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July 30, 2011


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Went to Jantzen Beach as an 8th grader on Safety Patrol Day. (I was a student crossing guard at Duniway, and this was a way to reward kids for their participation in the Safety Patrol program.) Ended up riding in the front seat with my friend Matt...and it was the LAST time I rode a coaster for nearly 30 years...Man, that was a wild ride!!

Mr. Stumpman: Oh what a wonderful world was Jantzen Beach Park! The difference between then & now is night & day... "The Big Dipper" Roller Coaster was one of THE best wooden coasters in the country. How many remember that first huge drop? And who can forget "Laffing Sal", The Fun House's Laughing Lady ? What about The Old Mill (Tunnel of Love) & that great water wheel where everybody got a little sprayed with water on the way in & on the way out? Of course, the major attractions were the Jantzen Swim Wear Olympic sized pools, kiddie pools & water features. Thanks for the GREAT photo & thanks for the memories!

The Big Dipper at Jantzen Beach is exactly why I LOVE the old wooden roller coasters today! Love the thrill and the anticipation of that rickety sounding 'click click' on the tracks as it slowly crept up to the top and whoosh!....steep drop down......and all the winding up and down and around....SO fun! A few months ago I had the joy of being at Knotts Berry Farm...and you guessed it, my favorite choice of all the rides was the Old Roller Coaster! Thanks in a huge part to my memories of 'The Big Dipper'!

The 'sideways' sign reads:

"$50.00 Reward For Information Leading to the Identity of Anyone Throwing Articles at Cars
On This Ride"

Does anyone have a STORY to FESS UP TO (or tell) now that Jantzen Beach Amusement Park is no longer here??

we went as a family many times, and i too went as part of the safety patrol, usually in early june just before school got out, one year i was dissapointed that they closed the big dipper down because a girl fell off just before we got there, think i was about 15 and was very upset with the decision to tear it all down and then build a shopping mall!

You hit a nerve, Mr. Stump.

The Big Dipper touched a lot of Portland area kids.

I'm still one. I wish I could ride it tonight.


1965 our school (And other schools) attended Jantzen Beach for our annual Safety Patrol Party (Month of May I believe)..Had a chance to ride the Big Dipper....chickened out..afraid to ride it..of course today looking back wished I would of. Went for the go-carts... What a fun park it was!

@john: And all indications are that they plan to tear down what's left of the mall.

Born and raised in Portland. My sister and I would ride our bikes to Jantzen Beach. I'm probably the only person who wouldn't ride the Big Dipper. I was about 8 during the Vamport Flood and after the water recided and the park reopened my Dad was carring me on his shoulders we walk under the coaster. I could see the water line on the coaster and there was no way anyone could convince me it was safe. I met my husband at the foot of coaster in 1954.

Went there many times over the years. As newspaper deliveryboy rewards day for the old Community Press. The pools with the high dive - close to the freeway and the roller coaster with the old white timbers that you were sure that were going to break and fall when you were going down the big dip. My brother would always threwup on the Scrambler or the Octupus. The old dance halls were before my time, but have heard stories from many oldtimers about meeting their mates out there.

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