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The park was named after Portland’s largest amusement park called Lotus Isle, the Million-Dollar Pleasure Paradise. Lotus Isle spread out over 128 acres east of Jantzen Beach and it officially opened June 28, 1930. It was known as the Wonderland of the Pacific Northwest and you could take in over 40 rides at the amusement park. The park’s name was derived from the Lotus Water Lily, which was associated with euphoria and enlightenment in Oriental and Egyptian mythology.
The short-lived amusement park was plagued by debt, alleged gangland connections, and a plane crash which destroyed several buildings. It closed after the 1932 season and a bonfire was set to virtually destroy all memory of the park.
Today, much of this land has been developed, including moorages, houseboats, marinas, and condos. From the park, you can still see the pilings from the 700-foot trestle that once carried the streetcars that went on to Hayden Island and then to Vancouver, Washington.