Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Paragon Park (year unknown)

This week's featured brochure is a fitting follow-up to my Six Flags America series that concluded last week. If you'll recall, Six Flags America's first wooden coaster--Wild One--was a transplant from another park which had closed. So I figured hey, why not take a look at the park it originally called home? Which brings us to...Paragon Park in Hull, Massachusetts!

There she is, in all her original glory. Back then (whenever "then" was--no date to be found on this brochure), she was known as Giant Coaster. Giant Coaster enjoyed a good, long run at Paragon Park from 1917 until the park closed in 1984. During that time, this John Miller-designed classic was redesigned by both Herbert Schmeck and John Allen. The list of industry "greats" who have had a hand in this coaster's legacy grew even longer after the decision was made to transport it to Maryland. If Giant Coaster/Wild One could talk, she'd win the name-dropping game hands down!

Right next to Giant Coaster sat the mildly thrilling splashdown of Paragon Park's old mill, which went by nearly a half-dozen different names over the course of its lifetime. At the time the park closed, I believe it was known as the Bermuda Triangle, which is a pretty amusing moniker for a tunnel of love! Pictured below this "love triangle" is a view of one of the park's midways.

If only I knew when "the all new" Kooky Kastle opened at Paragon Park, I might have a clue as to the date of this brochure. But whatever the time frame, visitors to Nantasket Beach certainly had a variety of amusements at their disposal, not the least of which was the beach itself. Inside the park proper, they could also enjoy several coasters, plenty of flat rides, and even a round of mini golf.

Yet something is missing in this brochure. We've seen neither hide nor hair of Paragon Park's carousel, which happens to be the last remnant of the park still standing on site today. Built in 1928 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, it features 66 hand-carved horses and two chariots. We have The Friends of Paragon Park to thank for continuing to lovingly maintain and operate this gem, and you can read more about their efforts in this article which appeared in The Boston Globe just a couple short months ago.

Considering that no area codes are provided for any of the phone numbers listed in this brochure, I guess it's safe to assume that most of Paragon Park's visitors were local at the time it was published. That seems like a foreign concept in a day and age where people such as ourselves travel all over creation for the express purpose of visiting parks! It's such a shame that most of us never had the chance to visit this one in its heyday. But if you'd like to experience a little piece of its history, you can either follow these directions to the general vicinity of the carousel, or cruise on down to Maryland to take on the Wild One. It's better than nothing, right?


scott said...

I have a website dedicated to Paragon Park,

Sabrina said...

Yes, as a matter of fact I came across your site when I was looking for more information about this park. What wonderful memories you have! It's great that you've taken the time to create this web site so that those of us who never had the chance to visit can get a sense of what Paragon Park was like.