1950 - 1959

Owner of Williams Candy and past owner of Fascination Arcade
Peter Agrapides owns and operates the Williams Candy shop next door to Nathans. He began working in Coney Island in 1949 and also owned the Fascination game arcade on Surf Avenue next to the old Loew's (Shore) Theater.
Content type: Oral History Item
Lived in Coney Island during the 50's
In the 1950s, Gene and his older brother lived in Coney Island. Gene has vivid memories of Steeplechase Park, the Wonder Wheel and his favorite ride, the Bobsled. He recalls his brother selling Good Humor ice cream on the beach, charging double or...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of the Bobsled, Caterpillar and Parachute Jump
Joan grew up in Brooklyn and describes it as a magical place where neighborhood people all knew each other and the smell of tomato sauce was in the air on a Sunday. In the summer, her father worked in an arcade near the Parachute Jump. She recalls...
Content type: Oral History Item
Helping his Dad run a dark ride called the House of Horrors
Joel Minesquero's father operated a spookhouse and performed in the sideshow in Coney Island. Joel takes us on a tour of his favorite spots and reminisces about his rides on the Parachute Jump and his efforts as an outside talker for his father...
Content type: Oral History Item
Shared their 1950's childhood under the boardwalk
Stephanie Norr and Betty Cohn have been friends since age four when their mothers registered them on the same day for nursery school on the lower east side of Manhattan. The women recall coming to Coney Island as children in the 1950's. They...
Content type: Oral History Item
Family of former Coney game and ride owner Jack Merr
Linda Merr, wife of former game and ride owner Jack Merr recalls the one and only time she acted in a sideshow alongside Iron Jaw Joe. Michael Merr, son of Jack and Linda, expresses his opinion about the future of Coney Island.
Content type: Oral History Item
Son of Steeplechase Park's general manager, James Onorato
Michael Onorato is the son of James Onorato, who was the general manager of Steeplechase Park from 1928 to 1964 when it closed.  Michael remembers the park in vivid detail and describes growing up there.  He gives a start-to-finish account of going...
Content type: Oral History Item
The King of Jones Walk
Wally Roberts has been operating amusements in Coney Island since the 1940’s. He rented space in the Feltman’s Building for storage and for a candy shop that sold salt water taffy, popcorn, and jelly apples. He remembers Feltman’s hotdogs, the first...
Content type: Oral History Item
Family owned Levy's Bar and Grill
Karen Levy Fogel was born in the mid-1940's to a family who owned and operated restaurants in New York City.  Her father's family were Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Turkey and her mother's family were Ashkenazi Jews who also lived...
Content type: Oral History Item
Founder of the Sea Gate Historical Society
Pete Spanakos first became familiar with Coney Island in the 1950's when he worked cleaning the beaches. In 1967, he moved into an historic home in Sea Gate built by Chrysler Building architect William Van Alen. Spanakos has a Golden Glove...
Content type: Oral History Item