Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vintage Roadside Tour Stop #7 - Oaks Amusement Park & Roller Rink

Although it's a little damp this week - shocking to find in Portland, we know! - a trek to Oaks Amusement Park will reward you with some of Portland's best old school charm.

Vintage Oaks Park rink label from our collection

Opened in 1905, the 40-acre Oaks Amusement Park, located along the Willamette River in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood, has managed to survive two world wars, the Great Depression, fires, and severe flooding in 1948, 1964, and 1996.

Vintage ride in storage at Oaks Park

Among its many charms - including a 1920s carousel featuring a gorgeous carved menagerie of wild animals, one of approximately 200 remaining in the world - is a fantastic roller rink that floated through the floods of 1965 and 1996 by means of airtight iron barrels mounted under the floor of the rink.

Although we don't skate as often as we'd like - waiting long enough for our bruises to heal - the experience of rolling along on four wheels while enjoying a live performance on the rink's mighty Wurlitzer Organ is an experience straight from the past and not to be missed.

Owned by the Bollinger family from the 1920s to the mid 1980s, Oaks Park is now operated by the Oaks Park Association. Created under the direction of Robert Bollinger, the Oaks Park Association works to keep the park a thriving entertainment for Portlanders. The Association is also diligent in carrying out Mr. Bollinger's wish that the land on which the park sits never be developed, but rather preserved as an amusement park for future generations.

If you're feeling adventurous, you'll find the rink open evenings throughout the conference. Exact times and cost can be found here.

Helpful Details

7805 SE Oaks Park Way
(503) 233-5777

Map here.

Jeff & Kelly
Vintage Roadside

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