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Mago Vista Amusement Park History

Did you know the Moorings on the Magothy neighborhood was once the site of a small amusement park in our community? In 1928, Robert Crisp Benson opened up a recreational area known as Mago Vista Beach which boasted two bathhouses, an ornate ballroom, a dance pavilion, and an alligator pond.

The alligator pond at Mago Vista Beach

The venue became a popular place for family picnics and small group gatherings until 1933, when a damaging hurricane hit the shoreline resulting in flooding which caused an electrical fire. So the family adapted and decided to change the venue a bit. They built a new dance pavilion that protruded out over the water, had sand hauled in for a beach setting, added a water slide, and started renting canoes and boats out to visitors. The named was changed to Mago Vista Beach Club and as its popularity grew, amusement park rides were added including a carousel, a mini train ride, and a small roller coaster that went out over the water!

As time went on, some controversy ensued due to African Americans not being welcome at the club and a 'Gentiles Only' sign hanging around the grounds. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened in 1952 which opened up the way for tourists and visitors to explore the larger amusement park attractions over on the Eastern Shore. Due to these factors, possibly among others, in 1964, the family began selling off parcels of the land and by 1968, all of the land had been purchased by Capri Estates, when it was decided the amusements should be torn down and housing should go up in its place and so it did.

Currently, the land is the site of The Moorings on the Magothy townhouse neighborhood and the sandy beach is still enjoyed by residents of that community today.

Interested in hearing more? Click here for the full story from The Severna Park Voice.

The roller coaster at Mago Vista Beach Club

Sources cited:

Photo courtesy of Robert Benson and Alberta Stornetta

Find more historical photos and stories here

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