Quassy didn't have the first large wooden roller coaster in the greater Waterbury area. The first such ride was actually at Lakewood Park in the city of Waterbury, Conn., and it had a short life at the entertainment complex (1930-1935).
Built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Compary, the ride reportedly was construced under a profit-sharing agreement with the city. The Lakewood Park coaster was dismantled after the 1935 season and moved to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, N.H., where it still operates today. A wooden coaster did not return to the greater Waterbury area until 2011, when Quassy's Wooden Warrior made its debut to much national - and even some international - fanfare.
We thank Rus Ozana of the New England Region of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) for sharing some of his photos of the Yankee Cannonball - that's what Canobie Lake calls the thrill ride. They are the two color photos shown in the group at the top of this post. The black-and-white photo shows the huge coaster when it was located in Waterbury, courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum in the city.
Like Quassy, Canobie Lake Park is family-owned and operated and both parks share the distinction of being among the few remaining "trolley parks" in the nation - once owned and operated by electrified rail lines.
We'll be posting more about Wooden Warrior in the coming weeks as the ride marks a milestone (2011-2021). Hard to believe, too, that Wooden Warrior still draws coaster enthusiasts from around the globe to experience its unique design and big-time thrills in a small but powerful package. And remember, first rides on Warrior start April 24 when Quassy opens for its 113th season.