| A History of Pleasure Island
An eighty-acre multi-million dollar theme park, Pleasure Island operated in Wakefield between the years 1959 and 1969. At its inception, it was the largest man-made tourist attraction in New England, expected to host over 1,200,00 visitors each summer season. The family-entertainment center was the third of the nations big family park developments (Disneyland and Pacific Ocean Park, Santa Monica, were the first). More than 5,000 people attended its opening day in 1959.
The entrance to the park (named Pleasure Island Road) travelled one mile through the Reedy Meadow swampland and ended in a parking lot for 3,000 cars.
Construction began in February, 1959. Four feet of frozen ground had to be blasted to lay foundations for the park -- 250 craftsmen and twelve subcontractors worked for four months to complete the park, which included 100,000 yards of paving, one mile of water pipe, ten thousand feet of railroad tracks, seven thousand feet of fence, three thousand trees and one hundred acres of landscape. Prior to construction, several man made ponds existed -- land had been taken from this area to fill Logan Airport runways in the 50s. Engineers removed and relocated 200,000 cubic yards of earth to create village roads and parks -- 1000 cubic yards of white sand created a beach. Two hundred master carpenters erected the buildings using Victorian, Colonial and Western architecture. One actual antique building, the B&M station from Greenwood (80 years old at the time) was carefully lifed from its foundation and shuttled through town to its new location at Pleasure Island. (This station building would ultimately burn down in a disastrous fire.)
At present, the site is occupied by the Edgewater Park office complex and Reedy Meadow Conservation Land.