It was the
symbol of Old Orchard Beach,
the single most recognizable icon of them all,
the image that graced countless postcards, wishing you were here.
When you thought of Old Orchard, the Ark instantly popped into your mind.
For many of us, it still does. For 45 wonderful, happy years it rocked atop the mountain.
Humble Beginnings
Some things fire destroyed, others it gave birth to. It was the burning of the Forest Pier Hotel and the Temple Of Fun in 1923 that paved the way for a new attraction. Next year the crowds would be back and looking for lots of laughs.
The Temple's absence was an intolerable loss.
It called for something new, something not seen before, something spectacular and brimming
with rollicking fun and non-stop entertainment. Something of biblical proportions.
The early twenties - The Noah's Ark funhouse, patented in 1921, was sweeping amusement parks across the nation. The ride was a product of The American Amusement Construction Co., a division of the William H. Dentzel Carousel Co. of Philadelphia
in which Dentzel was partnered with amusement engineer William Strickler. The company furnished the blueprints, decorative accessories and mechanical components for the ride.
Above: Circa 1923 - Early stages of construction of the Ark. The wooden frame takes shape, including the internal support of that odd outcropping of rock on the left side of the ledge.

At left: The framing for the rock formations of the mountain base have been covered over and are ready for surfacing. The vessel is nearing completion. All building work was performed using local labor furnished by the Beaudet Brothers Construction Co. The Ark was initially plainly painted, perhaps to be "historically correct". Over the years, it would receive a variety of different and colorful paint jobs.
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