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Coaster Landmark - Big Dipper

Photo: Howard Gillooly

American Coaster Enthusiasts recognizes Big Dipper at Camden Park as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historical significance.

In 1957, Camden Park owner John P. Boylin (1898-1986) decided that the park's aging side friction coaster, The New Sensation, later called Roller Coaster, needed to be replaced. Boylin subsequently, hired Aurel Vaszin (1885-1979) with the National Amusement Device Company (NAD) of Dayton, Ohio, to build a new wood coaster for his park.

Vaszin, along wtih NAD construction supervisor Jerome A. "Eddie" Leis (1898-1973), created a modest-sized wooden roller coater that would be a perfect fit for the park. Standing at 50 feet tall, Big Dipper features a 35-foot second drop as its largest, a midcourse elevated tunnel and several smaller airtime-producing hills long its 1,800 feet of track. The ride still operates one of two NAD Century Flyer trains that debuted with the coaster in May 1958.

ACE commends Camden Park and the Boylin family for their continued operation of Big Dipper, West Virginia's oldest roller coaster as well as one of the few remaining that was built by the NAD.

Presented by American Coaster Enthusiasts
2019 ACE Preservation Conference
May 12, 2019

Coaster:  Big Dipper

Park:  Camden Park - Huntington, West Virginia

Built:  1958

Type:  Wood

Manufacturer:  NAD

Height:  50 feet

Length:  1,800 feet

Date awarded:  May 12, 2019


Photo: Richard Bostic


Photo: Jay Jacobs


Video: Courtesy Coaster Force