Thursday, September 03, 2009

Century Old Dreamland Artifact Resurfaces

Image courtesy of bigdoodyhead (Coney Island USA message board)

A genuine artifact from the original Coney Island theme park, 'Dreamland' circa 1911 was found last year in November and has now been raised from it's murky crypt twenty five feet below sea level. A 500 pound bell that rested at the tip of the Dreamland Pier that extended 1,500 feet out from the shore at the Dreamland theme park in the early 1900's Coney Island. The bell for steamboat passengers arriving and leaving the pier. The bell along with most of the pier fell into the ocean during a catastrophic fire that also ruined the themepark.

Gene Ritter of the Cultural Research Diver's Mission, has removed the bell for display in Coney Island. Today's Coney Island will get a glimpse of the old glory that was the Coney Island of yesteryear.

Gene told KC today that the bell will be towed to the Gateway Marina opposite Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn around 4pm today.

Images courtesy of the NY Post

The New York Post writes:

Ritter, who discovered the treasure in November not far from where the pier once stood off the West Eighth Street beachfront, said the find left him with the same "incredible" feeling he had in 1990 when he was the first to find remnants of Dreamland under the ocean.

"It's an amazing artifact and symbol of Coney Island's past, and it's returning as the city is trying to ring in a new vision for Coney Island," said local historian Charles Denson.

The bell is expected to be on display at the Coney Island History Project this Labor Day Weekend but this information has still to be confirmed. Later a permanent home in Coney Island will be found for the bell. The news of the bell made it to many local and national tv news outlets around the country today.

Watch ABC news video of the Dreamland Pier Bell below

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