The Shoot-the-Chutes was the only thing that Thompson and Dundy salvaged from Sea Lion Park. The ride was simple, a boat was hauled up to the top of the hill, turned around and then splashed downinto the lagoon.
The postcard on the left shows the lift and drop of the Shoot the Chutes. The boat splashed down through the tunnel and out into the lake. After the boat slowed the operator steered it over to the dock where the happy Victorian passengers disembarked.
This is a great rendering of the ride by nightfall. Notice the large amount of space between the two “drop” tracks.
These fantastic pictures from the Library of Congress show some unique views of the Shoot-the-Chutes. For an amusement park ride of the day it really was a thrilling attraction.
The Dragon’s Gorge opened in 1905 and was designed by LaMarcus Thompson and John Miller. There was a large waterfall within the ride’s entrance and the exquisite detail amazed its many riders. The coaster remained a popular fixture within the park until 1944 when it burned.
The Helter Skelter may not be exciting by today’s standards, but for the Victorian women it was quite a thrill to “let loose” down the slide. Elmer Blaney Harris wrote in “Munsey’s Magazine”, “The descent itself is about fifty feet, with high side, like a bathtub, and it twists and turns suddenly, a man standing guard at the bottom to pick up passengers.”
The Teaser. There is not much information on this ride. It looked like it was essentially many individual seats group and put onto a spinning platform. (Photo courtesy the Library of Congress)