Archive for February 28, 2013

The German Titanic

Before the British A Night to Remember and the James Cameron blockbuster Titanic there was a German version of the story which was made by the Nazis during World War Two. Joseph Goebbels, mastermind of propaganda, hand-picked the director, Herbert Selpin, and gave him a staggeringly large budget to make the movie. Selpin in turn picked the screenwriter (who was also his best friend), a man named Walter Zerlett-Olfenius. The two men eventually clashed and Selpin made the fatal mistake of disparaging the German naval personnel who were helping out on the film. Olfenius reported his remarks to the Gestapo and Selpin was arrested and died while in custody. Another victim of the Titanic!

Lake Kenosia Amusement Park

Lake Kenosia Amusement Park was largely the work of a visionary named Leo Leisseur. He came to Danbury in 1895 and wanted to make Lake Kenosia into Danbury’s “Coney Island.” To a large degree he was successful in his efforts. He partnered with the Danbury Trolley Co. and the Park opened officially on Memorial Day in 1895. The Park also included a theatre where the Danbury populace could view a play, concert or dance contest for a 25 cent ticket. There was also the Victorian Kenmere Hotel. Sadly Leisseur passed away in 1918 and the Park did not fare as well without his leadership.