Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life is a Merry-Go-Round at Nantasket Beach, MA

Article and Photo by Eric H.

I found no "amusement" when Paragon Park at Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA, closed in 1984 to give way for cold and clinical condo development. This once-magnificent amusement park landmark -- bringing thrills to locals since the early 1900s -- brought a festive quality of life to this coastal community, just 20 miles south of Boston and easily accessible from our suburban locations.

While Nantasket Beach has made a bit of a comeback with a growing number of restaurants and hotels, the feeling just isn't the same for some of us traditional New Englanders. There are, however, three saving graces for the Nantasket visitor who wanted things to stay the same, forever: an original clock tower, one of the best ocean beaches on the northeast Atlantic coast, and the Paragon Carousel from 1928. Largely restored within its original housing, this special carousel features 24 restored horses and a Wurlitzer band organ that generates the carnival-like music -- creating a childhood sense of well being and security. There might be better carousels in this part of the country -- like the Empire State Carousel in Cooperstown, NY, and the Crescent Park Carousel in East Providence, as examples. It's funny, though, how one's own childhood merry-go-round memories override other carousels that might be better in quality. Sometimes, a healthy sense of denial preserves our happiest childhood memories.

Just the few times I had spent at Paragon Park was enough to create memories, to this very day. Sadly, the Paragon Carousel is now the last carousel in the Boston area, so we indeed need something to hold onto -- what better than a carousel horse and a beach to splash around from our golden years?

Read here about more information on the Paragon Carousel
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