With the closing of Crescent Park following the 1978 season, there were no takers for the Flying Fish. My visit to the abandoned and eroding park in April 1980 revealed a twisted pile of ruble with the fragmented catwalk and the severed list chain being the only recognizable remains, seen below.
There were no signs of the ride cars which had been earlier sold off to the public in a weekend sale of park treasures inside the Shore Dinner Hall. It’s been said that one of the cars is being used as a planter in the yard of an East Providence residence.
Meanwhile, across the Bay at Rocky Point Park, the Wildcat (seen next to the Windjammer in the photo below) had made its last prowl five years earlier.
States one of the former park officials who began employment at Rocky Point in 1974.
“When we came into Rocky Point, the Wildcat was the first to be inspected and was declared a danger. We never operated it and took it down in the first summer. Due to its reputation I did as much research as I could. If you are facing the Wildcat from inside the park, the highest curve, in the back, on the left hand side… (One day in 1973), the car never made the abrupt turn it was known for and flew straight off the track. I guess, due to the weight distribution, the car was bottom heavy and landed on its wheels. No records of any injury and I spoke to some people that were purportedly eye witnesses. My understanding is that, as a place to store it temporarily, they took that derailed car and simply put it in the carousel building to get it out of the way.”
The parcel left vacant by the Wildcat was filled in 1977 by the Enterprise.
The Wildcat has been memorized by local, award-winning artist Frankie Galasso with this mug. For more info, go to http://www.frankgalasso.com/
A ticket for Crescent Park’s Flying Fish is featured on this t-shirt. For more info, go to http://www.crescent-park-ri.com/portraits
If you want to find the exact former site of the Wildcat at Rocky Point State Park, go to the rear parking lot and line yourself up with the Circle Swing tower as I am doing in the photo below, and step about 20 feet from the pavement onto to the grass. This is the best way to find it, as there are no markings.
The location of Crescent Park’s former Flying Fish was on the side street in line with the movie screen, at the end of the tree line in the photo below. While you are welcome to explore Rocky Point State Park, it is not recommended that you go fishing around the residential neighborhood behind the carousel in search of the Flying Fish, lest you be netted by East Providence Police!
Anita Cerri Ferla
You Must Be This Tall movie collection
Tales of Rocky Point Park
Rhode Trip Photography
To see a video about the Rocky Point Park Wildcat, go to: