New historical signs unveiled at Rocky Point State Park

A sign providing an overview of the Rocky Point Park Pathways Project. (Andrew Paskowski/WPRI)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – A batch of new signs detailing the history of Rocky Point park has been installed.

The signs, designed by Leadership Rhode Island, depict many of the attractions that used to stand on the grounds of the now-demolished amusement park, including the House of Horrors, the Arch, and the Skyliner.

“Rocky Point has been many things to many people over the years,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “It’s been an amusement park, it’s been a place to go for a walk, to go on a nature trail, there’s been many many many many many clambakes and lots of chowder consumed.”

Senator Jack Reed also reminisced about the history of the park during a news conference Friday morning that included several local, state and national officials.

“This was the place in the 1960s, and I’m dating myself here, where you had your first semi-date,” Reed laughed.

The amusement park operated at Rocky Point from the 1840s until 1995, when it closed and its owners filed for bankruptcy. Demolition of the park began about 10 years later and now the entire area is a state park.

“When I drove in here today I had that memory come rushing back to me and it was a happy memory of summers in Rhode Island,” said Raimondo. “So for all of you who have played a role in making this possible and believing in Rhode Island and believing in what we have here in Warwick, I want to say thank you.”

Ten signs have been installed and display old photos and historical information about the items that once stood on the grounds.

“The history of this place connects our grandparents with our children and these signs do an amazing job of giving some interpretation and sense of place for new people,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Director Janet Coit.

Mayor Scott Avedisian said the city also has some of the old cars and chairs from the original rides as well as some of the logs from the flume and the next big project will be figuring out how to get them on display at the park for everyone to enjoy.

“I think there are lot of places where they would say, ‘Ok, there’s some new kiosks going in at a park and we’re going to get both senators, we’re gonna get the governor, we’re gonna get the whole city council, what’s going on? This doesn’t make sense!’ It makes sense if you know Rhode Island. It makes sense if you know how people love Rocky Point,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.