Pleasure Island, Wakefield, Massachusetts, 1959-1969


Blueprint for Customer Pleasure, Pleasure Island customers get the red carpet treatment from personnel trained to welcome, make the patrons feel at home. Funspot Amusement-Recreation Management, December 1959.  
The building in the background of this postcard housed the Pleasure Island Carousel on the Midway at Lake Nipmuc Park in Mendon, Massachusetts prior to its move to Wakefield in 1960. From Tom Irons, Mendon, via George Appleton.  
  Divider page in 2001 The International Resource Guide for Themed EntertainmentPleasure Island is featured in the 2001 edition of The International Resource Guide for Themed Entertainment. (Click image for larger version.)  
Here's Pleasure Island designer C.V. Wood in 1970 by the London Bridge at Lake Havasu City.  


E9 at Pleasure Island : Posted to the Boston & Maine Fourm

Posted by Mike O'Dorney (modorney@aol.com) on Mon, Apr 2, 01 at 17:05


Shows a B+M locomotive in the background. This was part of a static display at Pleasure Island, funded, in part, by Blount, of Steamtown fame.

Does anybody know what happened to theis B+M Loco? thanks,


Posted by: Al P (alp@cheshire.net) on Mon, Apr 2, 01 at 17:18

I belive it was an E7 and it was scrapped.

I would expect Doug Kydd to weigh in heavily on this one. Al P.

Posted by: Doug Kydd (DFKyddSeDe@aol.com) on Mon, Apr 16, 01 at 0:02

definately was E-7 # 3814, which in 1952 pulled Dwight Eisenhower's campaign special along the Western Route into Boston. It, along with Pacific # 3713 was hauled out of Pleasure Island on Dec 16, 1961, ended up at Schiavone scrap yard at Charlestown MA and was scrapped by Late 1963


Wed, 21 Mar 2001


You may not be aware of it, but the #5 locomotive that used to serve at Pleasure Island in the '60s can now be found at the WW&F Railway Museum, located in Alna Maine. We purchased it in 1999 and have been running it since last year. The URL is http://www.wwfry.org if you are interested.

I have a question about the lettering schemes found on the engine while it was at Pleasure Island, and I was hoping someone might be able shed some light on it. Saturday I was scraping paint off the tank of the engine when I found not one, but three separate letterings of "Old Smokey RR".

There was a layer of silver lettering that appears to have been applied first. Next it appeared that there was a yellow layer, and a white layer. The silver and yellow letterings were three lines, centered on the tank in this manner:


The white lettering was not centered, and looked roughly like this:


I've already determined through other channels that the yellow lettering was there in 1970, when the locomotive was back at the Edaville Railroad, which supplied the engines and passenger cars for the Pleasure Island attraction.

So my question is: can anyone tell me roughly when the other lettering schemes were on the engine?

Thank you,

James Patten
WW&F Railway Museum



Thu, 22 Mar 2001

Henry Stahle - class of '63 ? WHS may be able to help you. -- Mike O'Dorney



Test firing of the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway 1999 steam locomotive acquisition, #10 (ex-Edaville #5) which was brought to Pleasure Island's from Louisiana in 1959 and nicknamed "Betsy"

  One of the engineers to design & build the moby dick ride lived across the street from me.His name was Dave Burbine aka Cowboy.I grew up in greenwood on greenwood ave.He had a daughter carol.I dont know if they live in wakefield anymore but maybe he could help in getting more info. John Murray BigJ830@aol.com  

From Time Magazine, 1959, as quoted at the Thrill Mountain web site page "Disney and Son"

...Such coin counting has spawned sincere flattery: imitation Disneyland's are shooting up across the country. The best are the brainchild of drawling, a blunt-talking Texan C.V.Wood, 38, a onetime industrial engineer whose survey on Disneyland's prospects so impressed the master that he was invited in to build the park. At present, Wood is supervising construction of five others (including Denver's Magic Mountain, Great Southwest Park near Dallas, Montana Magica in Caracas), has half a dozen more in the planning stage. This week, his latest is open: $4,000,000 Pleasure Island, 14 miles north of Boston in Wakefield, Mass. Most spectacular feature: a 19th century New England fishing village, from which the kiddies can slosh off in whale boats to stalk a 70-ft. replica of Moby Dick.



Carousels of New England Web Site

"frame of a portable carousel appears in the 1968 movie Charly, no figures on it, had overhead jumping mechanism"



Message on Clayton Moore's 85th Birthday Page...

Dear Mr. Moore, Thank you for many happy Saturdays in front of the black and white Philco and for the twinge of surprise when, seeing you in person at Pleasure Island in Wakefield, Mass, I learned that your outfit was blue! I also learned that you were a real person with real feelings when you recited the Lone Ranger Creed. It made a lasting impression. Thank you for bringing the Lone Ranger to life and for adding more substance than the scriptwriters could have first imagined. Dexter Rowe.



From the Lost Colorado Ski Areas page of the "Colordao Skier" web site...

"A man named C.V. Wood was the Big Kahuna for Disney during the building and first few years of DISNEYLAND operation. He left Disney and became a "theme park consultant" billing himself as "The Master Planner of Disneyland" until Disney sued. Wood's first theme park was PLEASURE ISLAND in Wakefield, MA near Boston. It opened in 1959 and is now closed. His second theme park was FREEDOMLAND, in NYC. It opened in 1960 and lasted five seasons. Mr. Wood was very good at building theme parks that lacked one item - the Disney magic."



Recipe for Pleasure Island Seafood Chowder
given by the chef in 1960 to Greta Hellmer

1 #1 can Snows minced clams
1 frozen lobster
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp (if fresh, shelled and deveined)
1/2 pound scallops or haddock
1 enormous onion (one pound)
3 pounds potatoes
celery salt, onion salt, butter

  • Cook minced clams in additional water for anhour.
  • Saute onions.
  • Add onions, lobster and shrimp and continue to simmer.
  • Dice potatoes fine; cook with haddock only until done.
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Add milk and tablespoon roux (recipe below)
  • Roux must be heated over hot water before adding.

Chef's "secret" roux recipe!

1 pound arrowroot, precooked
3 pounds wheat flour
6 pounds shortening or oil

This makes a thickener that can be stored indefinitely and used for gravies, soups, and stews. ALWAYS heat before adding.

  Mrs. Regina Short of Burlington called me about the pirate boat. She said she wished she had good news, but wanted to respond to my letter. She said that they bought the house in 1952 with 6 acres, and the boat is still out in the back yard but totally overgrown with trees. She said her kids are grown but still go out there to play cards, etc. and did not want her to give away the boat that their deceased dad brought home from PI. I asked her if we could take a picture, and she said that it is very dilapidated and overgrown with trees, and we wouldn't even be able to airlift it out. Mary K. Galvin, 10/26/2000  
  Did you know that Wakefield's Roy and Judy Babb had their first date at Pleasure Island?  
  Did you know that the movie "Charlie" was filmed at Pleasure Island? Cliff Robertson won an academy award for best actor for the 1968 drama based on "Flowers for Algernon," by Daniel Keyes. Also starring Claire Bloom, "Charlie" is available on videotape at Blockbusters.  
  "Pleasure Island," from A Century of Fun: A Pictorial History of New England Amusement Parks, by Bob Goldsack of Nashua New Hampshire, Published by Midway Museum Publications, P,.O. Box 6477, Nashua NH 03063  

From the History of the Royal Hanneford Circus... Tommy Hanneford is recorded as a circus performer as early as April of 1933 with the Downie Brothers Circus. At the time, he was a clown and only 5 years old. Not since his father, George, Sr., had a Hanneford owned and operated his own circus. So it was at Pleasure Island Park in Wakefield, Massachusetts in 1965 when Tommy, his sister Kay with her dog act, his wife Struppi on the high wire, and other acts performed the first Hanneford Circus, a title incorporated in Macon, Georgia.

Shriner's Web Site >
  The chronology of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers cites a Pleasure Island Jazz Festival in 1960  

  "Homer Corntassle" and "Pablo" look on while Rex Trailer performs at Pleasure Island in Wakefield, MA  
Rex Trailer >
  Bill Valentine of Salem NH has posted photos from Kartland.  
Vintage Karts Web Site>
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