Memories

Send your stories and memories of Boblo, along with photos and videos HERE.


Courtesy of Brian Rankine

Courtesy of Brian Rankine

"I spent 5 summers working in the games dept of Boblo Island. My father held the account at the cibc bank in Amherstburg, my sister worked in sanitation and my brother in food concessions. It's funny I have print of I believe of the Ste Claire that belonged to my parents. I acquired it after my mother passed and had it professionally done framed and matted. It is in my friend's house on the wall as part staging the house for sale, already had someone offer to buy it. I have tons of stories about Boblo and I still remember verbatim what I had to say in operating the game called fascination."

-Catherine Glen


"Meet you back at the ferry in a half hour. We have one more stop to make before heading back home," and with that, Papa winked at Nana, took my small hand in his dry, calloused one, and led me away from the rides toward the picnic area. This was my first trip to the carnival and at the age of nine, I was as thrilled by the special attention my grandparents gave me that warm summer day as I was by the short boat ride from Amherstburg to Boblo Island.

We were drawn forward by the tantalizing smells: plump, juicy hot dogs turning slowly on the spit inside warming ovens; hot, buttered popcorn tumbling noisily out of their tub of oil, waiting to be scooped into small cardboard boxes; bottles of Coca Cola and Hires root beer opening with a click, the rising foam spilling over the top of the glass. Papa coaxed me up to a colourful covered wagon with the words Heavenly Candyfloss Co. printed on the side.

"Step right this way, sir," shouted the man with a red and white striped hat and matching apron as he gestured toward us and smiled, drawing us even closer to him as if he were about to present something magical. "Buy a taste of Heaven for your little miss there," he said. Papa pulled a five cent piece out of his trousers and handed it to the vendor.

"We'll have one cotton candy please--the freshest you've got," Papa added, then rested his hand for a moment on the top of my head.

"Making it right as we speak, sir," the man said as he took the coin, smiled at me, then nudged the woman beside him wearing the identical uniform. "My wife will make it up special!"

I watched the lady pour the dark, sugared syrup into the cup on one side of the machine. Within a minute or two the magic began. Her long-sleeved blouse was rolled up above the elbow as she placed her arm inside the contraption, a paper cone in hand, and quickly collected the strands of soft floss suddenly appearing in the tub, spinning round and around. Round and round the threads spun, adhering to the stick, creating a fluffy pink cloud. I had never seen anything like it--candy that looked like a huge cotton ball!

Papa pinched a piece with his fingers and placed the wad into his mouth. I followed suit. My eyes widened, for the delicious treat dissolved instantly and slid down my throat with the taste of sweetened mashed raspberries. How amazing to pull away a fairly large piece and feel it disappear on my tongue almost immediately. I couldn't get enough of it, just managing to mumble, "Thank you, Papa," my mouth full.
We made our way back to my grandmother who was holding our place in line at the dock, hands on hips as she laughingly saw us approach. Papa was ushering me along, his hand on my back, my own hand now too tacky to hold, my grin a sticky smear.

-Rosalind Knight


Courtesy of Tina Brunn

Courtesy of Tina Brunn


"Worked there for three summers in the 70s. What a magical place. As a Canadian, was great to date U.S. girls. I ran the skee balls game, step rite up and try your luck lol."

-Wayne Dutka


"I'm from Amherstburg so I went to Boblo every summer since the day I could walk until the day it closed. I also worked on the island AFTER it closed at the bar & grill so I know it in both states. I'm 34 now and Boblo will always be the greatest part of my childhood. I love that you're undertaking this wonderful project and can't wait to see your film."

-April King


"Thanks for doing this. What a great project. I worked at Boblo (as many others I know my age), as a young person, about the age that my son is now. I still have part of my uniform, a pull-over wind-breaker with the Boblo logo, which he now fits into. I've told my kids about Boblo, and wish they could have experienced it. Now they will be able to, thanks to your project.

So many people from the Windsor/Amherstburg area worked there growing up. My father, a paramedic, worked in the first aid office on the island in his spare time, and I worked running rides. A friend of mine was the Boblo Bear. Great memories... "

-Darrin Drouillard


"We lived in Windsor when I was growing up and money was tight so of course, if we went to Bob-lo, it was usually from Amherstburg. I do remember one trip on the big boat (Mom couldn't come 'cause she'd broken her ankle the day before!) but my Dad took us and it was glorious and sunny and wonderful... until the announcer on the P.A. shouted for the man at the front of the boat to put his shirt back on (Dad, of course!). Can you imagine in this day and age that happening? Good luck with your film."

-Ellen Chibi
Sheffield, England


"I'm 52, my name is Sandy. My uncle has owned cruisers all my life, so I have been there many times. The other part of the island was left for boarders. We used to sneak in, wait for the train to go by! So exciting!"

-Sandy Pillinger


"I have fond memories of Boblo working on the island for 2 years 1958 59.. Was a ride operator on the merry go round, round up, kiddie land and more. My sister worked in the souvenir shop supervised by Mrs Gorry, wife of the island manager. Evert Sanders was my boss.
My home in Amherstburg looks directly across to Boblo and there are stories how people walked across the ice to the park. Many, many more memories."

-Mike Marontate