Rocky Point 8 Modern Times
During the late 20th century, Rocky Point found it impossible to compete with the mammoth Disney Theme Parks and the megalithic amusement centers. Modern transportation, extensive advertising and a more affluent society saw the older amusement parks unable to compete. Rocky Point was no exception. High costs, back taxes and other financial problems destroyed the park. Rocky Point, long the Mecca for youngsters of all ages in the summer, closed to the public in 1995
Major events in Rocky Point History
1726—Thomas Stafford purchases a large amount of land on Warwick Neck, including the area later called Rocky Point. The land remained undeveloped.
1840--- Captain William Winslow transports Sunday school classes from Providence to Rocky Point on the steamship Argo.
1847---Capt. Winslow becomes owner of Rocky Point and he and “Mother” Winslow serve shore dinners on long tables under the trees.
1850-1858—Winslow adds a carousel, swings, and the Spanish Fandango, the forerunner of the Ferris Wheel.
1860—Stephen A. Douglas, the “Little Giant,” addresses a large crowd at Rocky Point in his campaign to win the presidency. Despite the good reception at Rocky Point, Douglas loses to Abraham Lincoln.
1860’s The Forrest Casino features minstrel shows, including one with an all-female cast.
1877—President Rutherford B. Hayes calls Alexander Graham Bell from Providence’s City Hotel and then visits Rocky Point.
1883—John L. Sullivan, the “Boston Strong Boy” and heavyweight-boxing champion, fights an exhibition with Steve Taylor, drawing a crowd of 2000.
1907—Joseph Carruolo moves his carousel from lakeside Park in New York to Rocky Point. Becomes known as the “Merry-Go Round King.”
1918—After Col. Harrington dies, his widow closes the park for lack of patronage. Park re-opens 1920.
1938—Hurricane brings severe damage to Rocky Point—Park closes—re-opens part-time in 1940.
1942-45—Park closed because of World War II shortages and rationing.
1949—Rocky Point purchased by Vincent Ferla. His brother Conrad becomes general manager.
1954—Hurricane Carol causes havoc and destroys shore dinner hall.
1955-60—Rocky Point erects new dining hall, the Palladium Ballroom and the Windjammer Lounge.
1990s—extensive litigation sees Rocky Point into decline.
1996—Rocky Point ceases to exist as an amusement park. Rides and equipment are sold at auction.