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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Coaster Enthusiasts Support and Rate Rock Springs Park Book

If it wasn’t for coaster enthusiasts, Images of America: Rock Springs Park might not have been published.

While in the proposal process, I contacted a member of ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) to get some feedback on the groups’ interest in a book about our beloved Rock Springs. ACE president, Bill Linkenheimer, told me he and many other coaster enthusiasts devour books about amusement parks, specifically those containing information on and images of classic coasters. In fact, one of the main goals of ACE is to raise money to restore and revitalize classic coasters and historic parks. ACE’s mission statement includes “fostering and promoting the conservation, appreciation, knowledge, and enjoyment of the classic wooden roller coaster.” The best advice I received from my inquiry with Bill, besides his suggestion to seek support back home from Chester-area residents, was a lead he gave me from another member and friend, Jim Futrell. Jim suggested I contact ACE Member #10, Richard Bowker, who was described as a huge fan of Rock Springs Park, a suggestion which literally made the book possible. I soon discovered that Member #10 had 7-8 photograph albums containing, what turned out to be, the largest private collection of Rock Springs pictures and postcards out there. Thanks ACE!

Now a coaster website hosted by Andy Shine and described as a “Roller Coaster Media Library”, has added and rated Images of America: Rock Springs Park. Shines rating scale is based on a book’s coverage of coasters. Books specifically about coasters are often rated as “recommended” or “excellent”. Rock Springs Park received a rating of “good’, as it has a limited number of coaster images and information.

So, how many coasters did Rock Springs Park have over the years? 5.

1. Figure Eight (1897 – 1905)
2. World’s Greatest Scenic Railway (1906 – 1920)
3. Leap the Dips (1906 – 1921)
4. Scenic Railway converted into a more modern coaster (1921 – 1926)
5. Cyclone (1927 – 1970)

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