Old Savin Rock amusement park topic of talk in West Haven

WEST HAVEN >> People who fondly recall the old Savin Rock amusement park take note: a three-person panel will discuss “Memories of Savin Rock Amusement Park” Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at the West Haven Public Library, 300 Elm St.

Mayor Ed O’Brien will be host of the free event, which will be presented by the Columbus Day Committee of Greater New Haven and Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge 37.

The discussion will include a presentation and a reception with refreshments.

Savin Rock was an amusement park in West Haven that operated in various forms and delighted locals and other beach-goers from the 1870s until 1966.

Savin Rock was established between 1873 and 1904 — originally just as a hotel. The amusement park was created by George Kelsey, a local entrepreneur who extended the trolley lines to the area of the park and built a 1,500-foot pier at the end of Beach Street to accommodate a ferry service.

But as time went on, Savin Rock grew with the 20th century into a regional fun district that was said at one point to have more rides, hot dog stands, frozen custard stands and bars than Coney Island.

To learn more about Savin Rock and to wander through a lovingly assembled collection of its memorabilia, visit the Savin Rock Museum, in the basement of the Savin Rock Conference Center at 6 Rock St. It is reachable at 203-937-3666 or http://savinrockmuseum.com/