Pleasure Island opened on June 22, 1959, in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Designed by Marco Engineering of Los Angeles, it was the second of three innovative theme parks built across America to mimic Disneyland. Pleasure Island was conceived by William Hawkes, president of Child Life magazine, and with support from Boston's Cabot, Cabot & Forbes and local and national investors, the vision of the park was brought to life. Just by passing through a turnstile, children and the young at heart could leave the present and enter into a world of the past. Clipper Cove was a replica of an old New England fishing village, and Goldpan Gulch re-created the Old West. With state-of-the-art attractions and national and local live entertainment, Pleasure Island became one of the top-grossing parks in the nation. Known as the "Disneyland of the East," the park was enjoyed for 11 seasons, until its closing in 1969.
About the Author
Robert McLaughlin has an avid interest in theme park history. He is cofounder and president of the Friends of Pleasure Island, established in 2000. He is also author of two books in the Images of America series, including Pleasure Island and Freedomland. Many of the images for this book have been drawn from his private collection.
Table of Contents
1 Disneyland to London Bridge 9
2 Child Life World Goes to Hollywood 17
3 Disneyland East Opens 25
4 Attractions and Entertainment 49
5 Pleasure Island's Site Lives On 77
6 Friends of Pleasure Island 85