cottage had its beginnings as a Pleasure Island structure at the
Amusement Park in Wakefield. Courtesy photo
Richard 'Richie' and Joyce Moreschi of Middleton visit their cottage
near Skowhegan, Maine, they're reminded that this building in an earlier
life housed amusement park goers. The Moreschi's cottage, you see,
once served as a haven for crowds at the former Pleasure Island amusement
park in Wakefield. Massachusetts.
in 1972. Richie's boss. a caretaker at the amusement park that closed
in 1969, told him that the some of the buildings were being offered
for sale. The Middleton couple wondered if there might be something
there they could put to use on their campsite in Maine. The structures
in Wakefield were being vandalized and some had already been torn
down, and a few were still salvageable and available for cheap money.
Richie jumped on the opportunity.
$75. Richie became the owner of the former "waiting room"
for the "Crazy Shanty." Another friend bought the "Crazy
Shanty" itself for $100. It was a building of twists and turns,
and eventually it became a new home up in New Hampshire. The former
railway station building was bought by Richie's boss for $200 and
trucked to a site near Killington, Vermont. Reassembled, the whistle
stop building served as a four-season getaway. Its owner put a lot
of time and money into it, renting it out to skiers.
renters practically destroyed it, so he later sold it," Richie
recalled. "So much for renting places out to people who don't
care about such things," he added. But for Richie, whose old
campsite he'd inherited from an uncle was on its last legs. "Joyce,
who was pregnant at the time, fell through the floorboards. We knew
it was time to do something." Richie said. With a mortgage on
their home and a young family, the couple didn't have a lot of money
to spare. Richie looked for a more affordable way to get the job done.
a couple of weekends engaged in dismantling the 19- by 28-foot structure
in Wakefield, Richie spent the entire summer just pulling out nails,
and labeling the pieces. A cabinet maker by trade, he confessed he
wasn't a builder in the sense of putting up buildings. So he had to
rely on the expertise of friends and a wonderful group of Mainers
to get the building pieced together again.
started to rebuild on Labor Day, after my friend Dick Williams, who
was in the concrete business, trucked the building up to Maine. And
every weekend from Labor Day until the first of November, they worked
at building a cottage. We even added nine feet to square it off,"
took a little beer and a lot of friends and we finally had ourselves
a four-season building in Maine. We've had a lot of good times with
friends and family there over the years," the couple said. A
photo album attests to the memories.
bonus was daughter Julie's choice to attend college in Maine. During
her college years, the cottage provided living accommodations for
her. Julie loves the north country, so much so, she's married and
is raising a family nearby.
okay for Joyce and Richie. The couple now make their way to Maine
and have a place to stay while visiting their grandchildren.
the Pleasure Island of years ago provided a haven for young families
in search of a good time. And today, we are happy to report that one
of their structures has the same purposes, this time as a camp in
the Village Reporter, Middleton MA, July 10, 2002