locked. “At some point in the future, plans are to expand the shoreline of the Lake to relocate the ride lakeside,” read the press release.
Via e-mail the Robertson says the ride arrived last week, and is in excellent condition. Parts of the ride were already being cleaned, buffed, repainted and prepared for reassembly. The park hopes to have the ride operational within a few weeks – pending a smooth installation and inspection process. Updates will be posted on Flyer Addicts website and Facebook page. The park operates Friday evenings, plus weekends starting at Noon through Labor Day. Full information at http://www.eldridgepark.us/calendar/. The park is located in South-Central New York State, and a convenient stop between Knoebels and Darien Lake for those planning a Flying Scooter weekend trip.
History of the new Eldridge Flying Scooter
The scooter is actually a hybrid of two flying scooters that have had crossed paths for years. It was acquired from Fun Spot Park in Angola, Indiana – which fell victim in 2008 to the economy and the loss of local industrial picnics that the park relied on for a majority of their business.
The current center structure sweeps operated at Fun Spot from 1993-2008, Fantasy Farm in Middleton, Ohio from 1972-1991 and is believed to have been first installed at Riverside Park in Indianapolis during the 1940 season.
The motor, gearbox and scooter tubs are from the Flying Scooter that operated at Lesourdesville Lake from 1944 to the park’s final closing in 2002. It is unknown whether the scooter was new in 1944, or operated prior at another park. The origin of the unique fiberglass tubs that will be used on the Eldridge Park installation are still unknown. While stories point to scooter tubs burning in a 1991 fire in a storage building at Lesourdesville Lake, Flyer Addicts has uncovered pictures dated back to 1979 that feature the fiberglass tubs.
Fantasy Farm was located immediately next door to Lesourdesville Lake and the two scooters were almost within sitelines of each other.
The two scooters were melded together in 2007 when the Fantasy Farm motor and gearbox failed. At that time, the old Box-type tubs from the ride were sold to collectors – including a few FAA members.
[UPDATE 7:00pm]: Stories beginning to show up online.