Beautiful certificate from the Long Beach Pleasure Pier Company
issued in 1915. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the Caifornia State Seal. This item has the signatures of the Company's President, H. S. Callahan and Secretary and is over 106 years old. H. S. Callahan later became city manage of Long Beach, California.
The Pike was an amusement zone in Long Beach, California. The Pike was founded in 1902 along the shoreline south of Ocean Boulevard with several independent arcades, food stands, gift shops, a variety of rides and a grand bath house. It was most noted for the Cyclone Racer (1930–1968), a large wooden dual-track roller coaster, built out on pilings over the water.
The Pike operated under several names. The amusement zone surrounding the Pike, "Silver Spray Pier", was included along with additional parking in the post World War II expansion; it was all renamed Nu-Pike via a contest winner's submission in the late 1950s, then renamed Queen's Park in the late 1960s in homage to the arrival of the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach. 1979 was the year Long Beach city council refused to renew the land leases and demolished all of the structures and attractions it could that weren't trucked away. The Pike museum is located in Looff's Lite-A-Line at 2500 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90806.
Long Beach, California was founded in 1880 as Willmore City and was incorporated in 1888. The town grew as a seaside resort and then as an oil, navy, and port town.
When the Henry E. Huntington built the Pacific Electric line to Long Beach, the Long Beach Bath House and Amusement Company announced plans to build a bath house on the beach near the end of the street car line.
In those early years, with the opening of the Bath House, Long Beach boasted the only institution of the kind within a radius of many miles. As this and other attractions were added, people from inland began to flock to Long Beach to pass the weekends at the beach city, and many who came thus to play remained as residents.
The Long Beach Bath House and Amusement Company next constructed a boardwalk 12 feet long along the beach and later a 15 foot walk replaced the smaller one until eventually the present 35 foot cement walk was constructed.
Subsequently, the area became known as the Pike and was Long Beach’s entertainment center for both local residents and tourists. The Pike was operated by the Long Beach Pleasure Pier Company
. Visitors could rent swimming suits, change their clothes in the bath house and swim in the ocean or later in a heated, indoor, salt-water plunge. They could also ride a roller coaster or other rides, eat lunch or dinner, purchase specialty items, attend movies or vaudeville shows, dance in ballrooms or just sit and watch their fellow citizens.
The Long Beach Pike was considered to be the West Coast's Coney Island. It operated from 1902 -1969. It featured some of the worlds most innovative rides and roller coasters.
The first roller coaster on the Pike opens for business. A variety of other rides and amusements, including Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, would follow over the years as the Pike grew to include a bustling midway.
First carousel comes to the Pike.
May 1, 1915
Jackrabbit Racer roller coaster opens for business, replacing smaller coaster taken down in 1914. An amusement pier, most often called Silver Spray Pier, is built next to the coaster at the foot of Cedar Avenue.
Memorial Day 1930
The Cyclone Racer roller coaster opens to the public, replacing the Jackrabbit Racer.
The 8,000-seat Municipal Auditorium, surrounded on three sides by a lagoon, and Rainbow Pier open to the public. The half-circular Rainbow Pier, arching from Pine Avenue to Linden Avenue, surrounds the auditorium and the lagoon.
Pine Avenue Pier suffers storm damage and is closed.
July 17, 1943
Carousel burns down. Another is built.
The Silver Spray Pier is demolished at the foot of Cedar Avenue.
Amusement zone expands on beach between Pine and Cedar avenues and is dubbed Nu Pike.
The Pike is listed as one of the five largest amusement zones in the country, with 218 concessions.
The Plunge bath house closes.
City purchases famous Queen Mary luxury cruise liner to be docked in Long Beach as tourist attraction and hotel.
September 15, 1968
Last day of operation for the Cyclone Racer, which was later demolished.
California Coastal Commission hands over control of downtown and shoreline redevelopment to the City.
1975 Demolition begins on Municipal Auditorium and bandstand area to make way for the Convention & Entertainment Center.
Bob Kerstein (Bob.com), the founder of Scripophily.com graduated from California State University, Long Beach. He was also a frequent visitor of The Pike before they closed.
The Pike officially closes.
Histories from City of Long Beach, Mailbu and OldCompany.com websites.