Robert Haynes

My grandparents lived by the railroad track that go undre rte. 128. As a very young child, I vaguely remember when all the old steam trains rolled by on their way to Pleasure Island for their outdoor steam train museum. I have some old 8mm footage of that inherited from my uncle. I think the steam trains lasted disappointedly for only the first year. Rumor was they were sold to Steamtown, then in Bellows Falls VT. But I remember up until Pleasure Island's closing day, the whistle of the narrow gauge steam train, every weekend we visited my parents. I also remember the incredible Swiss Family Robinson complex of incredible tree houses on the Treasure Island boat ride. I still can't believe that it is all gone. I have dreams of it still and wake up crying thinking it's all a bad dream and just like the old Pennsylvania Station in NYC that some day I will wake up and it will be there.


I live in NYC now but visit my family frequently in Billerica. A few years back my brother and I went to that industrial park and saw the rail coming out of the duck pond. We suspected it from Moby Dick. The original 8mm footage belongs to one of my uncles that used to work there. He copied a bunch of the old films on video himself and gave it to me but it is very crude which makes it more interesting. He also had footage of the antique auto ride. I will ask him where the original films are if you are still interested. I'm so glad that my brother told me about this website. For years I've been writing to Yankee magazine prodding them to do a feature article about Pleasure Island to bring attention to this lost fantasy land. I'm so glad that someone else has done that and can't understand why it wasn't done sooner. Thank you for all your work with this project. I'm sure it is greatly appreciated by many, many people.

Sincerely, Robert Haynes


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