On October 6, 1846, Gad Norton invited the public to witness a scientific experiment to be conducted at his family-owned lake. The experiment failed, but the crowds of people inspired him to open a recreation area. In 1851, the firm of Pierce and Norton began land improvements. Not only were new attractions added, but corporate outings and outdoor concerts with big bands were also held, providing for a full day of fun and memories. As the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States, Lake Compounce now offers 44 rides, including Thunder Rapids, Wildcat and Boulder Dash Roller Coasters, Crocodile Cove, Splash Harbor Water Park, and Bear Creek Campground. During the off-season, the infamous Crocodile Club is held every September, a haunted graveyard runs throughout October, and in December, the park showcases its holiday lights.