Temescal’s own amusement park
on February 20, 2012
One of Temescal’s oldest subdivisions was once of the state’s grandest amusement parks. On the blocks of what are now Spanish stucco-styled homes bordered by Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues to the east and west and between 56th and 58th Streets, Oakland’s Idora Park at one time brought thousands of visitors from near and far for its myriad attractions. Built in 1903 by railroad baron and borax king Rodney Ingersoll, the park was open about 30 weeks a year and boasted rides, roller coasters, an opera house, a musical ampitheater, a zoo, an ostrich farm, and what was purported to be the world’s largest indoor roller skating rink. Idora Park provided entertainment to locals and tourists alike, until the rise of the automobile and the beginning of the Great Depression forced it to close its doors in 1929.
Local historian Ray Raineri takes us on a journey back through time to what Idora Park was like at the height of its attraction.
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