White City Park, Indianapolis, 1906-1908
White City Amusement Park, on the banks of the White River, was the last of three amusement parks to open in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the shortest lived of the three. It was named in homage to Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition, as were several other “White City Amusement Parks” around the country. Opening on May 26, 1906, with “Shoot the Chutes” rides, roller coasters, a carousel, a Martin Couney baby incubator exhibit, a swimming pool, a simulation of Mt. Vesuvius, animal acts, and river activities such as canoes, swimming, and river steamers. The park was initially quite successful, but burned to the ground on June 26th, 1908. The source of the fire reportedly was traced to a joss stick in the “Mystic Cave” simulated opium den attraction. Only the swimming pool and its structures survived. News accounts of the fire do not mention the babies or the incubators.