6. Midland Beach Amusement Park (1897-late 1920s)
Midland Beach, which neighbors South Beach on Staten Island, was home to a small amusement park from 1897 to the late 1920s. The small amusement park housed a roller coaster, a scenic railroad, and a number of smaller amusements. Like South Beach, Midland Beach experienced a rather disastrous beginning, facing major fires in 1916, 1924, and 1929. In 1917, a patron was left dangling from a roller coaster by his leg, and in 1918, a miniature train derailment injured 12 people. An extreme thunderstorm in 1923 led to a major fire, and trolley tracks were washed away by storm surges.
Many attractions at the amusement park were rebuilt throughout the park’s thirty-year existence, yet a 1929 fire destroyed more than one-fourth of the park, and Midland Beach became primarily used for swimming by 1930. Nearby, you will find what’s left of the abandoned Miller Airfield, which has been turned into a park by the National Park Service.