Edgewater Park - Detroit MI

Address: 7 Mile Rd and Berg
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48219
County: Wayne
Number of visits to this page: 125229
General Information:

Source: Detroit News

During my teenage summers I would get up at 5am on Saturdays and start washing cars...anyones cars: my mothers, my fathers, my brothers, and any neighbors who were willing to pay," said Laurie J. Marzejka. "When I had earned enough I would shower, change into a shirt, shorts, sandals, and shades and head-out to Edgewater Park.

I would spend the entire day with friends enjoying sunshine, snowcones, and slow-poke suckers all amid screams of delight." Youngsters squeal as Edgewater Parks roller coaster -- "The Wild Beast"-- goes over the top on opening day in the spring of 1942. "Nothing could be better than to take the Livernois/Grand River bus to Edgewater Park on a hot summer Saturday or Sunday," said Dennis Kreish. "Cotton candy, thrill rides, and lots of people. It was the early 60s. We would leave around noon.

Usually the four or six of us, Roman, Mark, Kathy, Diane, Barbara and myself would wait at the corner of Livernois and Horatio, just in front of a corner grocery store, to board the bus. We got off at Grand River and waited near what was the church Aretha Franklins father was pastor, although at the time we didnt know it. Entering Edgewater Park and hearing the screams of kids enjoying the Tilt-a-whirl, or the smell of cotton candy, and taking the bus ride home will always remain one of my fondest memories of the past."

Edgewater Park, Detroits westside funland for more than half a century opened in 1927 during the Depression. It was responsible for an untold number of romances. Always a good place to hang out, everyone had fun. The 20-acre park, located at Grand River (Actually Berg Road - WWW) and Seven Mile Road was operated for many seasons by Milton and Cyril Wagner. The main attraction was a rickety-looking wooden roller coaster known as the "Wild Beast". It had other names over the years including "Soul Train". Anyone who rode its twisting, torturous path experienced stomach wrenching thrills. A colossal 110-foot ferris wheel with free swinging gondolas, grabbed your attention.

A favorite at Edgewater was the Hall of Mirrors. The park hit its popularity peak in the 1930s, when it offered a relatively cheap way to forget the Depression, and in the wartime 40s when it became jam-packed, night after night, with young servicemen. It offered Dodgem cars, The Octopus, a carousel, Hall of Mirrors and a funhouse where sudden jets of air blew up the skirts of young ladies.

In April of 1944, Edgewaters summer opening was heralded in the News with the appearance of "Sky High Girl, an aerial artist who performs on perchpoles and trapeze bars." Edgewater flourished for many years fueled by early day junk food like Corn Dogs, Pronto Pups and Egg Cremes. The park sailed through the 50s despite a fire in October 1954 when lightning struck the metal-roofed dance hall. Two men died, including a musician returning to get his trombone. Four hundred people escaped from the wooden structure when the fire started. A fire set by a teenage arsonist in December 1955 damaged a section of the roller coaster, but it was no worse off once repairs were made.

Only one fatality was tied to the rides at Edgewater. It happened in August 1976. An eight-year old girl jumped off the giant ferris wheel before it stopped and was struck in the head. With the advent of the super highway and birth of multimillion dollar theme parks like Disneyland, its popularity waned. In September of 1981, after 54 years of operation, Edgewater Parks turnstiles clicked for the last time.

Click the following links for locations of interest nearby:
Audio Clip: Vintage Radio Spot
Info Updates:
6/25/2017 - Bob
I worked at Edgewater from 1972-1975. I was 16 when I started and worked there up until my Freshman year of college. My first year I blew up baloons for the dart game, then worked Skee Ball the next three years. I remember when the park only cost $1. 00 for the entire day, however the Roller Coaster was an additional fee. My boss was Leo Pike and his assistant was Doug Trout (honest to goodness, a true story). I made $1. 50/hour in 1972 and $2. 00/hour by the time I quit in '75. They had great French fries there. Sometimes when I hear an old song on the radio it brings back memories of Edgewater because those same songs were piped throughout the park, alll day, every day! Working there was an educational experience and I never knew what to expect from day to day.
11/20/2011 - Dave Pike
I'm sad to report that Leo Pike passed away on November 13 in Eugene, Oregon. He was the general manager for Edgewater and later Walled Lake.
11/9/2011 - Larry
According to a Detroit News article, Edgewater opened in 1927 and closed for good in September 1981.
7/24/2011 - Bill Wagner
My name is Bill Wagner and my father Cy Wagner owned Edgewater Park. A friend of mine sent this web page to me. It is really exciting to read about all the great experiences people had at Edgewater. The pictures of the park during the peak times and the memories are fantastic! I am very happy that Michiganders remember the park and the good times that it produced.
3/20/2011 - Gayle Zech
I remember seeing Bobby Sherman at Edgewater Park. My parents loaded up myself and a bunch of girls in the car and headed over. Somewhere in my archives, I've got movies of the whole thing My late mother told me that she used to go on dates to Edgewater Park, hmmmmm.
2/15/2004 - Sharon Bryant
My father, Frank Cook got the original roller coaster from the park when they were tearing the park down. I believe it was painted yellow, and we hauled it in truckloads to his property on Haggerty Road in Belleville, Michigan. The coaster for the next five years was burned in wood burners to heat a barn where carousel horses were being paint, and amusement rides. My father owned The Cook Amusement Company from Fraser Michigan, and the New Motor State Shows of Belleville, Michigan. So, just in case folks wonder what happened to the roller coaster, I thought you might like to know.
 Photos:88
Edgewater Park - COASTER FROM LEO PIKE
COASTER FROM LEO PIKE
Edgewater Park - COASTER STATION FROM LEO PIKE
COASTER STATION FROM LEO PIKE
Edgewater Park - COASTER BACK TURN FROM LEO PIKE
COASTER BACK TURN FROM LEO PIKE
Edgewater Park - OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Edgewater Park - OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Edgewater Park - OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD FAMILY PICS
OLD FAMILY PICS
Edgewater Park - OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OLD PHOTO FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Edgewater Park - ARTICLE ON VANDALISM JULY 29 1964
ARTICLE ON VANDALISM JULY 29 1964
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - 1981 PHOTO EDGEWATER PARK
1981 PHOTO EDGEWATER PARK
Edgewater Park - 1981 PHOTO EDGEWATER PARK
1981 PHOTO EDGEWATER PARK
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
CAROUSEL FROM ROLAND SUMMIT
Edgewater Park - THE BIG BEAST
THE BIG BEAST
Edgewater Park - MIDWAY
MIDWAY
Edgewater Park - MIDWAY
MIDWAY
Edgewater Park - RUINS
RUINS
Edgewater Park - WILD MOUSE
WILD MOUSE
Edgewater Park - RUINS
RUINS
Edgewater Park - RUINS
RUINS
Edgewater Park - THE LOT NOW
THE LOT NOW
Edgewater Park - FROM ROBERT MORROW
FROM ROBERT MORROW
Edgewater Park - FROM ROBERT MORROW
FROM ROBERT MORROW
Edgewater Park - FROM ROBERT MORROW
FROM ROBERT MORROW
Edgewater Park - FROM ROBERT MORROW
FROM ROBERT MORROW
Edgewater Park - CROWDS AND RIDES
CROWDS AND RIDES
Edgewater Park - FROM ROBERT MORROW
FROM ROBERT MORROW
Edgewater Park - BIG BEAST THEN
BIG BEAST THEN
Edgewater Park - BIG BEAST THEN
BIG BEAST THEN
Edgewater Park - SOFTBALL TOSS THEN
SOFTBALL TOSS THEN
Edgewater Park - AIRPLANE SWING THEN
AIRPLANE SWING THEN
Edgewater Park - FUN ON THE RIDES
FUN ON THE RIDES
Edgewater Park - FUN ON THE RIDES
FUN ON THE RIDES
Edgewater Park - FUN HOUSE MIRROR
FUN HOUSE MIRROR
Edgewater Park -  COUPONS 1978 FROM STEVE WILLIAMS
COUPONS 1978 FROM STEVE WILLIAMS
Edgewater Park - AUG 1978 ARTICLE ON MICH AMUSEMENT PARKS (newer photo)
AUG 1978 ARTICLE ON MICH AMUSEMENT PARKS (newer photo)
Edgewater Park - AUG 1978 ARTICLE ON MICH AMUSEMENT PARKS (newer photo)
AUG 1978 ARTICLE ON MICH AMUSEMENT PARKS (newer photo)
Edgewater Park - AD ON OPENING DAY APRIL 23 1943
AD ON OPENING DAY APRIL 23 1943
Edgewater Park - AERIAL PHOTO FROM SEAN FITZGERALD
AERIAL PHOTO FROM SEAN FITZGERALD
Edgewater Park - AL MARTINO PERFORMING OCT 1952
AL MARTINO PERFORMING OCT 1952
Edgewater Park - ALL THE PARKS OPENING UP APRIL 11 1948
ALL THE PARKS OPENING UP APRIL 11 1948
Edgewater Park - APRIL 26 1941 ARTICLE
APRIL 26 1941 ARTICLE
Edgewater Park - ARTICLE ON CLOSING SEPT 13 1981
ARTICLE ON CLOSING SEPT 13 1981
Edgewater Park - BALLROOM ARTICLE JUNE 19 1927
BALLROOM ARTICLE JUNE 19 1927
Edgewater Park - BOBBY SHERMAN AT THE PARK JUNE 6 1971
BOBBY SHERMAN AT THE PARK JUNE 6 1971
Edgewater Park - DEC 27 1955 ARTICLE ON FIRE
DEC 27 1955 ARTICLE ON FIRE
Edgewater Park - DODGE EM ARTICLE JULY 28 1946
DODGE EM ARTICLE JULY 28 1946
Edgewater Park - EDGEWATER RANGERS ROLLER HOCKEY FEB 17 1947
EDGEWATER RANGERS ROLLER HOCKEY FEB 17 1947
Edgewater Park - JULY 25 1952 ALLEGED GAMBLING
JULY 25 1952 ALLEGED GAMBLING
Edgewater Park - KID LIKED LIVING NEXT TO THE PARK MAY 18 2000 ARTICLE
KID LIKED LIVING NEXT TO THE PARK MAY 18 2000 ARTICLE
Edgewater Park - MAY 1 1954 FOUR FRESHMAN APPEARING
MAY 1 1954 FOUR FRESHMAN APPEARING
Edgewater Park - MAY 29 1960 DISPLAY AD
MAY 29 1960 DISPLAY AD
Edgewater Park - MEMORIAL DAY SOULFEST MAY 27 1971
MEMORIAL DAY SOULFEST MAY 27 1971
Edgewater Park - NO STRIKE AT THE PARK JUNE 25 1948
NO STRIKE AT THE PARK JUNE 25 1948
Edgewater Park - OCT 4 1954 ARTICLE ON FIRE
OCT 4 1954 ARTICLE ON FIRE
Edgewater Park - PLACE WAS DOING WELL IN 1934
PLACE WAS DOING WELL IN 1934
Edgewater Park - ROTO JET ARTICLE MAR 29 1958
ROTO JET ARTICLE MAR 29 1958
Edgewater Park - THE END OF BIG BEAST COASTER MARCH 29 1982
THE END OF BIG BEAST COASTER MARCH 29 1982
Edgewater Park - TICKET FROM TOM BRADLEY
TICKET FROM TOM BRADLEY
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