Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Camden Park's Lil' Dipper

Camden Park located on the edge Huntington West Virginia opened in 1903 as a picnic park and carousel located along the Camden Interstate Railway street car line between Huntington and Ashland, Kentucky.

Camden is one of a handful of traditional family owned "trolley" parks still in operation. JP Boylin transformed the park into an amusement park in 1950 and the Boylin family still owns and operates Camden Park.

The park features many classic rides, featuring a Haunted House that is one of only two gravity-fed Pretzel rides left in the United States, a wild Mangel's Whip and two classic wooden coasters. Add to that a genuine Adena Indian Mound.

Built by the National Amusement Device Company. the 450 foot long, double out and back Lil' Dipper is a junior hybrid. The layered wood track runs over the rides steel structure.

The one minute and five second ride has a 17' lift hill and the rolling stock is the original National Amusement Device (NAD) Century Flyer trains.

At one time, there were over a dozen of these little gems operating across the country, sadly, Camden's Little Dipper is the last remaining production model NAD kiddie woodie.