Trimper's Rides from the boardwalk
|Slogan||Fun is What We're All About|
|Location||Ocean City, Maryland|
|Previous names||Windsor Resort|
|Total||43 (31 Outdoor Rides)|
Trimper's Rides is a historic amusement park located near the inlet at South First Street and the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, United States. It was founded in 1893 as The Windsor Resort. It is located at the south end of the boardwalk, where it consists of a year-round indoor facility, The Haunted House (which resides on its own lot on the Boardwalk strip), and three outdoor lots.
Daniel B. Trimper and his wife, Margaret, great great grandparents of the current president and manager of the park (Gordon Brooks Trimper) arrived in Ocean City in 1890. By 1893 they were owners of boardwalk property between South Division and South First Streets, including two hotels: The Eastern Shore and the Sea Bright.
Rebuilding the Sea Bright in 1900 following a severe storm, the Trimpers modeled the new structure on Great Britain's Windsor Castle. The two hotels together with a theater and an amusement park thus became known as Windsor Resort.
A 1912 purchase also adds to the historic significance of Trimper's Rides. It was that year that Daniel Trimper purchased a massive carousel from the Herschell-Spillman Company in North Tonawanda, NY. It was 50 feet in diameter with a uniqueness derived from the only other carousel made by the firm at that time having been sent to Coney Island, and that one was later destroyed by fire.
The carousel's forty-five animals, three chariots and one rocking chair were driven by a steam engine; rides originally cost just a nickel. One-hundred years later, the ride (now electrified) costs four tickets, or $2.00. Classified as one of the oldest still operating carousels in the nation, the carousel includes a standing and jumping menagerie of standing and jumping horses, a mule, a zebra, a cat, a dog, a pig, a frog, a rooster, a rabbit, a deer, a lion, a tiger, an ostrich, a camel, a giraffe, and a dragon.
Over the years the Trimpers added numerous rides; several of these rides also offer historic significance such as a kiddie carousel which is smaller and dates to the 1920s as does a kiddie ferris wheel. All the rides are kept in excellent working condition. If it were not for the gilt ornateness, beautiful hand-carved craftsmanship or wood versus metal it would be difficult to know that parents--and grandparents--who, as children, once rode the same rides are now bringing their offspring to do the same.
Trimper's ten children and their descendants have also played important roles in Ocean City's political life and other businesses. Trimper's son, Daniel, Jr., managed Windsor Resort Corporation after his father's death, and served as Mayor of Ocean City for 16 years. A great-grandson, Daniel IV, also served on City Council and as Council President. Grandson Granville D. Trimper, who became the corporation's manager in 1980, served on the City Council for 18 years, many of those as Council President; he also served as Mayor. Granville served on the Worcester County Commissioners as President for 4 years. In 2000 He was elected Citizen of the Year (Millennium) by the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
The Indoor Area contains most of the rides for younger kids. It plays host to a collection of vintage amusement park memorabilia and paraphernalia, ranging from antique ticket booths, to operating antique rides. The main attractions inside this part of the building are:
The park's dark ride, "The Haunted House", was built by Bill Tracy in 1964 as a 1-level attraction on a lot facing the boardwalk strip. The ride was later expanded on when nearby Playland Park closed, leaving their own Tracy dark ride, "Ghost Ship", up for grabs. Trimper's incorporated the tricks from the ride by adding a second level to the ride, making it twice as long. The ride was originally believed to have opened in 1962, but after the recent discovery of correspondence linked to the ride, its actual opening year was discovered to be two years later. The ride was said to be Granville Trimper's favorite.
The three outdoor areas, where most of the major rides are located, are open during the summer season. Among the rides are:
The park began to experience troubled times during the 2007 season. The Carousel House/indoor area was made a historic landmark in 2007. Park owner Granville Trimper died in October 2008, leaving the park in his family's hands. The park opened for the 2009 season under a joint management of Granville's relatives.
Jim Futrell (2008). Amusement Parks of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Stackpole Books.