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Small amusement park near Rochester still brings smiles 142 years later

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester) logo Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester) 6/21/2021 Marcia Greenwood, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
a group of people posing for the camera: Thrill seekers go for a spin on the Revolution 360 ride at Seabreeze Amusement Park Tuesday, June 29, 2010 in Irondequoit. © Rochester Democrat and Chronicle/Staff file photo Thrill seekers go for a spin on the Revolution 360 ride at Seabreeze Amusement Park Tuesday, June 29, 2010 in Irondequoit.

Seabreeze Amusement Park has roots that reach back to 1879, 14 years after the Civil War ended.

The park came into existence nine years before the founding of Eastman Kodak (1888), 13 years before Coca-Cola (1892) and 24 years before Ford Motor Co. (1903).

The local Long-Norris family has been connected to Seabreeze since 1904 and owned it since 1946.

It survived the flu pandemic of 1918, the Great Depression and countless destructive park fires — including one in 1994 that destroyed its beloved circa-1915 carousel.

It already was closing in on 100 years when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969 and has remained a steady summertime presence amid myriad other national and local triumphs and tragedies.

But 2020 was unusually challenging. For the first time in its storied history, Seabreeze was unable to open because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 22, it roared back to life, and its legendary Jack Rabbit roller coaster will mark 101 years.

A look back and a look ahead at the uniquely Rochester destination, the fourth-oldest amusement park in the country. 

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Small amusement park near Rochester still brings smiles 142 years later

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