Lost Wonderland: The Brief and Brilliant Life of Boston's Million Dollar Amusement Park

Lost Wonderland: The Brief and Brilliant Life of Boston's Million Dollar Amusement Park

by Stephen R. Wilk

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Overview

If you take Boston's Blue Line to its northern end, you'll reach the Wonderland stop. Few realize that a twenty-three-acre amusement park once sat nearby—the largest in New England, and grander than any of the Coney Island parks that inspired it. Opened in Revere on Memorial Day in 1906 to great fanfare, Wonderland offered hundreds of thousands of visitors recreation by the sea, just a short distance from downtown Boston.

The story of the park's creation and wild, but brief, success is full of larger-than-life characters who hoped to thrill attendees and rake in profits. Stephen R. Wilk describes the planning and history of the park, which featured early roller coasters, a scenic railway, a central lagoon in which a Shoot-the-Chutes boat plunged, an aerial swing, a funhouse, and more. Performances ran throughout the day, including a daring Fires and Flames show; a Wild West show; a children's theater; and numerous circus acts. While nothing remains of what was once called "Boston's Regal Home of Pleasure" and the park would close in 1910, this book resurrects Wonderland by transporting readers through its magical gates.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625345585
Publisher: Bright Leaf
Publication date: 10/30/2020
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 719,824
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

STEPHEN R. WILK is a contributing editor to the Optical Society of America and author of How the Ray Gun Got Its Zap: Odd Excursions into Optics. He lives in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 Opening Day and Background 1

Chapter 2 The Boulanger of Wonderland 14

Chapter 3 Year One-1906 (The Northern Half of the Park) 36

Chapter 4 Year One-1906 (The Southern Half of the Park) 61

Chapter 5 The Rise and Fall of Floyd C. Thompson 90

Chapter 6 Year Two-1907 108

Chapter 7 Year Three-1908 134

Chapter 8 Year Four-1909 172

Chapter 9 Finale-1910 187

Chapter 10 After the Ball Was Over-1911 and Beyond 200

Notes 217

Selected Bibliography 253

Index 255

What People are Saying About This

Maria Olia

This fascinating account of Revere's Wonderland Amusement Park in the early years of the twentieth century celebrates the industrial achievements of the era — mechanization and the electricity — that brought entertainment to the bourgeoning American middle class.

Customer Reviews