More photos of the park from Liam Gray, October 2006
Even more photos by Wiliam Brown
A MyLittleTown Replica of the Rocky Point Park Gate for only $35
The Tales of Rocky Point Park Comic Book
A story from LaffInTheDark about the Castle of Terror (renamed the Castle of Horror in 1970)
In the 1840’s, Captain William Winslow began to land his passengers on the land we now refer to as Rocky Point for Sunday outings. By 1847, he had purchased a portion of the land and began to offer amusements and shore dinners.
Colonel Harrington was the second owner, and billed the park as “New England’s most beautiful amusement park” on an 1918 advertisement. By this time, the rail line provided easier access to the popular spot which featured a Looff Ferris wheel, a circle swing (and a version that swung in the ocean), and a flume type coaster called the Russian Tobbogan which was destroyed in the Gale of 1938.
Other coasters included a Looff coaster, a tumble-bug, the Wildcat, a Thompson scenic railway, and the interesting Flying Turns in which cars raced through tubes without tracks. These early coasters were replaced by the Cyclone, the saltwater Flume, and the corkscrew in later years. The famous saltwater pool was installed in the 1930s, only to be paved over in the last years of the park. Other popular rides included the Skydiver, the 60s themed Musik Express, and the Spider… along with the House of Horrors and the Freefall (which was 13 stories tall and fell at 55 mph).
In 1996, the park fell into bankruptcy and auctioned off many of the major rides. It attempted a “comeback” as the Rocky Point Family Fair with rented rides for the ’96 season, but the crowds were sparse. The Shore dinner hall remained open for a year or two after that, and eventually, the land wasn’t used at all.
In June of 2000, a fire broke out in the Dodge-em house, causing some damage to the structures around it. The mayor of Warwick called for the demolition of the remaining structures (including all the midway buildings and the House of Horrors).
In July, 2003, Rocky Point was sold to the U.S. Small Business Administration for $8.5 million. The agency holds the 123-acre property for proposals to redevelop the site into a summer or year round community. Local residents would rather see a publicly accessible park open to all residents, to once again be able to enjoy the waterfront, instead of the proposals to turn the property into a gated community.
Bob Arpin Jan 25 2014 Really miss this place, have always went as a kid as a family outing, and as a dad started to take my daughter when it ended, been to the auction, with hopes it would be revised, but still shead a tear that now its gone forever, but still wonder if the arch will remain as something that was once was. Rest in peace Rocky Point.
Justin Moreau Jun 26 2012 Loved this park!!! I went there today on the walking trail... not the same. I still miss the Rides, Pizza, Popcorn, and Shore Dinner Hall... Wanted to grab an old chair i seen laying on the side of the Shore Dinner Hall but i am sure the security guard who sits in his car near the old restaurant probably would stop me from climbing the fence!! :(
John E. Maggio Feb 4 2012 In 1959 I went to college at Southern Illinois University with a Jack McCabe, whose parents owned all or some of Rocky Point Park. (as he told me and a couple of other mutual friends). Jack said he designed and had made a shooting gallery called "Tessy the Tease". A mutual friend, Richard Neff and I are wondering if Jack McCabe is still alive?
garry breault Sep 14 2011 I enjoyed Rocky Point for years, when I was growing up, in Pawtucket. I really liked the clam cakes. I brought everyone of my dates to the park, during the day and night. I’m sorry to see it go.
sabina Jun 28 2011 i miss the rocky point sign:( i saw the movie about rocky point when they tore the sign down. i was depressed for days.
Denise (alford) DiMascio Jun 5 2011 Lived right behind Rocky Point, and we would sneek in under a fence and scour through all the garbage for thrown away prizes and tickets that were unused. It was our playground as kids. We absolutely loved the clamcakes... So many memories. The salt water swimming pool, saw a man drown there once and I never went back. Does anyone remember a band with a lead singer named Steve Johnson? what was the bands name?
George Forget Jr Mar 6 2011 In June of 1963 I visited with my then girl friend/now wife of 47 yrs on our first date, and many more times before moving out of state after getting married. In 1992 I believe the wife and i returned to Rhodes Island to look for her real mother (father had divorced at age 3 and lost all contact). After having no luck trying to locate her and ready to go back to PA we had to stop and ride the carousel one last time. only to find that was all that was left of the park. After the ride I took photos of the carousel only to find out later when we did make contact with the wife’s real mom that in that picture was also a photo of the apartment building that her mom lived. We always cherish the days spent there and now even more. Thanks for this site
Angel (Jerry’s Daughter) Feb 14 2011 To all the wonderful young people who worked the games in Rocky Point Amusement Park in the early 1970’s to 1976 under the direction of JERRY DICAPUA. My Father, JERRY passed away on July 09, 2009. Just to let you know, he loved everyone.
Harry Aug 8 2010 Oh the memories I have of that park. It was a great place to go as a child with family members and friends. When I was a kid, the ride to the park seemed forever. But when we got there, it was worth the wait. Dad knew the owner, Conrad. Dad was a Teamster, so we had the company picnics there. When I was a kid, I wanted to go on the rides and not go into the Shore Dinner Hall. Then at an older age it was the Shore Dinner Hall and not the rides. I just couldn’t take the horizontal spins. Great memories of Rocky Point. Sad to see it go.
robin hubert Jun 27 2010 My mon and dad use to bring my sister and me to Rocky Point all the time when we were growing up. I can remember my dad taking us on the Wild Cat and rocking it at the top before it dived down. We were so scared, but we went on it everytime. Eating in the Chowder House was like nothing I’ve ever experenced before. It was HUGE. People just sat near each other and shared bowl and bowls of chowder and cakes. We were there when it was not crowded and I remember sometimes waiting to get in. I have a picture of me and my dad at the Rocky Point Bar with hats on and holding up empty bottles of Falstaff. We took my sister’s first boyfriend there with us. She was about 15. I remember her boyfriend prucking all over the place on the Spider. My dad and I were laughing. He had to buy a shirt. My sister got one to match. When I was dating my husband, we use to go there every weekend and walk around. He would fish off the rocks and I would sunbath. We’d eat chowder and cakes to go and just hang. When we had kids, we brought them there every weekend also to sit on the rocks and eat, or go into the park. It never mattered to them if they rode the rides or not. Sometimes we would just hang out and people watch. The House of Horrors was my favorite ride. Onetime we were watiching fireworks on the grass and we were so close the cardboard from the fireworks were coming down around us. It was so cool. Thank you for this blog. It has brought back many many happy memories.
Lori Godbout-Greaves> May 23 2010 Rocky Point was my personal playground. Having my dad run security, I was there all summer long. I thought everyone was as privileged as I was. My first job was at The Shore Dinner Hall. I was a hostess and I made $3.35 an hour. A Fortune for a 14 year old in 83... Great memories for me... Conrad always patting me on the back. He was so good to our family. I am thankful we knew him. I will always smile when I think of RP!!!
chris Mar 13 2010 oh my the memories... glad to have found this site. Can anyone direct me to where i would be able to find the recipes for the mouth watering clam cakes???????????????? PLEASE????????????
Colleen Whalen Mar 4 2010 oh my just found this I worked the pallidum, windjammer as a waitress for agnes dion and conrad jr and sr. always rember conrad yelling movea your asss. Oh the clam cakes, and the steamers how we had to haul them frome the back to the hall in table cloths that place sure taught you how to work. can rember riding my moped to work from sandy lane down gorton hill miss everyone from there I rember ron martin they used to call him mr clean the cleaniest dishwasher i ever known lol
Elena Feb 6 2010 Hi, Can anybody share with me what famous tv stars and music came in the 1960s-1980s? I loove to hear this. write eferrucci [at] aol [dot] com
Maureen Oct 5 2009 My uncle Jerry Sheehan worked at rocky point from the late 70s until the mid 80s. He took care of the arcade games. I worked there in the summer at the redemption center with “mama Leake” and sometimes at the game booths. It was a huge part of my growing up experience. I can remember the salt water pool with the 3 diving boards, the rides, the concerts the fire works, the food (Chowda and clam cakes!) my first kiss ever was in the haunted house! It was just such a wonderful place... an amusement park where you could go have fun ride the rides and smell the ocean! They used to have the show near the top of the midway where they would shoot a man out of a cannon to! Life now is so hectic, busy and commercialized, I love six flags but it just doesn’t have the same feel that rocky point had. my uncle was a year round employee of the park and I spent many winter vacations from school at the arcarde with him and hanging around with all the other people from the park. I can remember at the end of the nights in the summer, the counting room for all the money was in the back of the redemption center, after all was counted my uncle (who did the evening drops at the bank) would pull his car up the midway and they would load bag after bag of money into his old dodge until the back of the car almost was dragging to the ground! I went there yesterday (sunday the 4th) along with lots and lots of other people. What a disgrace this, to have let this beautiful and historic part of rhode island fall into disarray I sat an creid yesterday afternoon just looking at what had become of this treasure. It was like being in a movie and so surreal. You could almost hear the ghosts of all the people in the wind... Rocky point was such a special place, it should be reborn into something special that everyone can use and enjoy! My email is mzemb [at] aol [dot] com, if there is anyone out there who reads this and remebers Jerry , I WOULD LVOE TO HEAR FROM YOU :)
Dawn M. Aug 19 2009I am so excited to have found this site. My husband and I spent the day at Six Flags a couple days ago and I found myself talking a lot about Rocky Point (he’s not a native Rhode Islander). The memories were so strong that I had to Google it yesterday and I ended up here. I read other people’s memories and I was so overcome with emotion and nostalgia that I couldn’t stop crying. Rocky Point was a HUGE part of my childhood. My dad used to take my older sister and me, infrequently at first in the mid 70s when we were just little kids because at that time there were other parks he’d take us to as well, like Crescent Park and Jolly Cholly’s, then we started going more frequently in the late 70s, early 80s. We’d go practically every Sunday in the summer, sometimes every other Sunday, back when they used the different combinations of the colored string bracelets with the colored jaw clasp to designate admission on the different days. We couldn’t wait to hear the jingle on the radio because that meant that school was out and Rocky Point was open! Dad had an El Camino then and on some days he’d let us ride in the back and we would jabber the whole way about which rides we were going to go on, and how we were gonna ram each other on the Bumper Cars, and were we brave enough to finally try the Enterprise? I remember sitting in traffic that would sometimes start a mile or so back from the entrance and we would practically be jumping out of skins with anticipation and excitement. We would be crawling along and be so happy once we passed the “Rocky Point” sign and got into the park. We’d ride the Musik Express and be so happy when the DJ played a song we liked. We would watch the Tilt-A-Whirl to see which car spun the most and then we’d grab that one. I’ll never forget how scared I was to go on the Enterprise the first time only to realize how much I LOVED it and would ride it countless times after that. The Cyclone was one of our absolute favorite rides and we must have ridden that thing 10 times during each visit, I can still remember how my stomach would flutter when we flew down that first hill. How we loved to ride the Flume only to scream if we got too wet or the water was too cold! And I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE the pizza! I remember one time my sister was playing the ring toss game because she desperately wanted to win one of the big stuffed bears, while I impatiently pleaded with her to stop playing and ride the rides with me, which she finally did. At one point, we got off one of the rides (I think the Musik Express) and there was Dad holding the bear she so wanted so badly! He had played and played that stupid game until he won it for her. Dad would finally say it was time to go, and we would PLEAD for just one more ride, usually the Musik Express or the Cyclone. When we got older into our teens and my sister got her license, we would go with our friends and then it was all about riding the rides and noticing BOYS! This was mid-to-late 80s and the park was still always packed and we would still sit in traffic to get in and we would STILL be excited to ride the rides! In the early 90s, I would go with my boyfriend or my friends and it was still fun, but not as much. I’m not sure why that is, maybe because there was a different crowd of people that started frequenting the place. Gone were the days when Dad could sit on one of the benches and read the Sunday Journal while his two young daughters would safely roam the park. Also, some of it may have been that I was in my early 20s and at that age, you are in such a rush to grow up and enter adulthood, I think maybe you start to disassociate from many things which symbolize your childhood, which RP definitely did for me. Anyway, I think the last time I went while RP still had rides was maybe 93 or 94, I was with a bunch of friends and I’m ashamed to admit that I may even have deemed the park as “lame”. The very last time I was there was October 98, there was some Halloween-themed event going on (which really WAS lame), and that was it. Maybe about 4 years ago, my husband and I went to visit some friends who live not far from RP and I wanted to drive by to see what was left. When I saw the sign in disrepair and looking so, I don’t know, ignored and unloved (crazy, I know, but that’s what it looked like), I burst into tears. You don’t really begin to treasure precious memories until you are older and more mature and have a broader, wiser perspective on things, and nostalgia sets in. Now I’m 39 and my dad is very ill, which rips my heart apart and makes me cry very easily. Reliving these memories is both exhilaratingly wonderful and terribly heartbreaking. The knowledge that Rocky Point is gone and the fate of its property in the hands of greedy soul-sucking developers is bad enough, but I hate that treasuring these memories occurred so belatedly, after the time has already passed to fight for RP’s survival. I wish it was still here. If I close my eyes, I can still see us sitting in the parking lot in the back of Dad’s El Camino, eating clam cakes and throwing the scraps to the seagulls.
Kathy DiCapua Jul 31 2009 The best years of my life, 1970 to 1976. My dad Jerry DiCapua and my mom Marie and family moved from Baltimore, MD to Warwick, Rhode Island in 1969-70. Rocky Point Park!!!! Ill never forget it. My dad was in charge of all the games and the redemption center. Jeremiah F Leake, my grandfather was in charge of the main office. My brothers Jerry and Brian worked the midway. My sister Angela worked in the office. My sister Maureen was about to get married and reside in maryland. As for me [Kathy] my twin [Karen] and our brother Kevin and our beautiful Mom we visited almost everyday. We could ride any ride we wanted for free because we were Jerrys kids. Everyone knew who we were, we got away with nothing.The flume water ride was forbidden, to many accidents. Ill never for get the fire works on the 4 of july by the water. The best!!!!!! My dad told us to stay away from the gypsys b/c they would steal us. My dad just did not want us to go to that side of the park. Who Knows! I heard that gypsys wanted to buy my dad when he was a baby. Maybe thats why he said that .Ill never know. My dad Jerry DiCapua died on July the 9, after working 4 of july weekend in the park at the Family Kingdom in Myrtle beach,SC. The amusement park was his life, his love besides my mom of 59 years. Everyone who knew my dad LOVED him as his family did. He was funny,smart,handsome and had a quick left,and a right. I am sure he was a pain in the ass every now and then. [right Mom]. I miss my dad sooooooo much,you cant imagine. Rocky Point Park will be in my heart 4 ever, as well as the clam cakes.
paul russell sr Jul 12 2009 God i call still taste the clamcakes and clam chowder. from rocky point, lincoln park in fall river mass and cresent park. these were better than six flags or carowinds.
Chad Allen Magic Jul 5 2009 i just watched the rocky point park documentery. The destruction of the park was the most horrible thing i have ever seen. It was no less than cultural homicide. Why would rhode islanders ever let this happen?
Eric Hemmalin Jun 25 2009 I worked at the park in the summers of 75, 76, and 77. I lived do the street and it was an awesome summer job. It was hard but fun work. All of my friends and both of my sisters worked there too. When I started the wages were $1.30 per hour and you could work as many hours as you wanted. It was really good money for a kid at the time. I worked in the food stands because I was underage and could not work the rides or the games. I landed the job as the shift manager at the cotton candy stand and all of my friends made fun of me because it was a sticky job and you always smelled like candy floss. I just grinned and barred it. The stand was right at the outdoor stage and I saw every band and stage show that came to the park. No one bought cotton candy during the shows. I was great. As a local kid we knew every way to seek in. There were holes in the fence behind the House of Horrors and up in the woods at the top end of the flume. I wonder why no one ever fixed them. We used to sneak in after the park closed and look for money that fell out patrons pockets under the Music Express. We always left with some money. I also remember the salt water pool with the high diving platforms. It was a lot of scary fun for a kid. You don’t find anything like it now. I also met my first real girlfriend there, her name was Tina. I saw her walking down Tidewater Drive (near the park) years later and she had grown up to be a knockout. Stopped and said hi and then went about our lives. It is saddening to know that it is no longer there and never will be a
Conrad Ferla Apr 8 2009 I am the son of Conrad Jr. and the grandson of Conrad Sr. I spent only some of my youth at Rocky Point, as it was past its prime during most of my life. I always had a childhood dream to return the park back to its glory days. Obviously as I got older, I realized what a pipedream it was. I am glad to hear so many stories from peoples youth.
Mary Apr 1 2009 I am from Massachusetts, also from a large family. We went to Rocky Point almost every week. My parents used it as an carrot to get us to behave, and it worked. I can best describe my experiences at Rocky Point as “I had a blast”. I practically ran from ride to ride so that I could “fit” as much as possible into one day. I remember getting sick a couple of times, vomiting in the barrels. The tossing and turning of the rides didn’t always agree with my eating plenty of the shore dinner. Even with that, I had to practically be restrained to keep me from immediately running back to the rides. Rocky Point was like a heaven for kids. When I was there, I felt like “this must be heaven”, it was the greatest! Even as an adult, it seems to me that it is a part of my childhood that I shall never outgrow, the scarier, the faster, the more challenging the better. I was deeply saddened to learn of the park’s closing, such a loss to not only Rhode Island, but to New England. I miss Rocky Point, and I wish they'd bring it back! I think they should build a hotel somewhere on the grounds with a view of the ocean. Hotel guests could take their kids to the park to bring in more heads. Rocky Point was a landmark, it was a great part of RI, I for one sure would like to see it back!
Allan Benoit Sept 15 2008 Rocky Point.. <sighs> Who could ever forget that place? I would practically beg, plead, and most often cry when my brother and I wanted to go there as kids. My grandfather’s famous phrase when we were kids was: “Do you guys want to go to Rocky Point?” We eagerly said: “Yes!” His response was: “Then start walking!” LOL. Man, all I can say about RP is that it felt dreamy going there as kids. I visited last when I was 18-19, just prior to it closing. I had thought about it many times over the past 20 years, but just recently my lady and I were in the Warwick area. Being that she is not from R.I., I took her there and I was very disappointed to see how the entrance was locked up, along with the many signs reminding outsiders to keep out. It made me just really want to cry seeing one of the only theme and amusement parks in this state just go complete bankrupt. You would think that this state would just fund the park for the good of all its residents. Frankly, RP is a landmark and will always remain a landmark and a place where memories will never be lost. Let’s petition for it to come back or something. I wonder what would happen if we parked the car and went in. Very macabre like, but very indulging at the same time :)
nora Sept 11 2008 I grew up going to rocky point and I am wondering if anyone knows if a band called “pen cap chew” played there in 88 or 89?
Paul C. Godbout Aug 23 2008 WOW! Rocky Point!... I had not thought about this place for years. I was looking at some youtube videos, and came across the old commercial for RP. Let me give you a little info. My father ran security at the park from the middle 70s (after Eddie Silva, Warwick PD) until the late 80s. May of you will remember SGT. then LT. Jim Godbout from the Warwick PD. We thought that RP was our very own playground! I remember coming through the gate, getting our hand stamped by Mr. Ferla or Mr Casciolli(sp?). Conrad gave me my first job at the shore dinner hall in 79, washing dishes with big Jim Kelly, and learning to make clamcakes with Julio. I will always remember the words “CHOWDER DOWN BOYS”, that meant we had to carry one of those steaming cauldrons down to the takeout window. In 82 I went to work for the games division, and my summers were a blast! I met more girls than you could shake a stick at! I even ran the Whack A mole game when they brought it in. Being a gamer at RP was a blast. I continued working there until 84 when I graduated from Hendricken, and joined the Marines. My sister, Lori Greaves, and her husband Jeff, had their reception at the Windjammer. Do you remember Agnes? I miss that tough old bird! She use to smoke unfiltered Luck Strikes! The last time that I went to the park was 1987 with my wife. She had never ridden a loop coaster until the corkscrew, and will never again. She was 6 months pregnant with our first son, and she was shaking so bad that she could not stand up to get off the ride. So as I look at the pictures of what is left of that wonderful place from my childhood, it fills me with great sadness. It is a shame that another generation will never get to watch the fireworks from behind the office. Get that first kiss in the house of horrors or enjoy that special Rhode Island treat of clam cakes and chowder. And to all of our friends that are still up there, Jim, Kathy, Jori, and Jon are all here in Charleston SC and doing fine. I can be reached at retailtuna [at] yahoo [dot] com. RIP Rocky Point, I will miss you
Rhonda Aug 10 2008 Working at RP in 88... I worked at Rocky Point way back in the summer of ‘88. I think it was the first summer that they had allowed foreign students to work there. I ended up spending the summer working with a lot of others from England, France, and various other European countries (Hannah, Sarah, Berengere, Dave, Paul, Mark). We had a blast! They housed us down in the dorms at URI and bussed us in every day. It was a non-stop good time. Oddly enough, I don’t think I ever rode any of the rides. I worked in the Kiddieland area. I was planning to go back for a visit and came across this website saying it’s closed... bummer. I live in California now and would love to hear from any others who worked there that summer.
Jane formerly from Foster July 29 2008 I visited (the entry) of Rocky Point just 2 days ago! I moved to Florida in ‘74 and have many fond memories of RPP from my youth. So I’m in RI to visit friends and we took a drive to Warick on July 27, 2008 (2 days ago). It was nearly dark and a light rain coming down. The dead end of the street was dark and eerie and as we approached the entrance we saw that the entire cinderblock sign was in rubble on both sides of the gate. VERY creepy looking! The 2 overhead streetlights were there but not lit up. The entrance was almost completely overgrown and you couldn’t see anything! A car slowly drove by us and someone yelled out “Go ahead... go inside... it’s ok”. Are they NUTS??? NO WAY! I took several pics, a chunk of painted cinderblock, shed a few tears and was on my way.. I’ll post some pics in the very near future.
Anita Ferla July 19 2008 This quote needs a correction:
“A while later, we’d see the 3 Ferla brothers walking down the midway from the merry go round with their shotguns and dinner; pigeons. Those guys would eat almost anything.”
Conrad Ferla never shot or ate the pigeons. The pigeons where a nuisance, they roosted on the rides by the hundreds. At the time that was the only safe way to rid the Park of them. Remember, we are talking of the fifties and part of the sixties...
Betty (Morrow) Crone June 23 2008 WOW! I am so glad to find this page. My name is Betty Morrow Crone and tears are welling in my eyes as i read the messages from others whose lives made a difference at Rocky Point Park in the 60’s. I need to correct some misinformation that i read in John Barci’s message: My birth name is Betty Morrow (not Hyatt) Harry Hyatt was my step-father who was married to the late Martha Hyatt. Martha Hyatt’s brother was Larry Moreau. Mary and Betty’s brothers name is Gilbert Morrow. I have documentary proof. Harry Hyatt (step father) ran the Scooter ride in the 60’s and yes he was a good mechanic. I also remember Carolene Strang, Robert Johansen (Boots Jr.), Donna Stephen, Linda DeQuattro and Artie. Remember Fun-a-Ramma where we saw Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin) and Andy Kim. Linda and I shared clothes and we as a group shared fun times. Had a boyfriend named Steve Silva who took the picture of me and James Drury in the Parking lot by the Cliff House. I remember Lurch the Butler from the Adams family there where he hoisted me up on his shoulders as he walked through the crowds. I have pic’s of the 3 Stooges and the Yardbirds and Teddy and the Pandas. Linda went crazy over one member. I am now 55 years old and would love hearing from all. Please send me an e-mail: blccrone [at] peoplepc.com
Sara May 31 2008 I was 17 years old when I visited Rocky Point for the first time. I’m from Maine and I was attending URI Kingston. I was dating a guy from Pawtucket and he took me to Rocky Point one weekend. I remember the game booths, the crazy rides (we didn’t have ones like those in Maine) and the people. The most memorable was the restaurant with the red clam chowder and fried clams. MY GOD! I thought we had good clam cakes in Maine – hello! These were amazing. I ate until my stomach hurt. I was just looking online for a clam cake recipe and came across Rocky Point and to my great disappointment, learned that it is closed. I was hoping to bring my kids and husband there. Too bad...
Frank Spaziano Mar 27, 2008 I was the crew chief for the Free Fall, Corkscrew, and Cyclone. I was there from 91-95. I really enjoyed working for the park and was sad to see it close. I really loved working there because I met some really good friends. Hey Norman email me if you can. It was a real shame that it could not stay open any longer than what it did. It is just another piece of history now.
jesse bessette Feb 23, 2008 When i was a young boy, maybe about 8, my family all went there with my grand parents. We would ride a few rides, then go sit in that big hall and usually eat clam chowder. Growing up, i was there all the time it seemed. from when i was about 16 to 20. I do remember the band paradox that played there. Man i miss the clam chowder. My favorite ride was the old wooden coaster, not the corkscrew. what a shame. im 37 now, just for the record
E. Blake Feb 20, 2008 I’m doing a reflective piece for my daughter and her question is: Tell me about a special outing you had with your Mother and Father? Immediately Rocky Point Amusement Park came to mind. What a fun time back in the 30’s. My folks loved the Chowda. When I saw your web site it made me both smile remembering the fun and sad that the park is no longer there. The memories live on however.
Brenda Eberwein (SPENCER) Oh how i remember Rocky Point Park. It’s so very sad they had to end a wonderful family park it was. I will always remember the Pool. I use to dive off the diving board with my two sisters and brother. We had so much fun going down the slide and just haveing fun. I remember the House of Horrors. I was so scared when i was a little girl but as i got older i knew it wasn’t true. I went in there over and over again. I use to go on the spider but not very many times because i didn’t like it when it went around and around. I use to get sick as a dog when it went around. Then comes the bumper cars. I use to love going on them several times in a row. Then it was the Skee ball. I loved getting all those tickets and then cashing them in and getting prizes. The skydiver was fun too!!! And then comes the rockets. I use to love the rockets. I rode them over and over again. I loved to go high in the sky as a kid. It sure was fun. Then the musik Express and boy did it go fast forward and then backwards. I loved it. Then the skyliner after you go on the flume. It somewhat made you dry from the sea air. You could smell the sea air up high in the sky. It sure was fun. On hot days you go on the flume just to cool off and get dry on the skyliner. What a way to go!!! I loved the train ride just to slow down a bit. What a shame that this family playground is all gone. Those are great pictures of the park but it’s not the same. I sure miss you Rocky Point. I was with you all during the late 60’s and early 70’s and it sure was fun. It was a family gathering for all families until one day it’s gone. But the memories in my heart will never fade away. I LOVE YOU ROCKY POINT!!! YOU’LL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART FOREVER!!!!!!!!!
Corrie I remember going to Rocky Point in the early 90s as a school field trip. I was in high school and in my sophomore year which would make it June of 1995. We took buses there, the school had packed lunch for us (subs, chips, soda) which I remember eating outside the park in the lot near the Corkscrew. I remember being completely immature and there were porta potties near a cliff and while my friend was in one we all started shaking it and she started screaming. I remember spitting at each other while riding on the swings. I remember loving the Musik Express and the Flume. The corkscrew was fun. My favorite ride was the Free Fall, which kept breaking every two minutes. I remember one or two times it broke while we were on it. That ride was so much fun. I remember one ride which was this little car that was on a ferris like wheel. You’d sit in it with another person and there was a wheel you could spin that would make the car spin around. I got so sick in that! I nearly lost my lunch! That was the only time I went there. My neighbors went many times with their family. It’s so sad that it closed. I will have to buy the dvd to keep the memories fresh in my mind.
Mike Bouchard Ahh, Rocky Point… my parents would take me and a slew of friends to celebrate my birthday every year from 1974 through 1981. We would watch fireworks every 4th of July on the grass near the flume. We would swim in the pool all summer long. My Dad taught me how to hit a baseball at the batting range. Eating clamcakes and chowder at the Shore Dinner Hall. Puking on the Rock n Roll and never riding a ride like that ever again. Dad shooting out the star in the BB gun game. Riding the train. Playing all of the outdated games in the arcade… I could go on with my flow of memories from Rocky Point but I will stop there. I was to young to say thanks to the park so I will now – thanks Rocky Point, may all children between the ages of 6-13 have the same memories as I do of my childhood.
Angel DiCapua Wow, it’s amazing Mark Thompson & Diane, James Little and Elizabeth ended up getting married! How wonderful... Does anyone know where Gina Mazza is these days? Ginas family had the gift shops. Hey James, I’m glad your doing well on speaking in front of large groups these days. Emai Me: Abeachrealtor@aol.com, Talk to you all soon.
Angel DiCapua, Jerry’s Daughter.
james w farrands rember the park after the 38 gale and later on for the chowder hall one of best times of my life now i am retired in north carolina no chowder or clam cakes
Barbara P I remember the park. I had gone there with my family when I was really young, and I won a candy holder, a wooden one. What seems like a lifetime later, my mother still had it! It brought back so many memories. When I got my drivers license, my friend and I would go every Fri, and Sat night! As a matter of fact, I met a guy who would become my first husband there. I loved all the concerts and all the people. It’s a shame my children will never know how much fun we had there. I can still taste the cotten candy!
John Barchi For Carolene Strang Holstius: Mary’s name was Mary Morrow whose brother was Larry Morrow. Mary’s stepsister was Betty Hyatt. Betty and Mary’s mother was Martha Hyatt, married to Harry Hyatt. Harry and Larry worked at the Skooter ride. Harry was a good mechanic. The back wall was a sliding wall where the cars were fixed. Lots of graphite on those floors. Didn’t go too well with prom dresses.
Donna Stephen I have many fond memories of ROCKY POINT PARK. As a young girl in the sixties, I spent many a summer there. My older sister Joyann worked at the Pool. She would stamp the hands of the swimmers as they would enter the pool pavillion. I remember watching Billy Ross on the highest driving board, he was stricken by electricution and lost both arms. He had one stub, but after he dove, he could still swim to get out of the pool. Anyone who saw him, could not believe it, what a sight. I also was a summer resident of ROCKY BEACH every summer from the Fifties, with my parents, Grandparents, and the BEST of all, is where I met my BEST FRIEND in the world, LINDA DEQUARTTRO! She is still my best friend to this very day. We have been friends for at least fifty years. We would go to ROCKY POINT as little girls, and sit in her mother, Artea’s ticket booth for hours. She was the HEAD cashier, at the MAIN ticket booth, in the center of the park, next to the CASTLE OF TERROR. We could not it for the day that we would be old enough to work there. My sister Doreen Stephen also worked there, with her best friend JANET CHAFFEE. By the way Janet, i read yor anecdote, and it was wonderful that you mentioned Doreen and I. We can also remember all the Fourth of July’s, watching the best fireworks ever, on the beach near the pool. It was fabulous. At the time we worked at the park Mark Scala was manager and before that it was Conrad Ferls. He would ride through the park, on a motor scooter, checking things out. We had the time of our lives. I will never forget it. The concerts, I rember JANIS JOPLIN for free!! And i will never forget the free acts, the best being THE ZACCKINIS, ANNON BALL as they out of a cannon that was attached to truck, into a net in the middle of the MIDWAY. WOW what a sight !!! Living so close to ROCKY POINT, at ROCKY BEACH was the best. Linda and I would walk to work, and home every day and night not caring how late it was, we would walk through a path at the end of the parking lot near
the batting range, right into her back yard. My father Al Stephen was the caretaker of Rocky Beach, he loved it so much there, as did my mom, Rita. I can not believe that it is gone now. How could the city let this happen to a most beautiful area in the entire state. These memories are instilled in my heart , and will be forever. LONG LIVE ROCKY POINT PARK. I SURE WILL MISS YOU.
Max Russo i remember when i was 3 years old my mother went to visit my godmother who at the time lived in the house behind the shore dinner hall. My mother left my brother and I in the car as she was going to be right out, well i began to play with the push button shift. It was an old Valiant. Well i pushed the button marked ( N ) the car rolled backwards and towards the midway it stopped after hitting a fire hydrant. Water was every where my godfather John Ferla his brother Conrad and Vincent all rushed there two find two soaking little boys. as i got older 6 or 7 i used to love going with my godfather to work. I would sit in his car as he would do his rounds. In 1976 I began working there in the maint. dept. Everything i learned there came from my godfather John and his nephew Alan Ferla, who to me was an older brother. I remember how Alan and i used to love playing jokes on his brother Conrad. I also remember one particurlar joke Alan and I loved. We would drop some really smelly liquid, it smelled like rotton eggs and as people would walk by and smelled it we would laugh at there reaction. As a kid in those days i never thought Rocky Point would ever shut down. I wish Vincent Ferla never sold it.
Gail Gittins Oh my God… this is so surreal… I even recognise some of the names of people who have written in – Steve Chagnon for one!!! Probably from doing the rotas!
I was an English student at the park working as a Foods Supervisor for the summers of 1989 and 1990.
I stayed in the big scary (and we thought haunted) house for the first year, just outside the park, and the boys were in beach houses just across the car park. The second year I lived above the main office… my room was kitted out with an oven, microwave and really was a home from home! I remember Nancy LaVoie, Pat Costello and Jerry who were also supervisors. Cheryl used to work in the office… everyone was great to us students!
We were treated like royalty... mainly because of our accents – and most of us spoke the best english ever whilst we were there!
I remember the night when Sam Fox played… we all cringed… she was a nightmare from home… but really big over there then… Guns and Roses also came and quite a few big acts – we always wanted to work on the beer carts on the nights when there was a band playing as you could make a fortune in tips… although I think again a lot of that was due to the accent!
I remember we all used to go to TeDens the bar at the end of the road after work, and it was brilliant… the parties in the dorms were fantastic and I have so many photos and happy memories of when we all worked there.
In those days it was fine to hitch a lift, and I remember quite a few times we got lifts to Stop and Shop for supplies!
Working the ice cream stand was brilliant – and depending on who served you you’d get a tiny cone or some great massive ice cream covered in jimmys!
Ben and Jerrys also had a stand there in 1990, I used to go with Pun Pandya and open the gazebo and we’d have ice cream for breakfast – it was just being launched then… I remember going to Newport and seeing it in a shop there and at the time we thought that was pretty amazing… now Ben and Jerrys is everywhere – you can get it in every supermarket over here now… and it always reminds me of RPP!
They were great times, doughboys, chowder and clam cakes, salt water taffy, sloppy joes in the canteen… all these things were new and fab for us! Years later I was in New York and drove to RI to visit RPP… only to find it had closed down… it was so sad… Amazing memories… fantastic photos and great friendships!
philgarringer Man, so many memories, n’cest pas? It’s a damn shame that the mob ran that place into the ground.
I remember my WORST memory of Rocky point was back in the mid seventies. My mom was a school bus driver for Smithfield, and there was a class field trip for either the junior or senior high school students. My little sister and I had to go along. We spent the whole day OUTSIDE the park, because my mom didn’t want to take us in (probably because we was po’ folk back then). Yup, the WHOLE day, outside in the parking area, watching the rides. It was then that I truly understood the concept of Purgatory.
My first job was at Rocky Point, in the Ice Cream stand. I was working there when one of the managers tried to burn it down in the ‘80s. I loved the House of Horrors, and we used to get out of the cars and walk around scaring people. I can still smell the clam cakes in the Shore Dinner hall.
The people of RI deserve to have that spot preserved for future generations to enjoy with their families. It would make a great waterfront park for picnics and family get togethers. We all know what will actually happen, though, don’t we? Well connected cronies will get theri claws into it, and it will be lost forever to us. To add insult to injury, they will probably get State money somehow to do it. So sad.
Janet Chaffee Rufful My family had a house at Rocky Beach for about 25 years. My sisters and I all worked at the park (Donna&Jean w/ friend Lillian) throughout our high school years. We had lots of fun and made many friends. James Little, I read your entry, we worked with you, and your brothers. I remember you dating Liz!!!! We worked in the food booths, one year with the boys from England. We are still good friends with Doreen Stephen Blue and her sister Donna Stephen Leach. We had many fun nights dancing at the Cliff house after the park closed. My sisters and I all have grown children, Donna and I still live in RI but Jean lives in Naples, Florida.
Louise Dan Oh how I miss Rocky Point! I, too, thought their clamcakes were the best! I remember sitting down at long, family-style tables eating those yummy clam concoctions with my parents. The food hall was always crowded with people of all ages enjoying clamcakes and chowder. I was too little at the time to enjoy most of the rides, but I was a very faithful merry-go-round rider! Years later, when I was in high school, I worked for the town’s recreation department, and the treat at the end of each summer was a bus ride with all the kids to spend the day at Rocky Point!
Tamara G. I loved Rocky Point as a kid. It was our summer “reward” for passing in school. As a kid I never knew exactly where it was but always knew when I got there it would be a blast. I used to go in the late 70s and early 80s. These big parks today have none of the charm that Rocky Point had. I will always have a special place in my heart for it. It will truly be missed and greatly loved. I makes me very sad that an icon like that could not have been saved.
Gail LaFlamme My mom and dad would bring me to Rocky Point weekly for “chowda” and clamcakes as I was growing up. Even when I had my daughter, I’d bring her there to ride the rides and have chowda, clamcakes and cotton candy. I remember my grandmother playing Rocky and turning her coupons in for prizes. This is like losing a childhood friend.
Dylan Turner We were dirt poor growing up in the 60s but my mom always managed to scrape some money together to take us to Rocky Point every Friday night. Remember they had P.O.P. – Pay One Price? I rode those rides until I puked!! Our school trips were to the park every year. I remember seeing Boston there. And the clam cakes and chowda – I’m drooling just thinking about them. I live in North Carolin a now but try to get home a few times a year. I go home just to eat. Rest in peace Rocky Point Park! You gave me many happy childhood memories.
ERIC I had some of the best times of my life at ROCKY POINT. One night in particular was on the evening of saturday july 26,1994 there was a rave there. I believe it was the second party thrown there. The rave was called CAMP EARTH and people were there from all over the world because it was an amusement park rave,something virtually unheard of. There were a little over 18,000 people there. The very best house,trance,breakbeat,jungle,and happy hardcore d.j’s were there, from around the globe. The rides ran all night and the wind jammer and the paladium jumped all night until about 12:00 pm the next day. Prior to that I used to pedal my bike from Providence just to get there. My favorite ride was the corkscrew rollercoaster. It’s very sad to know that a place with such a intense vibe is no more, but Its effect on me and the memories will live on.
Iris Glass I remember visiting Rocky Point on Sundays. My favorite thing were the clamcakes. The best I have ever had. I was a flight attendant after graduating from college, Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and have tried clamcakes everywhere. I was afraid of the rollercoaster, but loved the merry-go-round. Let’s not forget the wonderful cotton candy.
JAMES THOMAS Rocky Point is like a member of my family. My great grandmother had a cottage at Rocky Beach and spent every summer there. My mother grew up there. My parents met there. All we had to do to get to the park was walk through a path in some tall grass. We went to the pool and park on a daily basis. We would search the parking lot for admission bracelets and slip them on. One summer the park just started giving us free admission. I remember being so disappointed when the pool closed. The cottages and park were a great place to grow up and I am very sad to see them go. My kids will not have a chance to be the 5th generation to grow up there. I wanted to do something my own style to remember Rocky Point so I wrote a horror movie and started to film a little around the cottages but it was a late idea the last summer we were allowed there and I ran out of time. I will miss Rocky Point like I miss my great grandmother and wish my kids could have enjoyed both.
Howard j Bergel A reporter from the PROJO was at the “Rocky Point Movie” event at the Warwick Museum and talked to several of the people involved with the movie and others who had memories of the park. I want to thank Providece Journal staff writer Richard C. Dujardin for his excellent article and I also want to thank David Bettencourt and his staff for keeping alive the memory of a very important part of Rhode Island history. Rocky Point Park may only now be a series of piles of rubble left by the demolition crews, but in my heart and memories it will be one of those places where almost every Rhode Islander either worked or spent part of their lives and we all have memories. It is interesting to note that demolition crews will be tearing down the main entrance gate and sign of the park in the coming week, making the photo on this site one of the only memories of it.
Linda(Monti)LaPierre I found a picture of myself when I was 3 years old from August 1950 where I was riding a little fire engine round, and round in a circle. It probably was my first experience of Rocky Point.For years and years thereafter my family went to the point at least 3-4 times during the summer months. Then came my teens when I enjoyed so many first dates there. After I married and had children of my own, I took both of my sons there for as long as they would let me. Then I was told by them that they took their girlfriends there too. So many good memories, good concerts, remembering the hot dogs and the cotton candy. Oh the joy of it all! Sad to see it go. It was such an icon to this great state or ours. If you wish to use the picture in the documentary, let me know.
MATTHEW LEBEAU I’m 22 now and we went late 80s to 90s. I miss Rocky Point so much. So many memories my father worked for rowe and his office was in Electric Boat. We used to go alot with his work and by are self. I wish i could have walked around one more time and gone on all the rides. I will never forget the clam cakes the best i have ever had to this day. If i hade the money i would have done some thing with it. Good bye rocky point one more time.
Robert Johansen (Boots JR) Thinking back to the early 60’ when i had my first chance to work at the point. A friend of mine introduced me to on of the parks manager (John Ferla) and he asked me if i would link to work for him in kiddy land (or as we old timers know it... the beep beeps). Thats when my life changed . I worked not only at kiddyland but also had the chance to run the house of horror, ..jungle land.. the car that you actually drove, that was fun... the cars would run out of gas or the engine would stop and one of us had to run to the other side to get it started or end up pussing it back to the guarge area.. Then i ran the Roto Jet ( which was located on top of ona concession stand. . In fact while i was reading some of these letters that the people wrote i reconize some of the old timers . Carol Strang ...if you read this i just want to say hello. You were describing the house you lived in and it does bring back memories. The night we all would close down our rides and head to oakland beach . We were called the twin eagles because a lot of us had motorcycles . We had a special table that we sat at.. Yea...old memories....Beach parties and girls. John Ferla would walk around the park checking on us and every once in a while he would yell and say ( in italian accent) ...Fuster boy Fuster. I grow up really having a lot of respect for that man. Then there was the times that his brother Conrad would drive thru the pakk with his big RED caddy and that plate will always be in my mind. RPP ! . Joe carusso (the maintaince man went around the park from earley morning till the park closed repairing the rides. When the power went out in the park we had to react fast to stop our rides in a safe manner and get the people off, Then i would go over to the ferris wheel and help the operator there. The wheel couldn’t turn so while he worked the cluth i would climb the outside of the wheel and turn the wheel . so many memorise and not to mention my first really love...who i lost because i was young and stupid but i still think of her after 40 years. Rocky point Park will never die as it is in my heart
K Studer Wow, it’s so sad to see Rocky Point go. It may have been a small park, but it was a lot of fun and close to home. I remember the concerts I’ve seen there. Kix 106 threw these concerts with a variety of acts at once. I got some autographs there, too. Too bad I didn’t have a camera back then. Didn’t get to bring my son there for he was too little to go on anything before they closed the park down. I loved the Corkscrew, Tilt a Whirl, Music Express, a d the Rock N Roll. Those are classic rides. The House of Horrors was funny just to go through. Those were the days. Unfortunately, this state doesn’t have anything else. You have to travel to surrounding states to an amusement park. Weird Al Yankovic played at RPP years ago, along with Stevie B. The Flume was one of the best rides there on a hot summer’s day. Don’t even have to go on it to get wet, just stand next to the fence. So long, RPP, you will be greatly missed.
Steve G. Like a host of others I too grew up in Warwick and Rocky Point was always there. I remember every spring going to RP was a reward for being promoted to the next grade.Later on in the summer of 73 I worked there starting out in the Castle of Terror and ending up on the “Crew” of the Zyclone. We flew “bombing missions”. Mrs Woods would save the big mustard and ketchup containers for us that were then filled with water . We would time the cars so one of us was in a car above pouring a sheet of water in front of an unsuspecting car. There was no way out.People would get off the ride more soaked than the Flume and thought it was part of the ride. They thought it was great! Many run-ins with Alan Ferla who was always bailed out by Conrad Sr. Many more stories abound!
A. Avakian-Douglas Rocky Point I am so sad it is no longer. I have many memories of this wonderful and magical place. As a kid, I used to pester my parents to take me there, and the Shore Dinners were great, great clamcakes and chowda!!! I will never forget the House of Horrors and how my brother used to scare me, and the first time I went on the Flume!!! that was great. I will miss this special place, and only wish I could of treated my 3 children to a wonderful place.
Angel DiCapua My name is Angel DiCapua, my Dad Jerry DiCapua ran the Arcade, the Skee Ball, and all the games at Rocky Point Park from 1971 to 1977. I myself worked in the office, along with my Dad and my Grandfather, Jeremiah Leake who past away in 1995 after my son Caelan was born. My grandmother also worked in the Redemption Center, their all the tickets that you won througout the park would be redemmed their for your choice of wonderful prizes! My brother Brian also worked outside in the midway along with my Dad making sure everything ran smoothly, and everyone was having a good time. We all worked hard putting long hours in every day, but we also had alot of fun too, smiles , laughs! Rocky Point is a landmark! I would love to move back to Rhode Island. Anyone who knows the family and would like to e-mail us please do, we would love to hear from you all. My e-mail address is a firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Walsh I was recently contacted to give a pirce for electrical demo at the park. This was a blast from the past for me whereas I worked at the Shore Dinner hall in High school around 79-80 or so. I would get fired by Conrad Jr and rehired by Conrad sr on a rgular basis. Conrad sr used to love me and called me “a hard working irish boy” then of course I would get caught eating a clam cake by jr and get the boot. Anyhow, it was a memorable time of my youth that is a shame others will never be able to experiance with the final destruction of this once great place.
charles mcgowan I worked at rocky point 89 to 90.I met alot of friends there also.It was fun working there making cotton candy in the stand and working next to the flume.I worked in every stand.i miss rocky point i wish t was still there to show my kids.And hi to steven Chagnon its been a long time my sister also worked there to with me wendy mcgowan.
Aprile I have just spent the last day thinking about Rocky Point and how much it meant to me. My Dad worked for Electric Boat and they would have their Annual Celebration there. It was such a special time for me and my Dad. He would ride every ride with me. We actually got stuck on one ride I can’t remember the name of it, but it was like the ferris wheel because it went around in a big circle and you sat in this box container that also went in a circle. We got stuck at the top and my Dad couldn’t stop the box from spinning and I was screaming and they couldn’t get the ride moving again for like 10 minutes, it was so scary, but I also remember thinking how strong my Dad was and how much he loved me trying to keep us safe. We never did ride that ride again. But we continued to go every year. Once I was old enough to work I had my first job at the park working for the games. I had so much fun. I still have a frog leg and a ring from two of the games that I treasure. This is truly sad and will be missed. I feel like a large part of my childhood is gone. I wish I could be there just one more time to enjoy the rides and eat the great food and hear all the people laughing and screaming with joy! Goodbye Rocky Point Park you will truly be missed.
Elizabeth Whitney As a child, I spent many years going to Rocky Point. One of my favorite memories was going with my grandparents for the Rhode Island Hospital annual outing to Rocky point. The Enterprise and the Musik Express were my two favorite rides. Later, during my late teen years, I worked in Games at R.P.. I will never forget all the wonderful times and people I met at R.P. I miss going there, and really wish it was still open. I would’ve liked to take my own children there. Thank you for putting up these pictures. It has brought it all back and made me smile.
Nancy-Jo Nunez I remember this park well, I spent a lot of summers there and would give anything to sit in that hall and have clam cakes and chowda! My friends and I loved it and I can remember seeing the Cowsill’s in concert there when they were first starting out, it was a blast. I wish someone would open up the park again, rebuild it. From what I hear Rhode Islanders have to leave the state to go to an amusement park, it’s a shame. This is a great site and thanks for the trip down memory lane, the photos are great.
Paul Lynds One of the finer points of my chilhood has vanished, though quite expectedly. My parents owned a cottage on Common Fence Point where we spent our summers. It was a common occurance for us to visit Lincoln Park, Crescent Park and Rocky Point every year. Being an incredibly innocent child, I remembered how terrified I was just seeing the House of Horrors. The dragon with head in claw was especially scary to me. I remember thinking, “If that’s on the outside, what’s hiding on the inside?” That was the summer of ‘72 when I was 11. A few years went by and as a graduating 8th grader, my middle school took us on a field trip to RP. I finally made it throught the H of H and laughed at the comparison of what I had dreaded might be inside to what I actually saw. But no matter. It was fun just the same. After that, my trips to RP were less with my parents and more with friends. A few trips, here and there, every year. But it was in 1983 that RP became an important summer ritual. I spent EVERY weekend at RP. Sometimes on Saturday, sometimes only Sunday, but for the better part of the summer, it was the whole weekend. I remember the Fixx playing one night. A particularly favorite band of mine at the time. As the years went by, you could see how they weren’t managing the place properly. One year, it was free admission and you payed for your tickets at the kiosks. The next it was charging admission just to get it. The next it was free admission again, but the ticket prices were comparibly outrageous. At the same time, you never knew what rides would be there from one year to the next. I was fortunate, however, to get my two boys to the park the year it closed. One more time of enjoying “a place for family fuuuuuuuun…” I took many pictures of that final summer. I’ve not been back since it was closed. (Too afraid of being caught trespassing). But from what I’ve seen here, maybe i’ll walk down there one more time, even if there’s nothing left. It doesn’t matter. As many of us can attest, if I stand there, among the weeds, cracks, debris, graffitti, and bits and pieces of our past, I’m sure I’ll still hear the sound of the Music Express, the girlish screams coming from the Rock-N-Roll, and I’m sure there’ll be a lingering smell of dust, diesel, popcorn and sea air. Maybe I won’t… but I’ll remember it.
Eleanor Growing up in Warwick in the 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s, Rocky Point was a favorite place to visit. I have very fond memories of the entire park, but especially the salt water swimming pool which I visited frequently, dinners with the family at the Shore Dining Hall and “pigging out” on the awesome clam chowder and clam cakes, and WVMHS Junior Prom (class of 62) at the Pallidium. I haven’t lived in RI since 1962 but I knew that the park had been closed. I had no idea of what it now looked like until I viewed some current videos and photos. How sad to see what has become of this once fun family park.
Kayla Fitz Being only 16 now, I was never fully able to enjoy the Rocky Point Park. I find it to be one of the biggest disappointments that such a wonderful park has been dismantled. I have always been very interested in exploring it and I often browse online for picture of what was and what now is. The pictures you have are amazing yet also saddening – however, they do not do my imagination any justice. I know that it is now illegial to set foot on the property but I can’t help but want to gather together to fix it. I wish someone of authority would hear out everyone interested in bringing fun and excitment back into Warwick .
Robert It’s a shame all these parks closing, more parks closed forever last year including Myrtle Beach Pavilion and Erieview, Ohio and Pennsylvania’s William’s Grove which might reopen if a buyer is found. What will the future children have? Nothing but Six Flags and Cedar Fair? At least there are still many other small parks still going strong, Rye Playland, NY, Knoebels, PA and others.
Howard Reading what the other have written and the photos of what has happened to “ROCKY POINT PARK" a very special place for quite a few years of my life brings a tear to my eye and memories of those years come flooding back. My earlist recolection of the park goes back to the 1960’s as it was considered a amusement park for grownups or more appropiatley kids who considered themselves grownups LOL as we felt that we had outgrown "CRESCENT PARK".From the flume to the roller coaster it was all very new to us. Then in 1975 I got my first job there working the "SKOOTER" with a friend as we took turns switching sides alternating from taking the riders tickets to being the guy who showed them the way out after the ride ended and untangling the cars that were stuck in positions that the operator could not get out of themselves. Then in 1976 I was operating the "HOUSE OF HORRORS" when as per ususal there was a rock concert on the old midway stage next to the "ROCKY GAME/GIFT, SOUIVNER SHOP" and a unheard of band from austraila AC/DC was playing that night. Most of us know the band nowdays because of the onstage antics of the lead guitarist "ANGUS THE SCHOOLBOY YOUNG" and it was a rather dead night on the rides as most of the people there were watching the concert. I took the 1977 season off due to a better offer from another job but in 1978 I was right back there operating the "ROUNDUP" and the "ROCK AND ROLL" rides but a lot of us could see the writing on the wall as often we would go hours between riders and even the game operaters noticed a decline in buisness even on traditionaly busy friday nights and weekends. Then as summers went along we heard about the "CORKSCREW-LOOP" ROLLER COASTER being built and they were going to add a proper stage for concerts on the midway near the "FLUMES" BIG DROP HILL and that we were going to get a "FREEFALL"RIDE. But even with all the new attractions including a "ROCK &ROLL REVIVAL SHOW" with legends of rock and roll "THE TOKENS" the "SPIRAL STAIRCASE" and even "TINY TIM" performing the crowds returned for a while but as quickly that they returned they were gone and rumors started being spread that layoffs would be happening and that the park was having problems paying its bills. So I started looking for a more stable job and I never worked their again. Then the news about the park closing it’s doors for good confirmed all that we had heard.And then the fires and vandalism that has stricken the park just tears another peice of my heart off along with the news that the idea that housing would be built at the site of the park is in limbo make my pain a little worse.I was against tearing the remaining buildings of the park down but after seeing pictures taken recently I feel that even though a lot of rhode islands residents have very fond memories of "ROCKY POINT PARK" we ther they worked there or just enjoyed a day or weekend there It’s time to close the book on this part of rhode island history and finish the job that MINDLESS, THOUGHTLESS VANDALS have started. thank you very much.
Debbie Prince I am so sorry that RP had to close. My granfather help build the original buildings in the 20’s and 30’s. I worked there during summer brakes from 1973 to 1978. i will miss a great monument to Warwick Rhode island.
Yet another RP FAN I can fondly remember the many fun filled summer days there at RP, I grew up in Attleboro, so it was merely a short trip to have the time of my then young life. It is with great sadness I found out that RP had closed, (I have been away since 1985), and will surely miss those good times, and who coould ever forget those luscious clam cakes.
Shirley B I remember growing up and not being able to wait to go to Rocky Point during the warmer weather. The joys of the rides and the sounds and then the summer concerts as I became a teenager. And now all we have are our memories… Rhode Island is a wonderful place to live, however now that Rocky Point is gone we have nowhere to show our children where we grew up and have fun theres nothing here now and its a shame. And of course now with the latest fire that just happened it brought back those memories and then the feeling of sadness… I wish there was a way to go and see the property again with a hope to hear the lost sounds of the rides and the laughter.
Mike Schmitt I miss the park too. Its too bad that this had to happen to this wonderful gem that RI trashed and its a shame that the people on the beach lost to the SBA. If I had money you bet I would have saved Rocky Point but its just so sad. I dont want to see what they build on the site if it is not a public park . Shame on the People who were responsible for all of us to not be able to bring our kids there and ourselves for another summer. Why ?? P.S. I hope the people responsible for the Mis-management of RP during the final years go to HELL!!!
Jessica (Simoneau) Smith Though
there are many signs that summer is on its way, one of my favorites
was the commercial jingle for Rocky Point. It was heard on both radio
and television – best of all, it was easy to sing along to.
“Come with your family. Come with your friends. That’s the Rocky Point tradition and it’s summer time again. ROCKY POINT!”
Jim Canniff I heard today (10/10/2006) that the Cliff House burned down. I hadn’t thought much about Rocky Point since 1989, when I last worked there. But today I did a quick search and found this website. It brought back many fond memories of the two summers I worked at the park. My friend, Christian, and I lived above the main office building. We were in charge of distributing tickets, collecting cash and bringing change to all of the ticket booths in the park. It was by far the best summer job I had. We each had a Yamaha Razzee scooter that we would whip around the park in doing our collections and deliveries. Sometimes we would take the scooters “off-road” over to the Rocky Village area (I forget the correct name) or bomb around the park when it was empty. Super fun times. I especially enjoyed “teaching” the lucky (or unlucky, depending how you look at it) kids sitting next to me on the Freefall how to push up on the safety bar a bit and lift your feet during to freefall to get a better sense of falling. Everyone that worked there were great people, I forget some names now, but David, Angelo, Jimmy, the office gang and everyone else were incredibly friendly people. Thanks for the quick trip down memory lane.
Sonya One of my favorite of all
places was Rocky Point. We’d drive there on a Sunday afternoon,
enjoy some chowder and clam cakes in the shore dinner hall and then
off to the midway for rides and fun. One of my favorite booths was the
dog racing booth; I spent hours there and remember the man who ran it
had a cocker spanial who sat ther taking everything in.
When I got older and drove myself again it was a fovorite place to go with my friends in tow. I miss Rocky Point and am sorry for what is happening to one of the most wonderful places on earth. At least I have my childhood memories of family outings to remember.
Long live Rocky Point!
gisela I truly miss this place. I will always remember all the fun years spent here. I went with many friends and family. You can always remember the smell of all the clamcakes and chowder.. and you cant forget the sweet smell of cotten candy.. You can always remember every year when school got out that soon you would be there.. looking out your car window for that famous sign saying in big letters ROCKY POINT.. then your heart would beat faster because of the antisipation of running to that first ride... So many happy memories.. not enough time... wish someone had reopened for all the new generation to see what a great place it really was.
Rob Cote I loved Rocky Point as
a child but as an adult appreciated the public shoreline access even
more. Although I am a boat owner, there is nothing more enjoyable than
being able to take a walk and sit by the sea. In the early 80’s
I would scuba dive there for clams with my buddy, whose dad was the
president of the park. The amount of shellfish along the shores in 3
- 5 feet of water was staggering. I can remember one day diving under
the dock for little necks. I think i got about 600 lbs of clams in a
coupleof hours. More memorable were the artifacts that I collected that
day underwater. I still have the silverware and the plates from the
old shore dinner hall. I also found everything from thousands of AK47
bullets in clips, to gold chains, telephones, a mortorcycle, coins,
even a visa gold card. I believe the DEM would dump confiscated shellfish
at the end of the dock. Lucky for me I hit the mother load. Now that
I have children, it seems shamefull that good old Linc Chaffee allowed
this gem of the sea to go to private hands. Seems like there is no regard
for tradition in this date. Rocky Point, Brenton Tower, Crescent Park,
Today the main building burned to the ground. It was scheduled to be demolished at the end of this month. Pretty coincidental eh?
tom I remember the first time i went to RP I was with hte Love of my life Betsy.We went for a fling on the Flume. It was April1981 and for 4 years we would go several times a year.Though we’ve since gone our seperate ways Betsy and I, I still have fond memories of the park and the fun times we had.
Paul Walker Today is 28 Sep 2006 and I was just thinking about the ld park so I did a search online and found this site. It’s really nice to be able to share all these feelings we all have about the park. I love that place so much. So many of my childhood memeries are there beyond the surrounding fence. I used to frequent the saltwater pool as a kid in the early seventies with some friends during school summer vacation. My mom and dad used to take me and a friend or two about five times every summer and I took a girl there on a date in 1983. I’d been there after that date but as I got older I went much less. In fact my memories are only from my very young years. As a child I cherished that place. In July 2003 my friend and I squeezed through a hole in the fence to get one last look, take pictures and in some way to say goodbye. I have those pictures we took but they are quite sad to look at. Thank you to the people who put this site together. Great memories revived.
alie julianne if your reading this
i read your post and my grandparents used to own a beach house @ rocky
point. ive been following every news story online that i can and i knew
the beach was to be public access so whats the deal with that? did he
make a deal with the city i hope not i cannot belive hes tearing down
the houses i have so many fond memories of rp and the park. email me
if you have any new info
Andy R. Lipsky I’m only 22
and I have such fond memories of going to Rocky Point in my childhood!
The first time I went there, I blieve I was 4 or 5 years old. I was
petrified of some of the rides there, especially the Free Fall. I remember
my sister was in the Woonsocket High School band, and they played for
President Bush when he was there and all I wanted to do was go explore
the park. It was so much fun! The last time I went there was with the
Boys & Girls Club in 1995 and it was pretty dead, so all the lines
were very short. I took it upon myself to finally ride some of the rides
I hadn’t had the courage to ride earlier (though I never did ride
the Free Fall). Of all the places I looked forward to going during the
summer, this topped the list.
The ride I think was the most fun was the one where your body was only held in by centrifical force. It started spinning on the ground, and eventually would tilt completely vertical like a ferris wheel. I’ve never seen a ride to this day that operated like that one – at least not one that inverted like that. I miss Rocky Point so much!
Carolene Strang Holstius Wow where to begin! Rocky point was in my life so many ways. i am 56 now and my mom and dad have passed on. It all starts when my mom and dad both worked in Rocky Point. The years i cannot remember. But my mom was one of the original cooks in the old shore dinner hall right on the water! My dad worked there also but i dont remember what exactly he did. We lived many places in Rhode Island. But the one place i remember the most is right on Palmer Ave around the corner from the back gate. Cursey’s bar was just about in our back yard. As a matter of fact it was in our back yard! My mom and i and my sister and step dad lived in a 2 story house. it sat right next to another 2 story house. We were right across from Rocky Beach. This might jog a few memories too. We had a big garden and at one point we opened a vegetable stand and grew and sold our own stuff. What we did not grow, we would go into providence to the farmers market and buy stuff there to sell! Ring a bell yet? Well it had been years sense my mom and real dad had worked there. But when i got old enough i went to see John and Conrad Ferla and they gave me a job in the ticket booths. What a blast i had. I even met my first sweetheart or 2 there also!. I espicially remember one in particular! I loved my job there! But before i was old enough to work i remember going there and hanging out and i used to get alot of free rides. I got to know alot of people. I used to go ice skating in the winter on the small pond behind the pool. Of course i used to swimn in the pool too. Gosh there is so much to remember. Seeing as i lived on Palmer ave till i left home at the age of 20 to get married i had alot of time in Rocky Point. I remember the big old house on the hill also where a certain family lived. I remember the girl named Mary who my sister hung around with and i believe i hung with Marys sister! i have over 20 something years of memories. I did manage to bring my first born child there, just before they closed. my mom still lived on palmer ave at that time. I still talk to some friends of mine who lived in the other 2 stoory house next door. We have remained long distance friends over the years. They are also a part of Rocky Points past. It was funny after the park would close a whole bunch of us workers and friends from Rocky Point would head to Oakland beach for Guss’s greasy hamburgers. That place is another story. Long live Oakland Beach! I could probably write a book of memories of these places. They were the best years of my life. Now i have been married to the same guy for 35 yrs and we have 3 beautiful girls 2 of which are married. The youngest just turned 18. We also have 4 beautiful grandchildren. ages are, 2 boys are 9 and 9. Two girls are 13 and one is brand new = 2 months. I wish rocky Point was still open so i could bring them there for a good ole fashioned outing. My moms house still stands and i visit RI every couple of years. I now reside in pensacola florida.with my family. Oh yes my brother who passed away last yr also had some memories of rocky point. My sister too, but not as many memories as me! Oh yes the blue danube bar right outside the gate is where my sister had her wedding reception! our mom catered the event. My mom was also a caterar and alos owned the cozy coorner restaurant in warwick with my dad. Anyway THOSE WERE THE DAYS! just some actually.
Norman Ordway As a crew chief in
the rides dept. I have many stories about the park and would like to
converse with other employees. Maybe even some people from my crew too!
Crew chief : Freefall,flume,corkscrew. 91-95
Many Thanks Norm Ordway:
Donna A. (Hall) McEnery My family lived in the house right outside the front gate of Rocky Point Park from about 1952 to 1963 when our landlord sold the house. Rocky Point was our playground 12 months out of the year. We started going to the beach in front of the salt water pool during April school vacation. My brother Robbie’s first job was cleaning up after the elephant act. My brother Gary’s first job was at the salt water pool. When i was 10 I babysat for the palm reader’s four year old son for a week or so. She paid me off in ride tickets. The first thing we would do is go on the Tilt - A - whirl because the centrifugal force as the ride sped around would force change out of people’s pockets. We would reach down behind the seats and collect the money. Then we would go to the candy store at Rocky Beach, the summer colony right outside of the park property. My mother grew up living in the big white house, known as the Rock Cottage, on the ledge behind the shore dinner hall. My grandfather, Antonio DeRosa, was the park caretaker when my mom was a kid. I could go on and on about my Rocky Point memories, but it would take hours!
Michele Cacciutti I remember Rocky Point Park from 1986 when I was a Freshman in College. I went to Johnson & Wales College and every tri-mester we had a dance at the Rocky Point Palladium. The spring of 1986 was my first tri at J & W and I remember our Spring Day at Rocky Point. It was a day of rides, music, food (the Shore Dinner) and fun. The Shore dinner was the best with Rhode Island Clam Chowder, Clam Cakes and Chicken Dinner. The fun lasted until until evening then it was back to the dorm. The first year was the most memorable.
Bob H I grew up in the house right outside the main entrance to the park. I have so many fond memories, I could write a small book. During the summer we went swimming in front of the pool, and we would go clamming and quahoging. When I got a little older, I got a job helping the attractions who performed on the Midway stage. I spent many years being in Rocky Point from the early 50’s ‘till the early 60’s. It’s a shame that the city or state never took it over. Long live Rocky Point.
Chris Rocky Point was a part of just about every Rhode Islander’s life at some point. My last visit was around 1991. What we wouldn’t give to enjoy the park one more time, if only for a summer afternoon, to smell the popcorn and doughboys, to hear the music from the rides, the sounds of the arcade, to taste the chowder and clamcakes… if only…
Tom Grimshaw I just dont know where to start! Well, Rocky Point Park was great summer fun. I lived not far from the park just off Warwick Neck Ave on a plat behind Kays Store. Percy Lewis owned it. Theres a flash from the way back machine. Rocky point was a great place to work as a kid. I was 14 working in the shore dinner hall, started with dishes and wound up doing just about any thjing else they wanted you to do. I worked for the father Conrad who gave me the job because my two brothers before me worked there. and if they left a with a good work record thats all you needed. of course you had no identity except for your last brothers first name. Thats the way it was then. The days were long, some times 10 hrs and if there was something going on at the jammer you got a little more. Everybody was part of the big familiy.esp in the kitchen where Big John ran most things and Old Manny made the chower every day what a process that was. I used to help but just by bringing the the things he needed . Like 10 gal of potatoes 5 gals of clams and so on. Also Jack was another cook who was in charge he mostly worked on the clam cakes and parties. We had some big parties Try serving 2000 Teamsters over they’re week end. alot of watermelon. Thank god for billy rizzo this kid could cut melon like a machine and just as acurate. My God I have So much more and will never fit here. this was just the food part but i also work in thepark on rides an games. This was the summers of ‘67 ‘68. I can get a little more accurate if i go looking for pictures.
julianne I also loved the park, so much so that I bought a cottage on the ajoining property. I had a terrible fire last January and lost my home, but there are many people, all of them there for generations who are being thrown out in October (complement of the SBA). They have sold it to a big developer who has no intention of having public access, which used to be a condition of sale (to placate the public) ELECTION YEAR at the time. Now this conglomerate has publicly stated they have to rethink all of their plans. In other words, the real estate market has dropped out. They still want all of these law abiding, lovely, many elderly people with nowhere else to go, out of their own houses right away , while they spend the next three years figuring out what they might build. RIDICULOUS!!! APALLING!!!! Thank you Mayor AVEDESIAN.
John Worked the summer of 67 in the midway and what I remember most was the bands who played the stage. Big Brother & Holding Co with Janis, Creedence, Tommy James, Mitch Ryder, Sly Stone and many others and all for free.
James L. Little Amazing to read
this- lots of memories! I too worked at Rocky Point in games from 1969
to 1974 to make money for URI. I could net over $1000 a summer and URI’s
tuition was $565! I remember Mark Thompson mentioned above. The Ferlas
ran the park and a number of semi-and formerly famous attractions were
brought in - Frank Sinatra Jr., Sly and the Family Stone, the Flying
Wallendas, Marlo Thomas, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, etc.
MRB Enterprises was the company that ran games and was named after three people from Hershey PA: Mel, Ronnie and Beatrice – real low lifes! Jerry DiCapua, the son-in-law of Mrs. Leake ran all the games and employed his three kids, Jerry Jr., Brian and Angela there too. His faher-in-law ran ROCKY , the bingo place.
But I had a great time those summers where I worked all the games but took over running the Greyhound Racing game where I made a lot of money working lots of hours (92/week) for college. I can remember collecting over $5000 in quarters on one of the big days (July4th, Labor Day)! I can still remember all the dogs names after 32 years! (Big Wig, Mike Ike, Stacey, Hacker, Shifty, Maglass, Regain, Elect, Hurry Ivan, Tivoli, Bill Me, etc.) My three brothers worked with me (Eddie and Neil worked concessions and Mike ran the Cliff House) and I met and started dating Liz Burke, a sister of one of the guys I knew who ran the Break-A-Dish stand, Kevin Burke. After hours we would all go to the Cliff House where the band, the Coachmen played and drank underage (Mike was the bartender). Liz once turned down an invitation from Gary Puckett to go on the rides with him!
One last note about the Break-A-Dish stand – you didn’t want to work ther on the day you had to shovel out all the broken dishes! They weighed a ton! Funny thing is that RP taught me how to speak in front of people and here years later I often speak before large audiences without giving it a second thought about being nervous! Guess calling greyhound races and guessing peoples’ ages and weights on that hot midway with a scale and a microphone paid off!
Liz and I married in 1974 and now live in South Carolina, the proud parents of three grown children.
Kenneth Firby I used to go to Rocky Point two or three times a year as a kid up until it was closed, but I had already moved to Connecticut by that time. I sure miss the clamcakes! It was a mistake to close little Rhody’s own Coney Island. I recall the last time I went there and stood on the pier, looking over the water. I never knew of the inferior Six Flags until after.
Bob Voorhis I just so happened to stumble upon this web site, and I got to tell you, it brought a few great memories, and a few tears to my eyes. So many childhood memories, and I just wish i could go there one last time and taste those delicious clamcakes and that hearty chowder. I could have lived in that arcade it was so huge! I truly will miss Rocky Point Park.
sue I was nine months pregnant on the enterprise. I had the baby the next day. That was June 20, 1983. Too bad people had to skimp on bracelets by sharing with friends. That probably contributed to the bankruptcy. Those clam cakes were something else. I brought my daughter there when she was tiny. She used to go around and around and I would say boo every time she went by me. It brought tears to my eyes to see her having so much fun. It is a shame there is not much for kids to do these days that is really affordable. Back in the day.
AnnMarie P. Flynn date today is 7-13-2006... i don’t know were to begin. lol I’m what they all called me ( THE PARK RAT ) I basicly lived thier lol. at a young age i started going thier when i was about 5yrs old maybe younger. i’m 30 now. i went their with family & friends alot. just about every day it was open. mostly thurs-sunday. i would be their from open to close. my fav ride was the music express. boy, do i miss those songs they played on that ride lol. * memorys* i remember having to buy the bracelet for the whole day. & mind you i always had a way to get one if i could buy one. a friend i would run into would give me theres when they would be leaving. i put it evenly enough so the operaters coulden’t tell that the sticky part wasen’t lined up right lol. it worked and i went on every ride that day or night. or every time i went to the park , i would always get one to wear. i never got sick of going thier, i laugh now cuz its to funny how i was. it was a sickness i had of the park i guess. oh it wasen’t just me that was addicted , it was my friends too as well lol... my best friend i went with alot was stephanie Flynn & we remain friends still to this day . we both miss the park ; ( sadly... we both would always meet someone new going there. we made alot of friends & they loved going just as much as we did. i remmber falling asleep thier even, waiting for my ride or dad to pick me up. i would be sitting on the picnic tables at the chowder house underneath the dinner hall of the road way. sometimes till way after closeing time. it was hard to fall asleep sometimes with those fans going over your head. yeah, i know you all remmber those fans lol. and the smell that came out of them too. it just made me sick sometimes from sitting there so long waiting for my ride. must i go on ?? yup lol... i know some of you are saying wow!!! i remmber that. the free fall i went on 99 times know lie either. the reason i could go 100 is they shut the ride down. and remmber that a car went off the track at one point. i wasn’t thier for that but , i did hear that. i made sure i waited a while when they first opened the ride before i went on the thing after hearing that . i remmber all the shows too. exspose, stevie B , lil suzy, some 80’s rock too ect. for stevie B. I was in the pine tree on the left were the ladiesbathoom was,exspose i was in the middle of the crowd watching, lil suzy right at the stage front. just hearing all the proformers live was awsome to be hear them, even the 80’s rock too. i remmber getting wet by the flume too with everyone in the park when it was on a hot day . the spider made me sick at 8yrs old won’t forget that either. i pitched 83 at the base ball game stand. also remmber walking home to n. kingston with my friends one time. and that haunted house they had after the park shut down was gay lmao. that was during the aution of selling everything. after the park was gone & know more thier was knoe where to go for fun, even dgees arcade closed to, you know the pool place next to chokes on bald hill road. so i tryed six flags... what a joke!!! ummmm over priced .canobie lake park is a cool place , reminds me alot like rocky point park. but still not the same though. it has a music express lol , flume type thing ect... check the web site out you’ll see. and it cheaper then six flags and not over crowded either. also i think a new water park. hey maybe i’ll see you all thier. i wanted to at some point build a theme park model of my own of rocky point park . if you know or remmber the days i had at rocky point then you feel me am i right?! feel free to send me a e-mail hello if you remmber me & my friends at the park. seems we lost touch of the ones we meet or know at the park. like old times we can’t forget, or our friends & buddy’s : ) take care & it was nice knowing you (all) at the park...
Adam when i was five like three months before the park officially closed i finally got to goo there and ride on that good old train in which i still remember… i wish it was stilll there ill tell ya that place would maek more of a killing in a day then those residence houses supposoveelly goinbg there would make in 2 years lol i cant beleive its gone rhode island is going down now… in rememberance of rocky point september 10 1993 aka my birthday!!!
Stacy B I remember the great times at Rocky Point. I just wish it was still around so I could take my kids to.
Deanna Hoffman I really miss Rocky Point, all the fun times that my friends and I shared there. My first date was there riding the Flume and the Carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Swing and who could forget the all you can eat Chowder and Clam Cakes. It is really a shame that I cannot share all the fun times with my children, I know that they would have had soo much fun making their own memories there also.
pat I can remember on my 8th b-day my godfather took me here (@9:00 pm) and was disappointed that we only had time for 2 or 3 rides and that I wasn’t up to height standards for the new attraction... The Corkscrew. Instead we went (me and my sister) on the Cyclone and then the Music Express and then the car ride home. I can also remember seeing Samantha Fox there back in ‘88 or ‘89, I wasn’t a fan, I was just there. I remember waiting in line for the House of Horrors and could hear her finish her set off with Kiss’s “Rock N Roll All Nite”… that was pretty cool and from what I can remember she looked pretty hot. I also remember seeing Weird Al and other great shows in the Palladium (Beastie Boys, Ministry) and various tribute acts. I miss this place and I think its great we still celebrate this lost classic.
Susan L Maybery I went to Rocky Point as a child growing up in Rhode Island. I have a photograph of my sister and I in the old buggy with the stuffed horse pulling it from about 1954. In 1971-72, I returned to Rocky Point and sat in the same buggy with the ol’ horse with his hat on its head and had my photo taken once again. I will be bringing my 9-year old Great-niece to Rhode Island for 4th of July this year (2006), and how I wish it were still there to capture yet another generation’s photo in the old horse and buggy. Thanks for this site – it is wonderful.
RPFan The combination of the ever-increasing ocean-front or coastal property(values) taxes and the growing instances of violence between younger teen gangs at the park finally set the wheels in motion for RP’s demise. Ask anyone who did patronize the Park between 1989-1995 and they’d tell you. It was a shell of it’s past. Without progressive investment (such as that with the former Riverside Park Agawam, MA) this Park was doomed not because of us; but because of operational mis-steps and other economic indicators
Scott What I can’t understand is that so many of us loved Rocky Point, and I, for one, really wish that Rhode Island had a place like this where I could take my children in the summer time… so why did it die? It was no Disney World or Six Flags. It was a small, quaint, amusement park on the shore. You didn’t need a week… a day would do. And when you were done, you could just drive home. It was a Rhode Island institution. How do we allow something something so beloved to end up like this?
Mark Thompson I first came to Rocky
Point on summer Friday nights during the 1960s. The Providence Evening
Bulletin – no one I knew read the morning Journal – had
these little ads for the park squeezed in among the movie ads. “Ride
all the rides – $1 – 6 p.m. to closing.” Even my cheap
old man knew a bargin when he saw one.
So several times my parents, my three brothers and I would pile into the ‘63 Chevy and drive the 10 miles from East Greenwich. We loved the Dodgems and the Skyliner, and yes – more than once we jumped from the ride at its summit and walked back to the midway like 20th Century Huckleberry Finns. I’ll never forget as we left one night, my Dad complaining: “That evening cost us $22!” Guess they got us on the food!
We never were allowed to play the games, which is why I guess I was intrigued in the spring of 1971 when a buddy called me over to his table at the high school library. He was reading the want ads in the paper, and pointed to one looking for kids to work the games at Rocky Point. “MRB Enterprises” was the name of the employer – by then the rides, games and food stands were all run by different corporations
it was the beginning of the end.
But I didn’t know it, and spent five glorious summers at the park working the games. My first summer I earned a princely $1.60 an hour. While there was no overtime, working 80 hours a week could bring a kid a fairly fat paycheck. The job could definitely be a grind – especially when it was 90 degrees or more in those booths facing west into the setting sun. It was worse at the “Break-a-Plate” – break, chip or crack any two plates with one 50-cent baseball throw – because of all the dust. There was usually one 20-minute break a day. But once a week a bunch of us would go out for dinner after the park closed to Gregg’s, Gantry’s, Arthur Treachers… those were really fun times.
I met my wife-to-be, Diane, who worked with Mrs. Leake – everybody called her Gram – where you turned in the coupons you had won at Skeeball and other games for amazingly lousy prizes. I didn’t fall in love with her until I learned her Dad, Jack Gould, had actually built the Castle of Terror (sometimes known as the House of Horrors) and the Wildcat. That kinda sealed the deal for this midway maven.
We’ve been blessed with two sons, and were lucky enough to be able to take them to Rocky Point before it closed. Every time and place has a time and place that defines growing up, and for many of us there and then, in post World War II Rhode Island, that place was Rocky Point.
Edwin Raleigh When I was a kid growing up, my place to be every day was Rocky Point Amusement Park. I have fond memories of those times. I grew up in Warwick Neck. They had great bands, concerts, and fun rides. I will miss Rocky Point. At least I have pictures, to remind me of all the great times I had there.
Michelle St. Sauveur I worked at
Rocky Point in the late 70’s for 2 years at the ages of 18 &
19 as the Ferris Wheel Operator. I recall the manager’s name as
Dave. I don’t recall his last name. His assistant’s name
was Al. As a child in the 60’s, my grandparents and parents would
bring us to Rocky Point once a summer. I remember a ride called The
Tea Cups. I also recall the Funhouse and that I was always afraid to
ride it. Through the 70’s and 80’s I would visit the park
at least once a year and I witnesses many changes including new rides
and also a change in the crowd. In my early years at the park it was
a family oriented park but as the years progressed, the park became
a hang-out for teens. The Friday and saturday night rock concerts didn’t
help. I also recall some of the Midway shows including a human Cannonball
and also a high wire act.
At the time I worked at Rocky Point, a bar called Cursy’s was open just outside the exit road. Co-workers and I would gather there after work for a drink and a game of pinball (an old Star Trek machine) or, we would drive over to the old semenary on Warwick Neck Ave. and sit at the stone wall looking over the bay.
I no longer see any of the people I met during that time but I recall some names. Tim and Bill were entrance booth guards and Rick was the train engineer. The “floater” who made the rounds to all the rides and provided 15 minute breaks to the operators I can remember well. I don’t recall his name but he had greased back black hair and in fact, I saw him many years later working at BJ’s in Coventry at the gasoline booth. I also recall Conrad Ferland. He was the Head Honcho there and I can still picture him driving though the park on a small Moped type motocycle. We all behaved when he was lurking.
As a parent, I took my 2 children to the park on several occassions prior to its closing. My daughter was always a daredevil... even at a young age and wanted to go on all the rides even though when she stood against the wooden cut-out of the boy who said, “you must be as tall as me to ride”, she didn’t quite meet the requirement. She would stand on her tippy-toes in a desperate attempt to ride the Corkscrew or Sky-Diver.
After the park sadly closed, we bagan taking our children to The Enchanted Forest in Hopkinton for a few years. I believe that small park in still in operation today. Going there was a sad reminder of the closing of a historical gem... that being Rocky Point Park. It is sadly missed but brings on so many fond memories of days long gone by.
Karen Deming I used to love going to Rocky Point, we went once a year in the summer. My Dad Julius C. Deming worked at Pizer’s and their summer picnic would be a free day at the Amusement park. Oh! the fun we had. When I was around 7 yrs. old I remember going there with my brothers which were 6 to 8 yrs. older then me and I had a ball. The food was the best I ever had, I never really ate chowder but there’s was the best and them fritter’s wow!. I came to this site to get pictures of Rocky Point to put into my scrapbook, what memories. Now I’m 43 years old and they were my best memories. Loved ya, Rocky Point.
raymond zuleger I worked at Rocky Point around 1964-65 at a booth that had Goldfish in a bowl. To win a goldfish you would get 5 ping pond balls for a quarter. I worked from 1:00 PM to midnight. Never missed a day of school.
anne marie adrain I grew up next door to R.P.P, the neighborhood know as “Highland Beach”. From my bedroom on those hot summer nights I could hear the joyous screams from the rides, the barkers at the game stands and the music over the P.A. system. I worked my first job there, almost everyone in my family did. I snuck in there last July snapping some pictures with my sister before it is razed, we smiled remembering those lost days. It’s in my blood, it just stays there…
Matt Whittaker I’m 19 now, but in the early 90’s my grandparents and much of my family would go to Rocky Point as they had done for years. We’d go several times a year. My fondest and clearest memory of Rocky Point was riding the Corkscrew for the first time. It was the first time I ever rode a rollercoaster with an inversion. I’ve been addicted to them ever since. My mom had to hold me in the car with her leg because I was still pretty small, but I still remember how much fun I had. We rode it 3 or 4 times that day, and many more times in the future. I wish the park was still around, so I could experience it as an adult, and so I wouldn’t have to drive to Agawam, MA to pay 30 dollars to get into six flags.
Margie B. My husband and I worked at Rocky Point in 1968. He was stationed at Davisville Naval Station and I was living with him in Wickford Rhode Island. I worked the ticket booth and he ran several rides. I can still see the smiles on people buying tickets and eating clam cakes. The Osmonds were the big group performing there at the time and I can still remember thinking that was so awesome and that I could not afford to go and see them. I loved Rocky Point and have the fondest memories of working there. It was the coolest of jobs. The pictures are so sad. It was once a thriving wonderful place to be.
B Roche If it wasnt for that place i literally wouldnt be on this earth today… my mom and dad actually met in the park… my mom was working in the ticket booths when they met. my dad asked my mom if she had a match to light his cigarette and preceded with all the mush mush that you give someone when you to get there number. after that my mother didnt see him for a while after and he finnaly called her. cool huh? i remember when they closed the park… i was real sad to see it go in the way that it did. rocky point is certainly a huge part of my family and im glad to live a couple blocks away from this city of fun by the sea
Philip Engststrume I share alot
of memories of RPAP as a visitor as well an 3 year employee of the park
from 1989 though 1991.The pay was really crappy no matter how many hours
you worked. I was too young at the time to be a ride operator. This
saddens me to see the park is gone for good and not even a faint sign
In 1990, after my 16th birthday, I was working the food stand #4 (by the bumper cars) from open to close. I was sent out on my first 45 minute break around 3:30PM that afternoon. I get up to the employee lounge order my lunch and take it out side to enjoy the fresh air and picture perfect day it was. I sit down under the apron when a guy who was a ride op starts talking to me. He mentions to me in our converstion that he heard a rumor a kid who worked in the park rode a bicycle from Providence to the park for work every day. I replied to the guy. “You don’t say?” He said well, that is what they tell me but I’ll tell ya this though, the kid must be in the shape of his life. I chucked under my breath a bit because I was that kid he was refering about. I rode a 10 speed bicycle every year back and forth to work. Was working about 18 - 22 miles a day (pending what year) and I could get to the park faster on the bicycle then a car could taking the highway from Providence. Well, I finished my lunch and go to throw my trash away and walked over to the guy who made the comment about the kid cycling back and forth to work on a bicycle. I looked at him and said, “So what do you think, you think I can keep this shape the rest of my life?” He just stopped dead what he was doing and just looked at me. The guy was stunned because of the fact he thought what he heard was a rumor and nothing more. I still had some time left on my break some 30 minutes or so, so I walked away to lay on the hill and grass just to soak up some sun, listen to the cars drive in, the seaguls crow and the ocean crash on the shoreline. Then it was back to the grind at stand #4. Working with me at the park was never a dull moment. I always made it fun to work with me at the park no matter where I was at.
But in the three years I worked there. This is the most vivid and startling memory I can share with everyone. I was shocked to find out I was the talk for the park for two consecutive years but did not know it. My thrid year I would only ride the bike to work if something was wrong with my car. But as for keep the shape I was in back then the rest of my life. Unfortunately, no I did not. For health reasons I could not ride a bicycle again, even to this day. In June of 1993 I moved out of RI to Ohio, and my family told me the news about the park problems in 96. I denied it until my visit of December 2000.
I just started college and I was on a two week break visiting family and friends. I had gone out with a very good girl-friend of mine dancing for the night. But when I got back home, I was too energenic to sleep. So I asked my baby brother if he wanted to go for a ride. Sure he said. We ended up at Oakland Beach just a stones throw from the old park. It was nearing sun up. And I could not resist. I parked my out of state car just off to the left of the main gate on the lawn. We proceeded to take a final look at the park. I needed closure or something. We walk down the entrance drive and the first gate was open where they let the trucks and delivery vehicles in (by the apalo and stand #1). We walk up the midway slowly bearing right all they up to where the Corkscrew used to be. When I saw it had been burnt down I was about to burst into tears seeing all my memories have been demolished. My baby brother saw I was about to break and craked a joke so I wouldn’t cry. We walked by the train tracks and down to where the Wildcat used to be. I looked over where they used to have concerts and stand #3 (mexican) where all the concerts were held remembering when I met and saw Debbie Gibbson perform my last year there. Then I had to get out of there. All of the memories started overwhelming me. So my baby brother and I headed walked down the rest of park by where the Flume was and exited the park. I’ve never really did get the closeure I was hoping for but it was great seeing her again and knowing although its physical existance was gone Rocky Point Amusement Park would forever live on in those who shared its short lived run.
Yeah, we miss the park. Some of us even wish we could rebuild the park. But all the City/State and SBA care about is the almighty dollar! Values and morals in america don’t exist anymore. This is what brought the park to close. It is ashame when you think about it.
Zachary (15) While I only have vivid memories of being at Rocky Point, it is still the first amusement park I had ever experienced. In the early 1990’s, I can remember my grandmother taking my brother and I to Rocky Point. I have so many memories, and how fun they were. When I heard of the closing in 1996, I was devastated. I think it is such a landmark in the history of not only amusement parks in themself, but a shrine to the state of Rhode Island. Rest In Peace Rocky Point.
Warren G Dolbashian I was just 21 years old and was the last set of employees to work at the park. My first ride I ran was the House of Horrors. I really wasn’t paying attention to how to run and what to shut off or on. I got alot of people stuck inside, but they would come walking out because it was nearly impossible to get lost in that structure. The last acts I remember seeing as I worked was Peter Frampton (his comeback time) and Weird Al Yankovich. I also worked on the flume. I used to fall asleep on the second hill when I was supposed to be seperating the logs so they wouldn’t bang into each other as they went down the last big hill. When I was about 4 or 5 there was a FunHouse, the opposite of the house of Horrors. I was always scared to go in the Fun House. As I got older they closed the fun house and made the bottom into a food court. As I was running the House of Horrors, there was a 8-track tape that we would play in a loop all day and night. Well there was also another 8-track tape that the boss said didn’’t go for the house of horrors. It was the 8-Track tape for the old FunHouse. I don’t remember too many people who remember the Fun House, but when the final day came and we all parted our way from the park. I took the ONLY RARE COPY of the 8-Track that went to the rarely seen funhouse that was there at least in the 60’s and 70’s (when I remember it). I still have that 8-track, and made copys of it in the 8-track format and treasured the origanal, which I still have and still works. I am now 34 going on 35 but that FunHouse Tape I love and may not be worth much to people who don’t remember it. Every one knew about the House of Horrors, but this tape is one of my most treasured pieces that would have been lost or destroyed if I never took it. I found it behind the 8-track player in the house of horrors and my boss always said that this wasn’t the tape for the house of horrors, but another tape from a ride that was once there. I knew what I had, as soon as I got home I popped it in my old 8-track player and remember exactly what I remember hearing back when I was 4 or 5. I was always scared of the fun house more than the house of horrors. But I tell ya, even though I was 21 when the park closed, I was always scared to walk through the house of horrors. That house of horrors must have went through at least 4 changes that I can remember since I was a child. Rocky Point was the biggest part of my childhood growing up in the 70’s and being born in 71. Fireworks, Clamcakes, Fries, Chowder, and DoughBoy. My favorate game was always the BB Gun Range where you had to shoot out the star from the card. I never won, but it was awesome. And they moved the skyrockets above that game shed. Anyone remember the rumor about the kids who jumped off the skyliner where it turned around at the rock cliff? That was a good old story for a while!!
Anthony i am a senior in college and i found my self thinking back to my younger days. when we did not have a care in the world. i started t think of places my parents have taken me. i kept thinking back to my experiences at rocky point. the best memories ever. i used to live near worcester and can still remember the exciting rides to RP. getting there in the mid afternoon and staying until it was dinner and we would go get some clam chowder at the awsome shore dinning hall that had the most amazing view over the ocean. i can still remember looking at the ocean through the large windows as a kid. it didnt get better. the awesome colors of the flashing lights on all the signs. i am 22 now and the last time i have seen rocky point was when i was in the 4th grade. i am so thankful my parents brought my sister and i to rocky point, it will be my best memories. looking at these pictures is hard to do… a place that used to be filled with joy and happiness is so empty…
john henesy I worked at Rocky Point for at least three years first operating the train (yawn) and then moving to the cyclone. The cyclone was my ride! I wouldn’t have to be at work till an hour after everyone else because the cyclone was a “major attraction”. We all liked it because it was the only manually run ride in the park and you actually had to have a little skill to run it. Some of my fondest memories and some of my closest friends originated at the park. It wiil be sorely missed.
bill wilson Had lots of great memories going to Rocky Point Park every weekened when was a kid and as an adult will miss the park
SG I remember walking around the park with my family and going on the swings that spun around. They would get so high and it was in the 80s so girls wore their jelly shoes and I lost one by accident and it ended up hitting someone. I remember always closing my eyes on the House of Horror’’s only to find out that I missed a big fake lady dressed in rags with bubble gum all stuck to her face. I remember the awful smell inside the House of Horrors but to this day, I’d pay anything to be able to smell it again. And who could forget the clam cakes and chowder. It really is sad to see all these pictures of destruction now, I wish someone would rebuild it instead of condos. RIP Rocky Point!
Donna Fitzgerald My first memory
of RP was going to the park while visiting relatives in CT (we lived
in ME). My cousin and I had the same frames for our glasses, and when
we took them back from our mothers after riding the “log ride”,
they had mixed them up!
Later on, as teenagers, my sister, cousin and I went to RP on our own during another visit to CT. This time, we bought some of those exquisite clamcakes to take back home. My cousin set the paper bag of cakes on top of her car while unlocking the door, and a seagull swooped down and grabbed the bag! We were stunned, but Kathy fought that darned bird – and won.
After I met my now husband, originally from Providence, we went to RP once and it rained so bad the rides were shut down. We got our picture taken in one of those booths. I still have the pics. We were soaked, but had a great time.
By the time our first daughter was born (1997) and we were living in Providence (1998), RP had been closed and was in decline. For Halloween of 1998, the House of Horrors was open just for fun, so we went; mainly for the nostalgia.
Another memory I have of RP was riding the Rock N Roll with my cousin (the seagull fighter) and her dad. The seat belts didn’t work properly on the ride, and I almost fell out. I never went on that ride again.
Now I live in Western Washington. There’s an amusement park here called Wild Waves & Enchanted Village. It used to be independently owned, but sold out to Six Flags a few years ago. The first time we went, I saw this huge red and white roller coaster that looked vaguely familiar. Later on, I found out it was the Corkscrew from RP! The next time we went to Wild Waves, the Corkscrew was painted this ugly green color, and it’s new name is The Wild Thing.
RIP Rocky Point
Paul I must have been 9 and my cousin had told all kinds of crap about how scary the House of Horrors was. Giant spiders and all sorts of creepy stuff. So when we got to the park I did not want to ride the dreaded “House of Horrors”. But part of me was still curious. My uncle and dad forced me to confront my fear and quit being such a chicken. I was Ok for the first 10 seconds of the ride but terror struck me as the car clicked up the ascent. I closed my eyes and wanted to hide on the floor of the car. They heckled me the whole time as the car jerk about through doors and what not. Didn’t see a thing until the car stopped. I might have peeked once for a split second! I never rode it again. Truely a House of Horror.
Ashley G. I was born and raised in Warwick. I’ve went to RP since I was conceived, from field trips,to partying with friends . My father would drive from his work in Walpole Mass. to RP just to get us the red and white chowders and the best damn clamcakes in the world. I would ride the cyclone over and over , the flume we would save for last cause in the front we would get soaked. My sister used to cry when I would make her ride the house of horrors with me . In 1995 I moved to Los Angeles , when I found out they closed RP I must have cried for a week. I never looked at another amusment park the same again. I will always hold RP in my memories, too bad my kids can’t experiance the same happiness I did. I LOVE ROCKY POINT
Amy Haigh My first job was at Rocky Point back in 1986 when I was 14. I worked in the food stands making french fries, fried dough and cheesburgers. The next summer I worked in the Fudge Kitchen which was across from the carousel. I worked at the Fudge Kitchen for 5 summers in a row. The first few years I worked at Rocky Point the crowds were large and business was brisk. My last few years there the crowds thinned and began to change from mostly families with kids to teenagers. In an effort to bring in more business the management sponsored late night raves and Greatful Dead cover bands. It was sad to witness Rocky Point’s decline. Working at the Fudge Kitchen with all of my friends (mostly from Warwick Vets) was by far the most fun I have had at any job. I have such fond memories of Rocky Point. It still feels unreal that it is gone.
Mark T I remember going to RP in the early 70’s with my whole family. First stop was the huge saltwater swimming pool on the right. Then it was off to the dining hall for chowder and clamcakes then finishing it all off with, if I remember right watermelon. Next were the rides, my fondest memory had to be my sister and I along with my grandmother in the Scrambler, we all laughed so hard as she was trying to keep from “squishing” us as the ride went from side to side. Now that I look back on it she had to be in her 60’s when she went on these rides, dang I miss her so much she was the coolest! Another time my sister and I were on the gondola ride above the minature golfcourse and we both made the mistake of dropping things on the players below and when we got back to the landing the attendant wanted to take us both back to the office but as you can imagine my grandmother would have no part of that! I went back there once I think about 1997 and it was closed,very depressing to me to see Rocky Point in the state i found it because I had not known it had been closed. I will never return to that area again but will forever have the best memories of RP and my grandmother as long as I live. Thank you all for posting pictures!
Louis Ferla I grew up at the park, living in the house behind the shore dinner hall. I worked for my Uncle Conrad every summer. I remember that it was a big part of my teen years and loved it dearly and would do anything i could to be part of its restoration.
Nadine G We drove the 3 hours from New Jersey to spend every summer of my youth through the age of 20 at my family’s cottage on Rocky Beach. (I’m 34 now) Right next door we were so fortunate to have Rocky Point park. It was the best anyone could have wanted back in those days… We would fall asleep to the sounds of the rides and the people and the music and the sounds of the bats hitting the balls from the batting cages (when it was there).When I got older, I would walk the path over to the park and get my share of skee ball and riding the cyclone over and over and over again. I would ride the Enterprise and the Skydiver and be afraid of the YoYo ever since one summer it toppled over and was out of commission for a while. The house of horrors is still one of the scariest rides I can remember. Those were the times of my life… eating clam cakes on the dock and getting the coupons for the ride all day bracelets (Almacs usually had it them)… remember when they were metal clasps with colored string and kids in the parking lot would beg you for yours when you left for the day? I miss it, my heart aches for Rocky Point Park. I still can sing the commercial! Thanks for all the memories…
Lisa D. I grew up going to Rocky Point every summer since I was a small child and I’m thrilled that I was able to have the opportunity to bring my only child there when he was very little. About 17 or so years ago, my Aunt and Uncle bought a cottage at Rocky Beach and we spent many summers sitting in her yard enjoying the atmosphere that the Park brought us. After spending our summers at my Aunt and Uncle’s House, my parents then bought their own cottage at Rocky Beach about 4-5 years ago. This is where they still spend their summers. We’ve celebrated all of our summer birthdays and holidays at “the cottage” since there is no where else we wanted to be. Most of our childhood, teenage, and adult memories originated from our experiences and celebrations at the Rocky Point Amusement Park and at the cottages at Rocky Beach. Now… after so many people cried the day they closed, the land is sold to high corporate businesses and they are taking it all away from us to make millions of dollars. I wish they knew how they have broken so many people’s hearts in doing this… it’s truly a shame that something like this can happen.
Jim Gallivan I remember Rocky Point
in the 1950s. We would go at least once a year and one year we went
3 times! We would sit at a picnic table and be served a large tureen
of Chowder and Clam cakes – HEAVEN. I think all the silverware
was Navy surplus. You could see the “USN” stamped on it.
One time Saint Raymonds school had an outing in the fall. It was raining and most of the rides were shut down for the season. One or 2 classmates figured out how to start the dodge’ems (I never knew they were called “Skooter”). We rode around for FREE for at least a half hour before Sister Cathlene came looking for us. She walked around for awhile before her conscience got the better of her and made us quit.
I live on the West Coast now and you couldn’t find a Clam Cake with a magnifying glass. The only thing remotely close to those things is an amusement park in Santa Cruz, Ca. It has an old wooden Roller Coaster like Crescent Park.
P Amirault I was employed by Rocky Point as a year round empoyee and have some fond memories as well as having met my wife while we both worked for the park. I loved all the concerts they would put on. But what i miss most is the people that worked there and the visitors to the park.The exchange studens would come every summer and there would never be a dull moment. RIP ROCKY POINT PARK
K Knapik We went to Rocky Point at least once every summer. My dad would win boxes of candy bars at the dime roullette game. When I was a teenager in high school in 82 0r 83, we saw A Flock of Seagulls play at the park, I was thrilled! I’m sad that I can never go back again. Lately I’ve come to love Disney World, but Rocky Point started it all for me.
Jennifer I am 17 now but, when I was younger Rocky Point was the place where my family and my God-Mother’s family would go every year. It was a place where everyone was happy. I was 3 when we first started to go. In my eyes I was Rocky Point’s favorite little girl that came to visit them. I only thought that way because when I was 4 years old they let me ride the Corkscrew. Well, that is because my mom signed an agreement that if I died on the ride or fell off it wasn’t their fault and she couldn’t sue them and that I always had to ride with an adult. I rode that coaster like there was no tomorrow. I also remember that when I’d ride the Cyclone with family members that they couldn’t stay on as long as I could. That still amuses me to this day. By the time I was either 6 or 7 Rocky Point was having financial problems. We went once when they switched owners and we didn’t stay there for more than 15mins. It was terrible. Then sortly after all that they shut it down. That place was my favorite childhood memory. I don’t care if it was a scuzzy looking place. It was my favorite scuzzy looking place! I will always miss and remember Rocky Point.
Steven Chagnon I worked at Rocky
Point toward the end for 2 summers, (‘89-‘90) “managing”
(haha, at 17) the cotton candy stand next to the house of horrors. I’m
32 now, and to this day, Rocky Point was the coolest job I have ever
had! I still walk past people making cotton candy in festivals an such
and say, “Hmm. Amateurs! Try getting cotton candy to stick to
a cone in 100% humidity!” I vividly remember coming home completly
sugar coated after working all day.
I have a few theories on why Rocky Point is no longer. One in particular is the popularity of the television. More and more people were staying home on summer nights. Another reason is security. Toward the end it got worse and worse, with the fights every night and gangs of youth that showed up. This pushed the families away.
Also, Rocky Point also had a huge employee theft problem. Their employees would rip them off, big time! Everything was CASH! I believe they paid the “game of chance” employees next to nothing because they KNEW they would pocket money for themselves.
And finally, the park was simply, and sadly out of date. How could RP compete with places like Six flags. It would’ve taken an enormous amount of money to give the park what it needed and nobody would put up that kind of money for a park located in a residential neighborhood, with no easy highway access. RP just wouldn’t work if it were reopened today.
RP used to bring people from around the world to work the summer. People as far away as Indonesia! (Two smoking hot girls from Scotland come to mind) I miss all of them, and the good times at RP.
Diane Semper As a child in the 50’s, I remember waiting during those long hot summer days for Dad to come home from work so I could beg for a trip to Rocky Point. That was the last thing he wanted to do after a day in a sweaty jewelry shop, but he did it anyway. After an exhilerating ride on the Whip, my next stop was the Penny Arcade. The Gypsy grandmother would whir out a fortune card for me; and I would never miss putting my penny in the little machine where you looked into an ornate viewer and turned a little handle which rapidly flipped the many photo cards inside, making an animation happen before your eyes! I’d buy a little cellophane Kewpie doll on a stick, with feathers and sparkles, or a colorful paper parasol. Topping the night off with those fantastic clam cakes, I would go to bed a happy child. If only I could travel int ime, to see those wonderful buildings and rides with new eyes, and appreciate the art form they were. What a shame to see them go, children will never have those historic experiences in the same way we did.
David Rainville I remember as a
little boy growing up in Providence in the 70’s me and my two
sisters couldn’t wait for the summer so we could go to Rocky Point.
Occassionally Rocky Point would have discount or 2 for 1 coupons in
the newspaper so we’d rush to the local market and buy as many
papers as the family needed. You knew summer was here when you saw or
heard their advertisement.
My entire family would stand in line to get some “cakes and chowder” . I didn’t even like clams in those days but the cakes were too good to resist. I particularly liked throwing the clam cakes from the dock as high into the air as possible and watch the sea gulls gobble them in mid air.
I have many fond memories with family and grandparents and think it’s a shame that future generations won’t get to experience it.
I live on the west coast now and can only dream of taking my three children there. They would’ve loved it. I keep trying to recreate their clam cakes and chowder in my California kitchen (theres no chowder and cakes here you know) but it certainly doesn’t taste the same.
Alan Minnis Came over to work there from Belfast Ireland one summer when I was 17… 20 years ago! Met loads of other foreign workers and must say it was the best summer I’ve ever had in my life.
Lisa Labrecque This was a family outing for us every year. I remember that clam chowder and clam cakes never tasted so good. Year after year, the same rides were still fun and our family was together. Yet another great family place gone. I’m really sad.
alyssa my grandparents had a cottage on the land next to rocky point known as rocky point beach. i can remember sitting outside and hearing the music from the park during the day and at nite going into the park and riding the rides. i had so much fun. i remember in i belive 94 i was telling my cousins – i had to be about 11 – about rocky point park and how we needed to take a trip there someday. little did i kinow that a few years later they would close down.
Lindsay (16) My Grandfarther was taken from me about two years ago he died of brain and liver cancer. Rocky Point was one of my fondest and memorable times with him. I go bye the sign once a week im finally saying goodbye by taking a photo in front of the sign. RI dosent need more condo’s.
J Gardner Every summer it was a treat to go to Rocky Point. I miss it.
John L. Barchi The park was wiped out in the 38 hurricane and remained dormant for 10 years. It came under the control of Vincent Ferla, among others, and Vincent screwed his partners out of their share. Vincent had two brothers, Corado and John. My Dad owned a bar at 45 Atwells Ave. which he had to sell to his younger brother Pete in 1948 upon the death of their mother. My Dad borrowed $5000 from his sister Lena and brought a ride to the 1948 Rocky Point called the Spitfire (see photo). My Dad’s on the right. The Penny arcade is in the background. It was owned by Louie Mazza from Bridgeport, CT. Louie had a brother Mario who stood about 6’4" – huge gentle giant. These are the original Mario brothers.
Anyway, my dad went to the Pokerino one day to change a $20 bill and Jimmy Vogel (Diamond Jim) went with a bushel of bills to change them. At that moment, Dad knew he was in the wrong business with the Spitfire ride.
He sold the Spitfire and constructed the concrete Skee Ball building at the base of the hill across from the Penney Arcade. Dad went to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and bought 20 alleys ($2000 per alley) with no credit. The owner told my Dad had an honest face and he could pay him when he could. Skee Ball was 5 cents at the time. He waited for Crescent and Lincoln Parks to go to 10 cents for 1 season, and then raised his price. In doing this, he took their customers. The box that collected dimes was beneath the lever you pulled to release a vertical stop that allowed the 9 balls to come down. This box could hold $500 in dimes. On a good Sunday, the Skee Ball could gross $2000. That’s 20,000 games or 1000 games per machine. That’s about 80 games per hour for 12 hours.
We’d be prepping the stands prior to Memorial Day opening and we’d hear shotgun blasts. A while later, we’d see the 3 Ferla brothers walking down the midway from the merry go round with their shotguns and dinner; pigeons. Those guys would eat almost anything. Their mother lived in the house on the hill above the SkeeBall. John Ferla and his wife Pina lived with her there. John handled all of the park’s maintenance issues. Vincent and his wife Carolyn lived over the Cliff House, a lounge on the cliff overlooking the bay. It also incorporated the park office. Conrad Ferla ran the Shore Dinner Hall.
When minimum wage was $1.25/hr my brother in law and I worked the stand one 3rd of July and lost 72 stuffed animals to winners (our most expensive prize was $36/doz wholesale). We grossed a hair over $1000. That was a great day. But the park business was sometimes the most boring place in the world. imagine, 3pm, Wed, July, 100 deg, no one around in the park, the park music permeating everthing, no one but an 8 year-old kid with one dime. You’ve made 40 cents the previous 2 hours since opening. The kid plays his name, Joe, wins, and makes you climb to the top of the stand where the temp is 125 deg to get a 6 foot stuffed goofy looking snake.
My Dad also owned the Skooter (aka Dogde-em, bumper cars) ride. That was a 2 minute ride for 20 cents. It was the only ride in the park not owned by Vincent Ferla, the park owner. It also was the only ride where you exited the ride and then paid. It was also portable. The walls were collapsible. Almost no one knows that. When Ferla refused to give Dad a 5 year lease on his other 15 concession (Skee Ball, Rocky (bingo for prizes) game, fish pond, hoopla, 3 stuffed animal stands (A1 A2 and A3), Blanket stand, doll stand, lamp stand, knock down the cats, cig/candy, basketball – he brought in a tractor trailer and began ride disassembly 1 week before the official opening. This would have left a wonderful “hole” in the park. Dad got his lease.
I remember once the concessionaires elected NOT to hire the Beatles for a 3-day engagement for $20K because they felt it was too much money.
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