This aerial survey was taken between 1927 and 1934. It shows the midway and rides as well as the lumber mill that was located at the South end of the park
How or when the isthmus of land, now known as Oaks Amusement Park, was formed is not known. It was rumored the land was used by a dairy to graze cattle in years before Oregon Waster Power & Railroad purchased it. This isthmus is connected to the mainland on the South side.
When the park opened, the only ways visitors could get there were streetcar, boat, or horse. An easement was planned along the railroad tracks to allow travel by auto as soon as a road was built. This easement gave members of the Oregon Yacht Club access to their docks as well.
The Eastside Mill & Lumber Co. had their log dump along the South Oaks property line with their buildings south of it. Some of the broken pilings of their log dump could still be seen when the water was low as recent as the late 1990's.
Originally, there were only 20 acres of land; however, landfills increased The Oaks to 44.1 acres. The fill, about 15 feet deep, starts at the North end of the park (around the roller rink) and fills the area between the backs of the buildings and the railroad tracks to the West and South property lines.
The Oregon Water Power & Railroad Co. built The Oaks as a "streetcar" or "trolley" park to increase the rider-ship on their lines to Oregon City, Bellrose and Estacada. They opened the park two days before the Lewis & Clark World's Fair in Guilds Lake (close to Linton Northwest of St. Johns).
In the early 1920's, Edward Bollinger counted the growth rings on an oak tree that had been blown down in a storm. It was determined the tree was at least 340 years old.
During its heyday, the streetcars would carry as many as 16,000 people to The Oaks on a weekend. Special streetcars traveled only to The Oaks, dropping the passengers at The Oaks station then taking a loop track, headed back to Portland for more passengers.