15. Americans enjoyed amusement parks across the country
From the east coast to the west, and at hundreds of stops in between, Americans enjoyed amusement parks in 1921. They bore little resemblance to the successors which exist a century later. Rides were more sedate, funhouses and sideshows predominated, and they resembled county fairs in many cases. Some became nationally well-known, such as Hersheypark in Pennsylvania, Cedar Point near Sandusky, Ohio, and Cincinnati’s Coney Island. The latter used the Ohio River to provide the water for numerous water slides and offered steamboat excursions to and from the city’s Public Landing for patrons. Resort hotels and campgrounds surrounded many of the parks, catering to the out-of-town trade.
The 1920s saw a boom in the construction of roller coasters in many of the parks, with competition for the highest crest, the steepest plunge, and the fastest speed. Nearly all were built with wood. One, named simply Roller Coaster, which first opened in 1921 at Lagoon, remains in operation today. Lagoon, located north of Salt Lake City near Farmington, Utah, also offered horse racing in 1921, as did several other amusement parks. The combination of amusements offered by nearby water in which to frolic, rides and funhouses, picnic areas, and gambling, enticed Americans to amusement parks throughout the country in the 1920s, with the largest becoming tourist meccas.