Judy Beers

I thought you might enjoy this article which explains some of what happened to a few of the buildings at Pleasure Island. (Judy's letter continues below.)

This cottage had its beginnings as a Pleasure Island structure at the Amusement Park in Wakefield. Courtesy photo


When 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.

Back 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.

For $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.

"The 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.

After 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.

"We 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," said Richie.

"It 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.

Another 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.

That's okay for Joyce and Richie. The couple now make their way to Maine and have a place to stay while visiting their grandchildren.

Yes, 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 Maine.

From the Village Reporter, Middleton MA, July 10, 2002

Richie's boss was Roy Collamora, who owned Ray's Cabinet Shop on Foundry Street. The friend who bought the crazy Shanty is my husband Tom Beers. Another building was purchased by Bob and Glenda Gotlaudauro. That one is a camp in Wakefield, NH.

Each building was totally dismantled. In our case, Tom precut all the pieces, trucked them to Jefferson NH and built a camp.

The wood was prime lumber, just a few years old. We were grateful to get the opportunity & delighted to have such a history in our camp.


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