This site is wonderful. I spent some time last year looking in vain for some on-line info about PI. I found a site called defunct amusement parks which listed PI, but that's it. We went there almost every year, sometimes, as we got older, more than once. Finding this site was the answer to a prayer.
I also visited the spot after it closed, once around 74 or 75, when there were still some buildings up, tho I can't remember much. Then again in 1978 or 79, after the apartments were up. We walked around the back of them, and along a path below where the railroad tracks ran. We didn't stay long., and I can't recall that much was there then.
Like many, I always meant to go back with a camera and never did, but now your site's wonderful "after" photos have done it for me! And reading the stories brings more detail back, like the last days of the park. Yeah, I remember when they changed the pricing to one charge for the day (I think $1.80 at one point), and the steady decline, right up to the day that we ran to get on the Moby Dick ride only to be told that "the whale isn't working, but we can take you on a boat ride". The patter from the pilots faded away, along with some of he little touches, such as the "explorer" in the "native's" cook pot, the charging rhino (he actually moved), the sharks circling, the dolphins...and were there three "natives" brandishing spears? All these touches died before the park did. But my friends and I were approaching 16 or 17 then, and so the decline didn't bother us as much.
In it's heyday the pirates on Pirate Island fired a cannon to repel approaching boats of tourists (actually a shotgun laid beside the cannon), all the guides had a patter, and I think one of them fired a blank pistol one time at something... there were robberies on the train ride, shows, and the dark rides...
I was out there last winter, and walked around a little bit in the last overgrown area, where the jenny cars were. The track was still visible, but from what I've read that's probably gone now if they're breaking ground for new buildings. The article I saw said that the last of the park would be covered. And I showed my kids the bit of lagoon still left, where Moby lived.
It was a wonderful place, and a big part of my childhood. Nothing quite matched it, not Lincoln Park, not Canobie lake, nice as they were/are. It was always hot, and we always had to run, not walk, from each attraction to the next. It was all there, cowboys, pirates, whales...and you know, I don't remember long lines. It really was a little Disneyland, even if only for a short time, and I was lucky enough to be one of those who shared that time.
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