The Noah’s Ark fun house ~ It was an attraction that dotted the landscape in Biblical proportions.
A staple in amusement parks throughout the United States, this rocking structure,
graced by figures of Noah and his family,  once thrilled guests from Maine to California.
Sadly,  only one Ark remains in North America, at Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA.
But did you know that several Arks were once docked “across the pond” in the United Kingdom?
That’s right — four arks were installed in UK: at Southport’s Pleasureland, Morecambe Pleasure Park
(in later years know as Frontier Land), Kursaal Amusement Park and at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Of those Arks, only Blackpool’s has survived the test of
the Last Ark in England.
This is the first Noah’s Ark, designed and built by Leroy Raymond and installed at Venice Pier, California in 1919. Raymond filed his patent application on May 26, 1920.
The patent was officially issued on December 13, 1921.
© Christopher Merritt collection
Below are some excerpts from Raymond's patent description
that provide insight into his vision for the Ark.
Many of his concepts came to fruition.
• To this end, the invention contemplates a structure in the form of a boat house, adapted to be operated to rock like a boat.

 The structure is mounted in a tank filled with water, or may be mounted on a pier which already is in water. The steady operation of the power plant and the rocking member with its equal alternative pull at either end of the boat on the weights there imparts a slow steady rocking movement to the boat, fore and aft giving an excellent imitation of the natural rocking or swaying position of a vessel at anchor.

 Another passage extends forwardly as it were and terminates in a chamber over which is built a structure resembling the head and forward position of a huge whale.

 Projecting from a suitable opening from a boat is the head of an elephant constructed on lumber, canvas, plaster or other similar materials.