coney island.docx - Coney Island was already a destination in the Dutch period Known as a rabbit area very dense rabbit population Because of the

coney island.docx - Coney Island was already a destination...

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Coney Island was already a destination in the Dutch period. Known as a rabbit area, very dense rabbit population. Because of the beaches and ocean, in late 1800s wealthy New Yorkers would spend weekends there. Wealthy would take a boat from Manhattan to the island. Many elite hotels were built such as Oriental Hotel in 1877 and Brighton Beach Hotel in 1878. Coney Island began to open up for the masses. Many people began to move to Brooklyn. The invention of electricity. The very first roller coaster at Coney Island was the Switchback Railway , a gravity coaster installed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson at West 10th Street in 1884. Nearby was the Elephantine Colossus , a seven-story building (including a brothel ) in the shape of an elephant, which opened the following year. Until its demolition in 1896, the elephant was the first sight to greet immigrants arriving in New York, who would see it before they saw the Statue of Liberty . Next to be developed were horse-racing tracks, and by 1890, Coney Island had three tracks: Sheepshead Bay Race Track , Brighton Beach Race Course , and Gravesend Race Track . However, crime and corruption in Coney Island were prevalent. The main leader of this corruption was John Y. McKane, who ran prizefighting rings behind the elephant until he was arrested and sentenced in 1894. The development of amusement rides in Coney Island intensified in the 1890s with the opening of amusement parks. The first such park was the Sea Lion Park , which opened in 1895 and continued operating until 1902, and was the first amusement
park to charge entry fees. The Sea Lion Park's opening spurred the construction of George C. Tilyou's Steeplechase Park , which opened in 1897. The Coney Island "Funny Face" logo, which is still extant, dates to the early days of Steeplechase Park

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