IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Tucked away in the northeast corner of Irondequoit is a piece of American history.
The Jack Rabbit, a wooden roller coaster at Seabreeze Amusement park, turns 100 years old this year.
Built in 1920, the Jack Rabbit is the nation’s oldest continuously operating roller coaster, according to Seabreeze officials. Additionally, it’s tied for fourth place in the world for the same category, according to the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
When it opened a century ago, the Jack Rabbit was the fastest coaster in the world.
In 2010, the thrill ride was included in a CBS News list of the five best roller coasters in the country.
According to CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, the track layout is a modified out and back, meaning it goes straight out for a considerable distance before returning to its station. The highest vertical drop is 75 feet and the top speed is 42 miles per hour. The entire track runs for 2,150 feet, with one last drop through a tunnel near the ride’s end.
While plans for the occassion are still being cemented by Seabreeze, park officials did say this:
“While we’re still organizing the specifics on how we plan to celebrate this historical milestone, please share your Jack Rabbit photos, videos and stories on our social media using #jackrabbit100! More celebration details to come.”
Although historical, the Jack Rabbit’s trains have been replaced several times and the wood structure gets rebuilt as necessary, often once per decade, according to Greenberg. Additionally, the old lift hill mechanism has been replaced over time to meet all modern safety standards.
Seabreeze itself opened on August 5, 1879 as a park with lakefront picnic groves as the main attractions, but mechanical rides would arrive soon after, according to the amusement park’s website. The rest, they say, is history …