The origins of the roller coaster probably date back to Russia in the 1400s, where ice sledding was a popular winter activity. It became so popular that people in relatively flat areas constructed their own hills out of snow and ice.
The tops of these artificial hills were reached by way of elevated wood towers with stairways from the ground. For a small charge, people could climb the stairway and take a quick, exciting ride down the hill on a sled. (Pics)