In the mid 1800s, Atlantic City was the place to holiday on the East Coast. Next came the railroad, and by 1878 A.C. was so popular a second line needed to be built. Visitors by boat also arrived, and it wasn’t long before Atlantic City became the premier resort city. The first ‘official’ road from the mainland to the island was completed in 1870 with a 30¢ toll.
In 1898 The Steel Pier opened. Throughout its 109 year history, it’s been referred to as “an Amusement City at Sea”, “Showplace of the Nation”, and was known for such acts as the High Diving Horse (Disney did a movie based on a 1930s rider, Sonora Webster Carver called Wild Hearts Can’t be Broken), Rex the Wonder Dog, and a water-skiing canine during the 1930’s. Even Frank Sinatra and Al Jolson preformed there.
The Pier entertained tens of thousands of visitors each day, with attendance reaching 80,000 the Sunday before Labor Day. Four theaters could accommodate 12,000 at a time. For one all-inclusive admission price, patrons could enjoy every concert, film, and attraction The Pier provided.
2007 will be The Pier’s last year – sold by its owner, Trump Entertainment Resorts, to developers, it’s scheduled to be to redeveloped into retail and entertainment attractions, and luxury condominiums.