MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – This week, city officials recognized the historic significance of the Swamp Fox roller coaster on its 51st anniversary.
A proclamation from the city of Myrtle Beach was issued Tuesday in honor of the ride still entertaining visitors at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park.
According to the proclamation, the Swamp Fox roller coaster was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and opened in 1966 as the newest attraction at the park known as the Grand Strand Amusement Park. The Grand Strand Amusement Park was bought by the Ammons Family in 1992, and renamed Family Kingdom Amusement Park. After the park changed hands, the new owners fully refurbished the Swamp Fox.
The city says the wooden roller coaster boasts a 2,400-foot figure-eight track, and hits speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
The Family Kingdom website says the ride was listed as number 10 on About.com’s list of the “Top 10 most Underrated Coasters In North America.” The amusement park also says there are only 115 operating wooden roller coasters in the country and the Swamp Fox is the only one in South Carolina.
The roller coaster was named after American Revolutionary War leader Francis Marion, known as “the Swamp Fox.” The Family Kingdom website says he earned the nickname because he avoided being captured by the British through his extensive knowledge of South Carolina’s swamps which he used to hide his men between clashes with the enemy.
The Family Kingdom Amusement Park plans to open for the season on Saturday, April 8.