Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's Time To Go To Crystal Beach!

MOONLIGHT ON THE LAKE - To Crystal Beach, the Coney Island of Buffalo. Nothing more delightful. The magnificent stmrs. PEARL and GAZELLE leave the foot of Main Street at 7:00 and 8:00 P.M. arriving at the Beach in time for the entertainments. Returning, last boat arriving at Main Street 11:30 P.M. where street cars connect for all directions. 
 Buffalo Enquirer  
August 11, 1892 6-1 
Boat Landing At Crystal Beach Canada

    The first pier at Crystal Beach was built around 1890. A rush of visitors kept 17 ferry boats busy to the state of New York, beginning with the Dove. Boats other than the Dove that plowed the turbulent waters between Buffalo and Crystal Beach, included the Superior, Premier, State of New York, Cole, Idlewild, Timon, Pilgrim, Puritan, GAZELLE, Argyle, White Star and The Pearl, Later renamed The Crystal.
    These boats differed from the Americana and the Canadiana.  They did not venture out if the weather was bad.  The Idlewild, for example, had her smokestack ripped off by rough seas at Windmill Point. While the Timon, rolled so badly that it was only kept one year.  The GAZELLE was worthy of her name being a particularly frisky boat whenever heavy seas rolled over Lake Erie.  She was safe and easy to handle so she was kept in service for many years.

The Gazelle leaving Buffalo Harbor for Crystal Beach - 1894

CRYSTAL BEACH - Extra trips Sunday, July 26th. Stm. PEARL will leave North Tonawanda at 10:30 A.M., South Tonawanda at 10:45 A.M., Stm. GAZELLE will leave the foot of Austin St., Black Rock at 2P.M., stopping at Ferry St. 30 minutes later.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      July 26, 1896 14-6

Canadiana Leaving the Foot of Main Street
The Crystal Beach Co. has announced the appointments of Capt. James McKarty to the PEARL, and Capt. George Swift to the GAZELLE for the season.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      April 27, 1894 

The excursion stm. GAZELLE of the Crystal Beach line made her last trip of the season last evening. She arrived from Crystal Beach about 8:00, and, after unloading her passengers at the foot of Main St., went to Black Rock where she will layup for the season. The pleasure resort business has been unusually large this season and a number of lines have made money.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      October 1, 1899 10-6

Steamer Garden City
The excursion stm. GAZELLE came out of winter quarters yesterday afternoon and went to the fuel dock. She will go on the Crystal Beach route this morning. The GARDEN CITY, which has been running to the Beach since Decoration Day, will lay off today, in order to be tested, after which she will go into commission again. The GAZELLE will begin to run regularly as soon as the business warrants it.
    Buffalo Morning Express
    June 5, 1896 3-1

 The excursion season here will open on Decoration Day, May 31st. The stm. PURITAN will start the season on the Crystal Beach Run, making 5 trips daily. On June 10th the PEARL and GAZELLE will be put on the run. The RIVERSIDE and the IDLEHOUR will run to Elmwood Beach*. The NIAGARA will go to Woodlawn Beach, while the SILVER SPRAY will go between Ferry St. and the Bedell House. A small yacht, the ADRALEXA will run between Crystal Beach and Pt. Abino this summer.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      May 20, 1900 11-1

Editors Note:  *Beaver Island State Park first opened in 1935 with few facilities. It was once a privately owned amusement park known as ELMWOOD BEACH


Editor Suggests:



Video compilation by Jerry Malloy
Sound tracks courtesy of  staffannouncer.com


Below ~ Video of the Cyclone Coaster at Crystal Beach

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

O I remember standing on my toes trying to be tall enough to ride the COMMET...What a thrill when I finally got to go...weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Sue Russell

Anonymous said...

The Comet finally wound up at the GREAT ESCAPE in Lake George. They slowed it down and put in safety belts, etc.

My Dad told me tales of the Crystal Beach Cyclone which involved accidents to the point that they tore it down and built the Comet from parts of it.

When we bumped into the Comet at Lake George sometime in the nineties I remember the pictures of The Cyclone at the ride's beginning proving the legend my father told me.

You can see film on both if you dig around on Youtube. The Comet was fun and there's a similar ride at Hershey, Pa. The Cyclone at Crystal Beach must have been insane when you see the route it rolled, the torques it must have generated.

maddie said...

this is great

Anonymous said...

-.-

Anonymous said...

cinnamon suckers and sugar powdered waffles, the fun house, the scrambler, the wild mouse, the wood roller coaster, kiddie land, the carousel, laugh in the dark, cotton candy, hot dogs with the works, loganberry drink, cracker jacks, buying tickets for the rides on the bumper cars, the casino, it just smelled different there - swimming on the beach - going home tired and sunburned - it just didn't get any better than that! life was simpler then and you could go a long way on a five dollar bill