Pleasure Island, Wakefield, Massachusetts, 1959-1969


Pleasure Island employees who went on to work with Rex Trailer; photos from "The Boomtown Years" thanks to John Toczydlowski.  

Dave Dulong as an Indian; Dallas Trailer as Homer Corntassle; Bill O'Brien as "Colonel" Billy, and Lou Ciarfella as Chief Black Eagle. All but Dallas were once at Pleasure Island.
Sergeant Billy, played by Bill O'Brien  

"The sea turtle from the Wreck of the Hesperus, the three natives from Moby, the Silo Slide, and the boats from Moby all went to my hometown park, Crescent Park -- now defunct." George LaCrosse (email 1/23/01)

Question: What ever happened to those PI items after Crescent Park closed? Ray DiPirro

Answer: Sorry, I don't know. Most of the rides were auctioned off so some other park could have purchased the barn slide. However, all of the park's dark ride and fun house stunts (figures) were sold indivdually in the Shore Dinner Hall in the fall of 1978. At that time I saw the Moby Dick natives but not the Wreck's sea turtle. It's possible somebody bought it before I arrived. The stunts went fairly cheap: I bought the eight-foot gorilla from Crescent's Riverboat dark ride for $10. One of the Moby boats remained outside the Shore Dinner Hall long after the park closed. In the early 1980s, the Hall was destroyed by fire so the boat probably went with it. George LaCrosse


Were there three cannibals at Moby Dick cove ? In the picture I saw only two, I though there were three. They moved the first year they were there but they were not there in 1959. John Toz


I was looking at the web site and saw one Louis Ciarfella at the Indian Village concessions. Is this the same Lou Ciarfella who played "Chief Black Eagle" on Rex Trailer's Boomtown [ The Boomtown Years, page 54] ??? John Toz


Virginia Austin owned a dance school in Malden or Medford. She and six of her students were the dance hall girls in the Saloon in 1965 or 1966. I saw only one name, Cheryl Timmerman, on the database list. Does anyone know if Virginia is still in the area?, or the names of any of the other dancers? Art Minklein


Were the carousel horses made of wood? Kory Hellmer


Most definitely wood. We sanded and painted them one winter in maintenance. I think it was John Zynski who painted them with me. We even started painting our initials on the underside of each the horse we painted. I'm going to guess that was the winter of 1968. Richard N. Krol


At a family party, some of my cousins were talking about a dentist office upstairs in Western City. Does anyone else remember this? Any details? Kory Hellmer


The Dentist office was indeed on the second floor at the near end of the building that the Chisolm Trail was in. You could not enter it but there was a speaker in there that emitted moans and groans from a continuous tape loop ALL DAY long!!!!!. Talk about annoying!!!!! Russ Berube

1959 Snapshot from Beth Moreton Anderson


Does anyone remember what this was called? Which ride went by it? Stopped at it?

From Richard Krol


  • Richard Krol — That is the Native Hut on the island. It was for the Moby Dick Ride... That was the hut with the stew pot that all the natives sat around every Saturday night and got stewwedd.
  • K Kierstead — I believe this was the cannibal's hut with the explorer in the pot. I seem to remember the cannibal would move forward from the hut or through the grass with a spear held over his head.
  • Bill Valentine — As I recall, the shack was part of the Moby Dick ride. There were some natives that would pop up and a few animals that would charge at the boat. The grass shack in the picture housed the compressors to power the natives and animals. I think the shack was on the island that hid the whale from view of people on the land. Hope I'm remembering the right grass shack.
  • John Toz — This is the hut on the island at the Moby Dick ride. It camouflaged the a-frame with cable pulleys for the ride. The cooking pot had a missionary in it screaming ouch. Very un-p.c. too bad. You would pass by this as you began to exit the ride in the white whaling boats. Whaling also very un-p.c. No one stopped at the island.
  • Keith Sullivan — I believe that the picture of the native hut and cooking pot was something seen on the Moby Dick ride. It's amazing how much of this comes back to me seeing the photos! I remember there was an explorer in the pot, and the pilot of the boat worked it into his patter, tho I can't recall the exact wording.
  • Russ Berube — The picture of the hut shown on the web page is that of the Cannibal Hut on the Moby Dick ride. I have submitted a picture of the Moby Dick Lagoon taken from the top of the Colonial Point apartment building. The "X" marks the location where it stood on the island.


Question from Greg Zuk:

When you exited the Wreck of the Hesperus ride there was a pirate with flashing red eyes. Did he say "You spoiled my kingdom" or something to that effect?

Answer from Russ Berube:

It was King Neptune at the end of the Wreck of the Hesperus ride and he said.. " Beware ye who have desecrated my kingdom!"

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