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Coney Island Bell

Updated on February 5, 2015

Coney Island Bell is Found

Discovery: November, 2008

Gene Ritter, a diver of treasures made another dream come true. He recently located the 500# Coney Island brass bell that once original set upon the pier at Dreamland Park until the fire in 1911. This is not the first time Ritter has come across Dreamland Park history. He and his team discovered remnants of Dreamland in 1990.

Mr. Ritter never dreamed he would locate the bell which was pulled from 25 feet beneath sea level. The bell is inscribed with the name of James Gregory, NY 1885. Mr. Gregory was a trapeze artist associated with the Gregory Brothers Circus that routinely performed at Coney in the last 1800s.

The 3 ft. x 3 ft. bell will be displayed at Coney Island for future amusement park enthusiasts.

I knew the bell existed, but I never dreamed I would find it.

Brass Bell From Coney Island

Coney Island

Why did you bring me here?

The sand is white with snow,

Over the wooden domes

The winter sea-winds blow--

There is no shelter near,

Come, let us go.

With foam of icy lace

The sea creeps up the sand,

The wind is like a hand

That strikes us in the face.

Doors that June set a-swing

Are bolted long ago;

We try them uselessly--

Alas there cannot be

For us a second spring;

Come, let us go.

Sara Teasdale

(1884 - 1933)

Girls Day Out - Coney Island - 1905

A must see. Pay close attention to when the drive unloads his passengers! I think he forgot the ladder.

Coney Island Water Chutes 1896-1903

Amazon's Pick about Coney

More of Coney Island Bell

The bell's inscription, "James Gregory, NY, 1885," is still visible. Gregory was a trapeze artist with the Gregory Brothers Circus that performed at Coney Island.


In 1911, a fire broke out in The Tunnel of Love, and Dreamland burned to the ground, never to re-open. Up and down Surf Avenue and the Coney Island Boardwalk were a number of independently owned rides and freak shows. Both the iconic Wonder Wheel and The Cyclone Roller-coaster were independent rides. The Astroland site was previously a large piece of property owned by restaurantor George Feltman. Feltman is credited with the hot dog, or more specifically, putting a frankfurter on a bun with mustard and ketchup. Nathan Hardwerker, who in 1916 would form his own hot dog empire, had previously worked for Feltman. The Feltman property may not have been an amusement park per-se, but it did feature such attractions as a mock Bavarian village, and a giant movie screen. When Astroland opened on the Feltman property in 1962, the U.S. was heavily involved in space exploration. John Glenn had by then orbited the Earth, and President Kennedy had decreed that the U.S. would have put a man on the moon by decades end. Therefore, Astroland was designed with an aerospace theme, with rocket ship rides dominant throughout the park. Over the years, the Albert family purchased such attractions as The Hell Hole spook house, and The Million Dollar Break Dancer. And if Coney Island was not likely to attract a million visitors on a single weekend like it once was, that doesn't mean that people of modest means could have a killer time.


Correct. New Iron Pier. Culver Terminal. 1881.

Old Iron Pier- W 8th street, built in the 1870's. Later renovated into Dreamland Pier, of recent bell fame.

A Peak Into History

A Peak Into History
A Peak Into History

SCHOOL IS OUT - Thanks for coming - The Bell

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    • profile image

      tammytan4 6 years ago

      Great story, very cool.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This was very amusing. Thanks for the lift. I needed that. The videos were so interesting and funny.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very interesting lens! I love reading things from history!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      [in reply to Michey] Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I love history myself. It was fun doing this lens. I would love to go treasure hunting with them.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 8 years ago

      Sandy I learn a lot from your lens, I don't know up till now that coney Island had a bell.

      I like that you introduced history info as well. I love History!

      Thanks for a great lens fav 5*