People on car 2
of ride 3
Last Photos of the Pike
The Pike today
& Film of the Pike
Auditorium & Rainbow Pier
SUMMERTIME AT THE PIKE
Short Stories 1
Background: All About
the above photos were taken at Spokane's
Riverfront Park in 2010
Riverfront Park’s 1909 Looff Carrousel is on the National Register of
Historic Places and is one of America’s most beautiful and well
preserved hand-carved wooden carrousels. The Looff Carrousel
features 54 horses, 1 giraffe, 1 tiger, and 2 Chinese dragon
chairs. It can also accommodate wheelchairs.
Charles Looff, a master craftsman, created the Carrousel as a
wedding gift for his daughter, Emma. One of the most amazing
parts of this whole story is that this Looff Carrousel has been in
operation for over 100 years.
Riverfront Park’s web site
May 24, 1852, Schleswig-Holstein;
Died July 1, 1918, Long Beach, California
of the Coney Island-style carousel,
Charles Looff is considered to be the first
of the great American carousel
Looff settled in Long Beach in 1911 and lived
above his carousel at the Pike. Later, Looff operated carousels and
major amusements at Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Venice,
Ocean Park, and San Francisco. He built the Santa Monica Pier, was a
major contributor to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and was the founder of
Playland in San Francisco.
The original Long Beach Looff carousel built in 1911 burned to the
ground in 1943. Its replacement, a makeshift mechanism,
remained until the demise of the Pike in 1979 and was sold piecemeal.
Even the "I.D." in Charles I.D. Looff has a story.
He was born May 24, 1852, in Schleswig-Holstein and immigrated in 1870.
A Ellis Island official told Looff he had to have a middle
name 'for his I.D.' (or identification), so he chose "I.D."
Email from Richard Olson 5/5/07
As you probably know, Al Brown was one of Looff's
best friends and worked with him on the Pike for years. After
Looff died, Al kept the Lite-A-Line going at the far end of the old
Pike in the circular building with the great Looff's neon sign on
top. Al died a few years ago. His oldest son,
Leonard, just died a few days ago, and another link to the Pike has
come to an end. Leonard was one of my best friends--he went
to Poly, Class of '53, and I went to Millikan, Class
of '62--and we used to have great talks about the Pike, and
even Shady Acres, which was run by Looff's son-in-law.
had emailed you some time ago about Albert S. Brown's son,
Leonard. Since then, Leonard has died from cancer and I am afraid
that everyone who really knew the true story of the Pike has expired.
Leonard died, his widow gave me a few of his Pike mementos. After
the Pike closed, the Independent/Press-Telegram sponsored some type of
brick program in 1981, and I have Albert's brick. Unfortunately,
the ink on his name has washed away somewhat, but it is still legible
and I am attaching a copy for you to use or put in your files.
also visited the warehouse and got me a special treat. As I
understand it, Looff's daughter's husband ran Shady Acres, my favorite miniature
golf course. Leonard got me a couple of putters, score cards, and
balls. He also got me some of the rings from the old
merry-go-round and some other small things. At one point, several
years ago, I thought I was going to get the Looff's sign on top of the
Lite-A-Line building, but that didn't work out. An historical
group finally got it with the promise it would be displayed along with
other memorabilia in a new Pike exhibition. Sadly, I don't think
they were able to complete that project.
One last item for
you. Apparently Looff was either involved with, or developed an
amusement park with, gambling in Seal Beach in the early 1900's.
I didn't even know that a Seal Beach park existed until just a few
Keep up the great work!
Top of Page
Return to The Pike Home
Return to Millikan
Design & Updates
Entire contents of
this Web site ©
copyright 2000 by
Paul Prosise. All