Norumbega Park and Totem Pole Ballroom

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Throughout the early part of the 20th century, Norumbega Park in Newton, Massachusetts, was the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers and fun-lovers. For 66 years, the park by the Charles River defined recreation and romance. Located 12 miles west of Boston, Norumbega Park was designed to attract weekend ridership to the Commonwealth Avenue Street Railway trolley line. The park succeeded beyond what anyone imagined. From its grand opening in 1897 until the gates closed forever on Labor Day in 1963, the legendary park drew visitors from New England and beyond for family-friendly fun. Its attractions included canoeing, amusement rides, vaudeville shows, and a zoo, all in a carefully landscaped setting. Starting in 1930, the Totem Pole Ballroom, once called “America’s most beautiful ballroom,” presented nationally renowned bands led by musicians including Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw.
ISBN: 9781467106337
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Massachusetts
Series: Images of America
Images: 207
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Historic Newton’s Clara Silverstein, historian and author, and Sara Leavitt Goldberg, archivist and curator of manuscripts and photographs, have collaborated to create a lively, engaging narrative. Pictures from the collection of the Archives at Historic Newton—including many taken by Norumbega Park’s professional photographers—illustrate how the park entertained generations of guests as they took advantage of the new concept of leisure time in a rapidly growing nation.
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