Ken Miller has created the ultimate guide to Cedar Point history. No amusement park matches Cedar Point's history, and no book has captured Cedar Point's story in this kind of detail. "Rolling Through The Years" chronicles every aspect of Cedar Point's extraordinary 150-year story. Recall long-lost memories as you flip through more than 1,200 photos, many never before published.
Ken Miller is the perfect storyteller. "Rolling Through The Years" is a must-read for anyone fascinated with Cedar Point's past.
Walt Schmidt, Pointbuzz.com
Cedar Point: Rolling Through the Years is the best book that has ever been written about Cedar Point. In the context of the book is a lot of information that has many people never knew. It is a very interesting read and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Cedar Point. Ken, the author, put countless hours into bringing this book to the hands of readers. The book is loaded with history. It features an entire history section that goes year by year and features what happened that year. The book includes facts about everything the park has ever had to offer. Cedar Point Rolling: Through the Years isn't a book you read just once. You will want to read it again and again!
Jake Hamons, cpamericasrollercoast.com
There are certain souvenirs that an enthusiast treasures above most others. Coaster fans are among the most avid of collectors with so many options available. Between sold merchandise or pieces and parts from the past; it is easy to find something to embrace. Historians or aficionados of certain parks enjoy large books that illustrate the history of our passion. Cedar Point: Rolling Through The Years has arrived as the latest "must have."
In honor of the park's 150th anniversary celebration, author Ken Miller has accumulated an incredible amount of research and organized it into what is termed as a Cedar Point atlas and chronology. Having spent seven years of work on the book, it is no surprise that the pages - just shy of 400- are packed with a staggering volume of photos and information. Within the book, images of rides, the resort, boats, souvenirs, and park maps are displayed with orchestrated finesse.
The book is divided into two main sections. The first half organizes information into groupings; awards, ferryboats and steamships, former rides, current rides, carousels, roller coasters, and the like. If the reader wants to find something specific, it is easy to find information on subjects such as HalloWeekends, important figures in the park's history, major structures, and live entertainment. Images range from photos, advertisements and brochures, to fun artwork, making the search for any question a sheer joy. The reader is helplessly drawn back into 150 years of park history. It's a pleasure to get buried in all the facts, all the details, all the fun that a century and a half brings.
The second half of the book is truly spectacular. A chronological timeline traces the park's history year by year. This record is accented by countless photos and images, including 75 maps of the peninsula. Park maps are an ideal record of documentation, and the atlas provides them with convenient abundance.
Reviews often describe the contents of a book without any type of recommendation. This review, however, comes with a full endorsement to any fan of Cedar Point, whether someone has visited only once or a hundred times - or hopes to visit one day for the first time. It's truly a massive book with more than 1,000 images. Cedar Point: Rolling Through The Years raises the bar for all coffee table books on amusement parks. It's brilliant.
Tim Baldwin, American Coaster Enthusiasts
Over the past 150 years there has been a lot written about Cedar Point—narrative histories; newspaper articles; magazine articles; memoirs; scholarly economic papers; business briefs; letters; and now, in more recent years, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook posts. The authors and contributors—and I count myself among them—run into the many thousands, their words into the many millions.
However, the book that Ken Miller has created has never been done before, and I doubt will ever be done again. Rolling Through the Years, a Cedar Point Atlas and Chronology (1870 Publishing Group) is the greatest assemblage of Cedar Point “facts” as there will ever be. Ken has organized his book into two main sections. The first is thematic, providing in depth information on some of the unique attractions at Cedar Point, both old and new, including HalloWeekends, roller coasters (including a coaster glossary), hotels and resorts, ferryboats and steamships, including the beloved G.A. Boeckling, historical markers, the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad, and more.
The second is a chronology of Cedar Point, located at the tip of a five mile long sandy peninsula (currently better described as barrier island) that forms the eastern boundary of Sandusky Bay, starting in the early 1800s and continuing every year up to today, the amusement park and resort’s sesquicentennial year. The park has always been a seasonal operation. Each season is unique, from weather to what’s new to the price of a ticket. Rolling Through the Years recognizes that perspective and honors it.
I confess I immediately turned to page 268 to immerse myself in the 1969 season, when I worked at the park on the now departed Frontier Lift. The gush of facts on the page brought a gush of memories for me. Park admission was a good deal in 1969: $5.00.
Ken and his wife, Gretchen, are long-time seasonal employees of the park. For many years, Ken has managed the Guest Services station inside the Town Hall Museum in Frontier Town. There’s no better job to learn the facts of the park, and no better job to learn to appreciate the emotional bond that exists between Cedar Point and its guests.
Ken has another life, too. He teaches high school math for Erie County schools. Perhaps because of his training as a mathematician, Ken is a hound for facts. If he writes that the original track length of the CP&LE was 8,450 feet, you can take it to the bank. The Toxic Tunnel of Terror haunted house debuted the second year of HalloWeekends (that would be 1998). He’s done his homework and his checked his facts through primary sources. Ken has invested seven years of his life (mostly nights and weekends) researching and writing this book.
The writing is crisp, direct, and smooth. It hits the right tone throughout.
The presentation of all these facts includes more than 1,200 images that beautifully drape the story from beginning to end: 75 maps (from 1837 to 2019); brochures; vintage postcards; letters; architectural drawings; logos; signage; billboards; pictures of coasters and more coasters; tickets; merchandise; uniforms.
A great many of the images in the book come from the Cedar Point Archives and the park deserves credit for making them available.
This is a coffee table book. Ken makes no apology for it being large (12 x 18) and heavy (hardcover, 396 pages, high quality paper). It will dominate any table it’s on. After all, it is the story of the world’s greatest amusement park.
H. John Hildebrandt is the author of Always Cedar Point, a Memoir of the Midway, a memoir of his 40 years walking the midway at the park.
Hildebrandt started as a staff writer in the Marketing Department and rose to General Manager in 2005. He retired following the 2013 season.