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Old Posted May 29, 2014, 1:47 PM
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HossC HossC is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post

I'm guessing this is further back up the line (east) from the previous photo:

Seaver Center, LA County Natural History Museum --
I originally thought the picture showed a section of double track, which would limit the possible locations. The following is from the PDF file posted by Chuckaluck.

"The Venice Miniature Railway operated every 20 minutes, running in one direction only. This was done to prevent any head-on collisions when more than one train was in service since the railroad was not signalled and had no passing sidings."

It continues ...

"Train service began at 6:00 a.m. and ran until 11:00 p.m. every day, rain or shine, seven days a week. Each train carried an engineer who ran the locomotive, and a conductor who walked along a running board of the passenger cars to collect tickets. If you wanted off at a specific spot, you would tell the engineer in advance."

When I looked again at the picture above, the track on the right appears to be a wider gauge, possibly for streetcars. It could've been taken next to "The Midway". It looks like 'The Race Thru The Clouds' roller coaster replaced Midway Plaisance in 1911. The quote below is from the same PDF file.

"[Abbot] Kinney quickly realized that to keep people coming to Venice they would have to be entertained. Consequently, a contract was let in November 1904 for a Pleasure Pier. A Midway Plaisance was built, consisting of eleven structures which were devoted to amusements, sideshows, shops and restaurants. This would be the Coney Island of the West with a carnival-like atmosphere."

Here are some pictures of "The Midway".


I hope the lagoon was deeper than the rest of the canals if people were diving from this tower.


I only found this night shot at the last minute, but I thought it was worth including.

Natural History Museum

The diving tower can also be seen in this wider view that's dated circa 1910.

USC Digital Library

This later shot (USC dates it at 1924) shows the view looking north up the Coral Canal from the roller coaster. I wonder if the structure in the middle is the base of the diving tower.

USC Digital Library

I don't want to overload this post with too many similar pictures, but there are a few more at USC:

Venice Lagoon with beach front businesses, ca.1910

Pedestrians enjoying the sideshows along the Midway by the Venice Lagoon, 1910

Rollercoaster next to a lagoon in Venice

View of the Venice Midway and Lagoon, showing amusment rides and gondolas, ca.1920 (There's no roller coaster, so I'd date this as pre-1911)
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