Exhibit remembers classic Playland park near Seattle

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Seventy-five years ago this summer, a family attraction for a simpler time opened just north of Seattle. Now, those who remember Playland are taking a fond look back. Before Enchanted Park, before the Fun Forest, before anyone ever dreamed of a Space Needle, summer nights saw Seattleites throng to Playland.

Read more from KOMO/Seattle.

rollergator's avatar
If that Carl Phare was anything even remotely close to his ride left at PNE Vancouver, then it was one heck of a coaster...

Always a shame when parks go under....the residents really lose a sense of community. (But OTOH, they generally gain condos or WalMarts, and Lord knows there's not enough of THOSE around)...

A old friend of mine has ridden Bitter Lakes Dipper & the PNE Coaster (as well as Phare's Jantzen Beach's Dipper). His opinion was that the Vancouver Dipper was as good as the Vancouver Coaster if not a little better. Phare had a unique style no doubt. Both coasters had long straightaways that led into drops but the Seattle Dipper had a much longer straight portion. Here are a few pictures of the Dipper I purchased from the Shoreline Museum back in 1995.

This panorama view clearly shows the long straightway.

The 1953 fire that started in the Old Mill.

The odd shaped turn which led to the long straightaway.

My friend claims the Jantzen Beach Dipper was probably the best for airtime in his opinion.

Okay, how many of you know that Carl Phare was Tobin Fraley's (of carousel restoration and ceramic figure fame) maternal grandfather. When Carl's daughter Nina married Maurice Fraley, he gave them the three row Dentzel carousel that was in Playland. The Fraley's became one of the pioneer carousel restoration artists back in the late 1960's,early 1970''s.
File this under the "if only..." My wife and I currently live less than a half mile from where Playland used to sit. I was born eight years after it closed, but I did used to go there a lot as a small kid. They had a very nice playground and I think that's where I got my first scrapes and cuts.

Sigh... if only it were still there... I could fall asleep to the sound of a Carl Phare masterpiece...


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