Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Story of The Screechin' Eagle

By Randy McNutt rmcnutt@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Screechin' Eagle, a survivor of an early golden age for American roller coasters built by John Miller, has been renovated with new wood and soon will be repainted white.

        It was built in 1927 for another Ohio park, but was moved to LeSourdsville in 1938 and named the Cyclone. In the early 1960s, its name was changed to the Space Rocket, and, in 1978, the Screechin' Eagle.

        During the early 1900s, Mr. Miller was a top coaster engineer, well known for designing challenging dips and bends, and for inventing the underfriction wheel that held cars to the tracks.

        His and other engineers' efforts triggered a coaster boom. By 1919, 1,500 coasters operated in North America.

        The Screechin' Eagle “provides riders a walloping ride with stomach-floating plunges,” said Mike Schafer, a contributor to the book American Roller Coaster.

        He said the coaster was a contemporary of two other Tristate legends — The Wildcat (1926) and The Clipper (1937) — both at Coney Island near Cincinnati.


        The Eagle, the 13th-oldest in the nation and second-oldest in Ohio, is a favorite of coaster enthusiasts from across the country, said park spokesman Mike Mefford.


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