“September 14th, Cont….
After leaving the station at West Brighton, we saw before us first a large iron structure, three hundred feet high, which Else, Willie and I mounted by means of an elevator. It was very nice being so high up and looking down on papa and Mr. Sturz; but we had not a good view because it was a little foggy. After coming down we went to one of the hotels that are here in abundance and had some dinner, listening at the same time to music of Ladies Orchestra. Then we had a stroll along the beach, admiring the two piers that are built far into the sea. We even saw two men coming out of the water. At last we went to a large merry-go-round that was worked by steam and enjoyed ourselves by looking at the people that took a ride, ladies, gentlemen and children. The last, if very young, are tied to the horse, or lion, or ostrich, or goat, or whatever it may be. Else had a ride also but could not prevail on me to join her. We stayed here an hour or so and then went back to Greenwood Railway Station where we had to take a tramway car that took us after an hours ride straight to the New York-Brooklyn suspension bridge….”
(Sally here: The following web site gives a history of Coney Island from 1609 to the 1880’s. Towards the end is a picture of the “Iron structure” that Ernestine talks about climbing. Plus some other marvelous pictures of Coney Island in the 1880’s.