Oh, boy, do I remember Griffith School Elementary school picnics at Chain of Rocks Amusement Park in North St. Louis County (right near the Chain of Rocks Bridge, along the Mississippi River). Who can forget the anticipation as we got closer to the big day? Who can forget racing for the Mad Mouse roller-coaster, ready to be scared and thrilled? Who can forget cotton candy, the Tilt-a-Whirl, and the Scrambler?

Here’s a video of 1970 8mm footage. It really brings back the memories (and the fashions!). Be sure to keep an eye out for the Caterpillar, the Baskets (my brother, Dave, loved the Baskets!), the Cars, the Flying Bobs, the Mad Mouse, the Helicopters, the Round-Up, the Tempest, the Rocket, the Boats, the Airplanes, the Merry-Go-Round, the Swooper Ferris Wheel, And what was that ride called where you road in the seats on a wire up above the park? Anyone remember?

Anyone else go to Chain of Rocks Amusement Park? Care to share your memories?

5 Comments on Chain of Rocks Amusement Park

  1. Laura says:

    I believe the ride you are questioning was simply called the “sky lift”, but maybe not. I do remember being very afraid of it, because when your car would go across the cables in the middle, it would make weird noises and we always thought we were going to crash and burn. Six Flags had a similar ride in the early days.

  2. Wayne Brasler says:

    At the north end of the park was a dark ride, with cars clicking along a track through swinging doors into a pitch black barn. The favorite part of that ride, for me, was the fact it was forever breaking down so they’d have to turn on the lights and you could see the track layout (very complicated) and all the stuff that would light up to scare riders as it all really was. There was also a Hall of Mirrors along the east side of the park that was quite confusing and much fun where you’d end up in a room with three doors to pick from (one labeled “To The Trial) and two of them would lead to dead-ends. There was a mummified giant with his private area covered modestly and of course everyone wanted to know what was under that covered area and laughed about. Chain of Rocks always had a reputation as being seedier than the Forest Park Highlands (with Westlake Park regarded as even seedier) but it wasn’t true. Chain of Rocks was just as much fun and just as safe as the Highlands and had great food too. And the view out over the Mississippi River was spectacular.

  3. Kelly Berry says:

    I spent the biggest part of my childhood weekends and summers thwre. See, my daddy was the maintenance man and my mom worked the lions den. Thank you all so much for remembering it fondly. The park still holds a special place in my heart, always will. The Merry Go Round was always my favorite. The horses were all hand carved and kept up by a man named Pete. He was a jewish holocaust survivor and poured his heart and soul into the upkeep of that beautiful ride.

  4. David Thomas says:

    Yes, indeed. I remember the annual school field trips to Chain of Rocks. I remember the Mad Mouse roller coaster, though I was too young to ride it. I attended Benton Elementary school in the 60’s. Fundraising booster posters were sold and each school had their special day at Chain of Rocks. Bi-state buses were chartered, so your mom or dad didn’t have to drive there. I remember about 8-10 buses of them parked in front of the school on those days. Thanks for the memories.

  5. Donna says:

    I recently found some of my Chain of Rocks memorabilia & decided to see what was on the internet….and found this page. I remember going there with my family a lot. I took my first swimming lessons there. I got my first job (other than baby-sitting) working at Chain of Rocks. As soon as I was the “legal” age of 16 (1962), I started work @ 50 cents/hour (big money for me). I worked all through high school & then college. I did all kinds of things, but eventually got to sell tickets & run some of the bigger rides, including the “Mad Mouse”, the bumper cars & the flying swings. I remember Ken Thone, the manager & some of the older workers. I have some great memories (& photos) of my experiences, friends that I made, the employee swim parties, as well as some firey sunburns. I agree with Kelly. I loved the Merry-go-round horses. They were works of art. And Wayne is right. CofR was a good place to work, or my parents would never have allowed me to be there late after the park closed. Mr. Thone always walked us to the front gate & made sure we were safely in our cars at night. I was sooo disappointed when CofR shut down. My own children never got to have the wonderful experience of going there. :(

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