This first roller coaster at Idora Park on Youngstown’s South Side was built in 1902. This photo was taken from a slide show, “Idora Park : A Historic Look Back,” by Richard Shale, professor of English at Youngstown State University on Thursday at Park Vista Retirement Community in Youngstown. The coaster was 85 feet wide and 225 feet long.
The Rapids ride was a popular attraction at Idora Park for decades. Boats would travel through a long, dark passageway and then descend a large chute into a waterfall. The Rapids later was renovated and called The Lost River. The fire that resulted in the closing of the park began near this ride in 1984.
“Exit to the left,” said the operator of the Jack Rabbit roller coaster to the passengers taking the last ride on the coaster on the last day the amusement park was open to the public on Sept. 3, 1984. The Jack Rabbit originally was called the Dip-the-Dips when it was built in 1910. It became the Jack Rabbit in 1924.
This is the original look of the Idora Park Ballroom, which was constructed in 1910. It was a popular spot for dances and concerts, ranging from big bands to rock ’n’ roll groups. The ballroom was destroyed by a fire in 2001. Later that year, the park’s signature roller coasters — the Wild Cat and Jack Rabbit — were demolished.