wooden roller coaster

The Yankee Cannonball

I am in love with the wooden roller coaster at Canobie Lake Park.

It’s a great ride – a nice long out and back coaster with some major drops. There’s air between your backside and the seat several times during the 60-second ride. In addition to a good thrill, the coaster also has a cool story. The coaster was built in 1930 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for Lakeview Park in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1936, the owners of Canobie Lake park purchased the coaster, then called the Greyhound, from Lakeview. To reassemble the coaster in its new home, workers had to cut six inches off each section–Canobie Lake had less space than Lakeview and had to shrink the track. I find this both fascinating and terrifying.

I grew up in Connecticut near Lake Compounce, the country’s oldest continuously operating amusement park. I remember riding the wooden coaster there, the Wildcat. While the Wildcat is fun, the Yankee Cannonball definitely offers a more adventurous ride. Both coasters were designed by Herbert Schmeck (which is just fun to say). Philadelphia Toboggan Company also made the wooden coaster at the long gone Whalom Park, where my husband worked in his youth. Sadly, I never visited Whalom before its demise, but Tim assures me that the roller coater was fun.

In addition to woodern roller coasters, I also love old carousels. Again, this may be a byproduct of growing up near Lake Compounce, which has a beautiful carousel.

You know what would make this post better? Pictures. I’ll just have to go back to the park so I can ride the coaster again and get some photos. Great excuse, right?

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