Jantzen Beach survived the Vanport flood in 1948, but the people who survived moved away. The loss of people in the immediate vicinity led to the loss of patrons to the park and attendance never did reach pre-flood levels.
To help with increasing traffic flows going north and south on the Interstate Bridge, the Highway Division built a matching span to separate the northbound traffic from the southbound traffic in 1958. For about 25 years, tolls were collected to pay for construction costs.
After years of dwindling revenues, the park closed on Labor Day in 1970 and the rides were sold and dismantled. The wood from The Dipper was salvaged and was first used following the dismantling of The Dipper to build a small warehouse on SE 22nd and Division where Mr. T's Bakery is located and there are now new condos. A developer tore down the warehouse and sent the wood to the Rebuilding Center where Ken Forkish acquired it about 4 years ago for building booths, tables and chairs for Ken's Artisan Pizza at 304 SE 28th Avenue near Pine Street.
Buildings at Jantzen Beach were razed to build a shopping center. The Pumping System from the swimming pools is used to pump drinking water to residents of Hayden Island. The C.W. Parker Carousel survives today at the Jantzen Beach Shopping Center. Legend has it that there are a couple ghost children in the center of the carousel.
“Have you seen the children? It is a boy and a girl. They play in the center of the merry-go-round.... inside, behind the door. They seem happy and full of spirit but every so often they turn and gaze, as if looking for their mother. Have you seen them?”
This quote comes from a web site about ghosts in Portland. I was at Jantzen Beach recently and noticed that the small door was open. There were teenagers standing up in there. I think they were employees. But it was kind of strange to see people standing up under the Carousel. I had been there several times before and the door was never open. It didn’t really look as if it would open. Next time you’re there take a look for yourself.