Once Thriving Pleasure Beach Is Connecticut’s Newest Ghost Town
A once thriving beachfront community and amusement park, Bridgeport's Pleasure Beach is now Connecticut's newest Ghost Town.
Located on the Stratford/Bridgeport border, Pleasure Beach is a two-mile long island/peninsula that in its heyday used to house a number of beach sized homes, an amusement park, and a radio tower that still remains today.
The wooden bridge that connected this flourishing little town burnt down in 1996 forcing homeowners to abandon the island leaving behind most of their possessions.
Built as an amusement park in 1892, it was named Steeplechase Island and was known as the Coney Island of New England where steam ferries sailed hundreds of people across the Lewis Gut to ride the ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and carousel with the smells of hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn in the air. Here's a mini documentary of what Pleasure Beach looked like in the later part of last decade:
According to the Hartford Courant, in 1910, owner George Tilyou sold the park and it became known as Seabreeze Island. When the city of Bridgeport took back the island in 1920 and re-adopted the Pleasure Beach name, the main building became a renowned ballroom that featured some of the the era's biggest musical names.
In 2014 the city received $1.9 to rebuild some of the infrastructure which included building and upgrading docks, the purchase of two water taxis, and cleaning up the beach. For all the current information on Bridgeport's Pleasure Beach click on bridgeport.gov.
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