Figure Eight Toboggan

From Olentangy Park Wiki
(Redirected from Figure Eight)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Figure Eight Toboggan
Other Name(s) Figure Eight Toboggan
Figure 8
Type Roller Coaster
Track Rides
Park Section North
Built 1902
Opened 1902
Closed 1928
Designer Henry B. Auchy
Materials Wood
Vehicle Type Car

The Figure Eight Toboggan was the first track-based roller coaster built at Olentangy Park and the first mechanical ride built after the Dusenbury Brothers bought the park in 1899.[1] It cost $15,000 ($519,788 in 2022) to build.[2] Opening in July 1902,[3] "roller coaster" was a new term for rides where riders coasted on rollers inside their toboggan "cars."[4][5] The ride was in the shape of a figure-eight and was located on the north plateau south of the location of Fair Japan, the original Miniature Railway, and Swimming Pool.[6][7] The ride started to suffer from "nonsupport" by 1916,[8] appears damaged sometime after the Band Shell was built in 1919,[9][10] and was operational until it was partially removed 1928 to make way for the Tumble Bug.[11][12][13] Despite its unusable state, the structure remained standing and is visible in a photo about the park's closure in 1937.[14]


The ride had a wooden frame and was described as a "figure-eight" design[15] and, at times, a "three-way figure eight toboggan slide."[7] This described how the riders go around the loops three times. The cars would travel freely on a multi-level track, and wooden side rails were included to keep them on track.[16]

The Roller Coaster Database says it was designed by Henry B. Auchy and manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC).[17] The Jeffrey Manufacturing Company of Columbus made the Spur Haul Up Chain used to power the ride.[18]


A person fainted on the ride in August 1902, landing the term "roller coaster" in quotation marks in its reporting in the Columbus Evening Dispatch.[4]

On September 21, 1902, Albert Jenkins received several broken ribs and a broken leg on the ride. He was released from the hospital on October 30.[19]

In May 1906, Thomas Callis, a pipe organist and insurance salesman, was spooked by the flashing lights and accidentally stepped off a nearby platform and injured his right ankle bad enough that amputation was considered. He was sent to Grant Hospital for treatment.[20]


  1. "Olentangy Then and Now." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 3 May 1914. Pg. 46.
  2. Ad. Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 27 July 1902. Pg. 17.
  3. "Olentangy Park—Tassin's New Comedy." Friday Columbus Dispatch. 1 August 1902. Pg. 7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Brevities." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 18 August 1902. Pg. 8.
  5. Clay Record. United States: Clay Record Publishing Company, 1903.
  6. "Geisha Girls are to be Attraction." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 January 1905. Pg. 5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Columbus Railway & Light Co." Street Railway Review. Vol. XVI. No. 2. Pg. 70.
  8. "Park in Full Operation." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 May 1916. Pg. 16.
  9. "Olentangy Park swimming pool." Ohio History Connection Selections. Photo. William Roy Lawrence Collection. AV 55; Box 2, Folder 18. Entry created 3 August 2011. Entry last modified 2 May 2012.
  10. "Swimming Pool at Olentangy Park, photograph." Columbus Metropolitan Library. Photo. Clintonville Historical Society Collection. ClHS00031.
  11. "Figure Eight Gives Way to a 'Bug'." The Columbus Dispatch. 5 April 1929. Pg. 5.
  12. "Bathrooms and Rink." The Columbus Dispatch. 14 April 1929. Pg. 85.
  13. Barret, Richard E. "Olentangy Park: Four Decades of Fun." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 1. April 1984. Pg. 11.
  14. "$2,000,000 Housing Project to Replace Olentangy Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 April 1938. Pg. 1.
  15. "Olentangy Parks' Figure Eight roller coaster, postcard." Columbus Metropolitan Library. My History. Image. 708O450002. Columbus Metropolitan Library Collection. Date Modified: 6 January 2021.
  16. "Olentangy Park." Sunday Columbus Dispatch. 10 May 1903. Pg. 6.
  17. "Forest Toboggan." Roller Coaster Database.
  18. "Jeffrey Chain Used in Amusement Park Ride." Ohio History Connection Selections. Photo. Published 14 September 1910. [1]
  19. "Jenkins Leaves Hospital." Thursday Columbus Dispatch. 30 October 1902. Pg. 6.
  20. "Peculiar Accident." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 20 May 1906. Pg. 6.