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Museum launches book of Crystal Beach Park photos

The Fort Erie Historical Museum has just released another in its growing library of books on the history of the communities that make up greater Fort Erie.

Favourite Photographs of Crystal Beach Park is the latest and features more than 120 unique images from the archives of the museum.

It is designed to look like a 1900s-era photo album and contains many photographs that have never before been published.

The year long project will be featured at the upcoming Ridgeway Summer Festival July 6 and 7.

The museum is highlighting artifacts of Crystal Beach Park this summer and the book is a valuable souvenir and historical reference for people of today to visualize the past from the park’s inception in the 1890s to its demise in 1989.

Some of the artifacts include Leo the Lion, a Laff-in-the-Dark car and some Midway experiences which will all be free to experience again at the Museum.

“Publishing a book is a way to make the museum’s collection accessible,” said museum administrator Jane Davies.

“There are many photographs from the Park in the archives, mostly donated by citizens, and this book is a way to share those pictures with the public,” she said.

While the majority of the book features photographs and captions, there is a brief history of the park’s origins as a summer resort in 1890 and of John Rebstock’s later venture of religious assembly at Bay Beach in 1895 and 1896.

The research on the articles was shared with the museum by historian and author William Kae.

Some of the lesser known and more interesting pictures include the construction of the breakwall in 1924 as well as the sand hill and cottages that were removed to make room for the Crystal Ballroom and the Comet roller coaster.

“Crystal Beach Park was a special place that touched the lives of thousands of people,” Davies said. “Even though it closed in 1989, people still love to reminisce about their summers in the par,”

The book is available to purchase for $20 at the Historical Museum, 402 Ridge Road.