Nearly everyone remembers a favorite amusement park from their youth but if you lived in Chicago before 1967, there’s a good chance Riverview was yours.
Promoted as “One of the Greatest Amusement Parks in the World”, Riverview had little competition, with rides and attractions spreading across 74 acres. Located on Chicago’s northside, Riverview was bordered on the south by Belmont Avenue, east by Western Avenue, north by Lane Tech High School and on the west by the north branch of the Chicago River. Today, this area is commonly known as ‘North Center’.
Riverview Amusement Park was owned by the Schmidts, a wealthy German family. The Schmidts originally opened the park in the late 1800’s as a sharpshooting range and picnic grounds. To attract more visitors the Schmidts decided to turn the land into an amusement park. In 1905 they bought 50 more acres and added a number of rides and attractions.
These included a dance pavilion, an animal farm and several rides such as the White Flyer Roller Coaster and the Double Wheel Ferris Wheel. They also staged recreations in the Marine Causeway such as the civil war naval battle of the Monitor and Merrimack. And in 1908 they brought in a beautiful, hand carved 70 horse carousel that become the highlight of the park.
While visitors enjoyed a wide range of rides and attractions, the park became best known for ‘The Bobs’ – an 11 car roller coaster with an 85′ drop. Constructed in 1926 for $80,000, ‘The Bobs’ carried 1,200 passengers per hour and drew some 700,000 riders each season.
Other popular rides included: The Comet, Silver Flash, Fireball, Jetstream, Shoot the Chutes, Hades, the Rotor, Tilt-a-Whirl, Wild Mouse, and The Tunnel of Love. For those looking for a little less adventure, the ballroom offered jazz, German music and a roller rink.
In 1967 the Schmidt family and other investors decided to close Riverview. While most of the rides were scrapped, the beautiful hand carved carousel was restored and continues to operate at Six Flags Over Georgia.
Riverview is still a fond memory for many Chicago parents and grandparents alike. Just mention the name or ask if they remember ‘The Bobs’ and you’re guaranteed to get a smile and a story.
~ Legacy Videos ~
Give your parent or grandparent the gift of a lifetime by capturing their life story for your family to know!
Here at Family Tree Video we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed (or Zoom) interview together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful “moving portrait” capturing your loved one as they recount their life story, family history and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
To learn more about giving the gift of a Legacy Video, visit us at FamilyTreeVideo.com.
Family Tree Video, LLC
Legacy Video Production
Capturing Life Stories and Family History
for Future Generations
~ The Gift of a Lifetime ~
Family Tree Video
Video Biographies ~ Family History Videos ~ Video Memoirs
Family Documentaries ~ Anniversary Videos
Video Tributes ~ Heirloom Videos
~ Chicago ~
Riverview Amusement Park