Remembering Jimmy McCullough, 1929-2013

Jimmy McCullough

When Jimmy McCullough visited the History Project to sit for an interview a few years back, I felt that I was in the presence of Coney royalty. He was a man of few words, quiet and hardworking and, like most of the Coney old-timers, someone who rarely left his business during the season. Jimmy was related to three of Coney's pioneer families: the Tilyous, Stubbmanns, and McCulloughs. When the McCullough's Kiddie Park lease was not renewed by Thor Equities last year, the McCullough's little park on the Bowery was forced to close, becoming another one of Thor's vacant lots in the heart of Coney Island. 2013 is the first year since 1862 that there has not been a Tilyou descendant operating in Coney Island.

Jimmy and his family operated numerous small amusement parks and carousels in Coney Island, including the B&B Carousell, which was purchased by the City in 2005 and returned to Coney's Boardwalk earlier this year. Jimmy was a man of many talents who could build or fix anything mechanical and he knew the amusement business inside and out. He was a friend of the Coney Island History Project and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him and worked with him. His death brings a close to a golden age of Coney Island History --Charles Denson

Charles Denson's interview with Jimmy McCullough is part of the Coney Island History Project's Oral History Archive and may be listened to online here.

Services for Jimmy McCullough will be held this week. The family will receive friends at William E. Law Funeral Home, 1 Jerusalem Ave, Massapequa, NY on Thursday, August 22, 7-9PM and Friday, August 23, 2-4:30PM and 7-9PM. The funeral will be on Saturday, August 24, at 10AM at Maria Regina R.C. Church, 3945 Jerusalem Ave, Seaford, NY.



The first summer I worked in Coney Island, I worked for Jimmy McCullough when he had the Zipper, The Hammer and the Round-up on West 12th Street off the Bowery. He was a good man and gave a lot of kids in Coney Island their first jobs. The summers in Coney Island back then was magical, there was so much energy wth the people, the lights and the music and all the noise, they were the summers I remember the most. R.I.P Jimmy McCullough....

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