From 1959-1969 in Wakefield, Massachusetts existed a theme park named Pleasure Island. You probably do not know what I am talking about, but if you ask a grownup who grew up in Massachusetts at the time, they probably know!
My father has always shared his memories of Pleasure Island with me and that's how I got interested in it. I had an interview with my dad, and will use his comments throughout this report. I decided to get more information on this interesting park, and got most of my information off the official Pleasure Island website, and in conclusion to my research I have Gathered a lot of information on Pleasure Island. If I were to state my opinion on the three best rides they would be Moby Dick, Wreck of the Hesperus, and Old Smokey Railroad.
Locomotive #10 was purchased in 1904 to work on a sugar plantation. It worked on at least three different plantations until 1959 when it was bought for an amusement park called Pleasure Island. Now this Locomotive became a ride. Pleasure Island renamed it Old Smokey railroad line. As my father recalls "It was a fun train ride that went around the park." After Pleasure Island closed in 1969 " Old Smokey" was put into storage, until a company in Maine bought it and it is now on display. Wreck of the Hesperus
The Wreck of the Hesperus ride was a thrill rid. First you would get into the car that was made to look like a boat. Then you would be in a thunder and lighting storm and you boat would sink underneath the ocean. Under the water you would see fish, a giant turtle, and even a shark! At the end of the ride you would meet the King of the Sea named King Neptune he would give you some words of wisdom and then the ride was over.
One time when my father was on the ride it broke down and as my dad says "All the boats were jammed together and my aunt being the only adult on bored had to scream for help." "They heard her and turned the light inside of the ride on, and we got to walk though it ." " This was really fun because we got to see all the behind the scenes stuff as we walked though the rest of the ride!"
" Aride before its time" my father quoted. Imagine going on a nice boat ride, then all of a sudden a huge white whale plunges out at you. "Thar she blows, it's Moby Dick" your captain shouts. There in front of you was a big white whale, mouth opening and closing, water shouting out of its spout and I giant eye moving back and fourth. "This I think is what attracted the guests because nothing like this had ever been done before," my father said.
What Happened to Moby Dick
After the park closed in 1969 all the fans asked, "What happened to the great white whale?" Well there are many theories and stories about that, not knowing which ones are true. Some people remember, after the park closed going down to see the remain. A couple of men recall seeing him in an open field. Other men who are scuba divers declare that Moby Dick has sunk and now resides at the bottom of the lake were Pleasure Island once was and have seen him. The truth is... nobody knows the truth, Moby could be long gone, or may still be in his pond!
Pleasure Island Today?
If you are ever on route 128 and see the sign for Pleasure Island road, all you will find is some office buildings and apartment buildings right? No, you are wrong! Behind those buildings are some lakes, with a ramp and tracks going into them. Yes, your right, and as my father and I believe that is the lake were Moby Dick and other things that sank from his ride are, and those are the tracks Moby use to slide in and out of the water on.
Then walk for a while to the left and you will find some old train tracks. Yes you're right again. These are Old Smokey's remains. Also all along you are fences with old wood in them, and those may be remains form Pleasure Island buildings. So know it may seem like nothing anymore, but if you look really hard you can see a lot of great memories!
Why did such a wonderful place close you ask? My father says it was probably because it gets so cold here during the winter and they would run out of money. My father's last comment on Pleasure Island was " Pleasure Island was the original Disney World, it was a great and now that it's gone is a sad thing, but it truly was a magical place!
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