City Cast

A Flashback to Manhattan Beach at Sloan's Lake

Bree Davies
Bree Davies
Posted on August 14
Black and white photo. Employees stand in front of a stylized entrance. Sign reads "Manhattan Beach"

The entrance to the old Manhattan Beach in Sloan’s Lake. (Denver Public Library Digital Collection, X-19530)

Sloan’s Lake has views for days, a perfect path for walking, biking, or rolling, and of course, a lake that welcomes canoes, kayaks, and small boats. But did you know this lovely greenspace was once home to an amusement park?

Manhattan Beach opened in 1881, not far from Lakeside and the original Elitch Gardens. The Gilded Age park offered popular amenities for the time, including elephant rides, boxing matches, lush gardens, and rides on a “pleasure barge” — a steamboat named “The City of Denver” that took guests around Sloan’s Lake.

Unfortunately, Manhattan Beach didn’t last on the north shore of Sloan’s for long. After a fatal accident, a fire, and a changing of hands, the park closed in 1914. (Special thanks to the Denver Public library’s Genealogy, African American and Western History for being a wonderful resource!)

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