Friday, April 27, 2018

A Thompson gravity switchback railway in front of the Arcadia Hotel, Santa Monica 1890.

Mr. La Marcus Adna Thompson’s Switchback Scenic Gravity Railroad,

 Born in Ohio and building his first switchback railway at Coney Island in 1884, Mr Thompson is widely known as the father of the roller coaster.


  1. LaMarcus Adna Thompson (b.1848 in Jersey, OH; d.1919 in Glen Cove, Long Island), the 'Father of the Gravity Ride', was married to Ada Nixon, my great grandmother's younger sister. My great grandfather, Edward Donaldson (b.1867 in Cincinnati, OH as J. Edward Schwab), brother-in-law to the aforementioned Ada Nixon Thompson, was a vice president and director of the L.A. Thompson Scenic Railway Company of NYC, and he lived in the Thompson Park residential development in Sea Cliff, Long Island, which was conceived by LaMarcus Thompson. -Gary Donaldson, 1-Dec-2018

    1. wow! Cool family history you have! Thanks for the info!