roller coasters

Restore Hope Inc, a group that has worked for three years to restore the Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, is calling it quits.

Kira Johnson, who led the three-year effort, says a lack of time and money led the group to disband.

The group thanked members for their support over the years on its Facebook page. It said if donors had pre-purchased park passes, their money would be refunded.

David Boyle, flickr Creative Commons

Roller coasters are the workhorse of the modern theme park, but their rise to popularity has been long and strange.

Its precursor could be found outside of St. Petersburg in the 1800s. Massive ice slides called Russian Mountains were reinforced with wood, plunging up to seventy feet at sharp angles.

We can still see this origin in the words for “rollercoaster” in romance languages like Spanish— La Montaña Rusa—and other variations in French, Italian and Portuguese. Strangely, the Russian term literally translates as “American Mountains.”