The pier dates back to the late 1800's and was known as excursion pavilion. In 1890 one of Wildwood's early entrepreneurs by the name of Gilbert Blaker leased the pavilion located at Cedar Avenue. After a storm claimed the original structure in 1892, Blaker rebuilt a new and improved pier adding food concessions, musical entertainment, a dance floor, and an auditorium that featured vaudeville acts. Blaker continued to develop the pier by adding new attractions and eventually acquired all of the land between Cedar and Schellenger Avenues. This area became known as the Blaker Block.
The pier did not become a genuine amusement center until Blaker became involved with a gentleman by the name of Edward Rhoads who at the time owned Carsonia Park in Reading PA. Blaker and Rhoads struck a partnership, and with the influence of Ed Rhoads Blaker's Pier exploded with amusements and rides starting with a beautiful PTC Carrousel in 1918 which was housed inside the wonderful amusement center. The following year brought more rides that would stand for years to come such as the Jack Rabbit Roller Coaster and the Old Mill.
Early postcards show the original carousel house before and after modernization.
Looking east up Cedar Avenue Boardwalk toward the beach. Playland is on the right - the Casino Arcade area was located across the walk on the left side.
Main entrance to the Jack Rabbit and Old Mill located on the Boardwalk at Cedar Ave.
Rhoads Merry-Go-Round made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.
The Jack Rabbit was designed by John Miller in 1919. Photo above shows original open front cars.

Copyright 2006 Ralph Grassi