Abandoned Naval Runways, Alameda Island
In 1917 an amusement park called Neptune Beach was Built in Alameda. The 120-acre park was billed as 'the Coney Island of the West.' The beach featured white Monterey sand brought in from southern beaches. The wildly popular Neptune Beach also featured huge salt water swimming pools, midway rides, concessions, band concerts, beauty contests, fireworks, a scenic railway, merry-go-round, ballroom, and a shooting gallery. In the '20s admission was ten cents for adults and a nickel for kids. On July 4th, 1920, the crowd at the beach reached 40,000.

The park hosted swimming exhibitions featuring celebrities like Olympian and Tarzan actor, Johnny Weismuller and Jack LaLanne. Max Baer used Neptune Beach as a training location, and 'Aerial' Thompson would thrill the crowd by riding a bicycle 175-feet on a high wire. Stunt rider Putt Mossman's 'Leap for Life' was a screaming 60 mph leap into a pool, motorcycle and all. Midway game winners would receive yellow canaries as prizes or maybe a Neptune Beach invention, the Kewpie doll. Neptune Beach was also the first place to sell snow cones and the popsicles.

The park remained popular during the depression but when the Alameda Naval Air Station was constructed in the 1930s, the huge influx of sailors caused mothers keep their daughters away and the park began to lose money. A month before it closed in 1939 the park put on a 'Jumbo Circus and Thrill Show' featuring 187 performers, animal acts and the world-famous elephant, Jumbo. In October, the parks assets were auction off and the buildings torn down to make room for the US Marine Training Center. In 1967 most of the original Neptune Beach property was turned into the Alemeda Memorial State Park, which it remains today.

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