Seal Rock House
The Seal Rock House - for food and fun
From San Francisco’s beginnings as a city after the gold strike in 1848, opportunity beckons in the "outside lands", the vast area of sand dunes stretching west from Van Ness to the Pacific Ocean. The Seal Rock House - for food and fun - opens there in 1858. The Cliff House, offering the same, opens up the hill in 1863. By 1884, a steam railroad brings people to the first amusement ride at the City’s ocean side — a "Gravity Railroad" roller coaster—and to the Ocean Beach Pavilion for concerts and dancing.

This lucky couple has their own transportation.
This lucky couple has their own transportation
Trolley lines: the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad
Trolley lines: the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad
Cliffhouse railroad ticket

Soon there are trolley lines: the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad, the Park & Ocean Railroad and the Sutro Railroad that encourage commercial amusement development at Ocean Beach.

Looff's Hippodrome business card
Looff's Hippodrome business card
Arthur Looff, in about 1913, leases a piece of land for a carousel and its house—the Looff Hippodrome. The lovely Looff carousel, the sole survivor of a fire that destroys Seattle’s Luna Park, becomes the neighbor of John Friedle’s shooting gallery and baseball-throwing concession. Friedle and Looff partner up in Looff’s Hippodrome. By 1921, they have ten thrilling and amusing rides, including a Shoot the Chutes, and call their park "Chutes At The Beach."

Chutes at the Beach ephemera
Chutes at the Beach ephemera
Things really get rolling at Chutes at the Beach when the Arthur Looff Bob Sled Dipper (the Bobs) comes along in 1921, and the Looff-designed Big Dipper arrives in 1922. The coasters, chutes and carousel are joined by the Aeroplane Swing, the Whip, Dodg-Em, the Ship of Joy, the Ferris wheel, Noah’s Ark, and almost a hundred concessionaires.

Girls with prizes from Shoot the Chutes
Girls with prizes from Shoot the Chutes
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