Item 69968 - Amusement Center at night, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1938

Item 69968 - Amusement Center at night, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1938
Contributed by Boston Public Library
Item 69968
Amusement Center at night, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1938
3367px x 2161px - 11.2"w x 7.2"h @ 300dpi  |  Need a larger size?
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The Old Orchard Beach amusement park, Palace Playland, dates back to 1902 and sits on four acres of beachfront property. Old Orchard Beach was home to the first carousel in the United States Noah's Ark, a kid-friendly, boat-shaped funhouse with hand-carved figures of Noah and his family.

Old Orchard Beach has been promoted as a tourist destination since 1631. In 1829 the first Public House opened, and in 1837 tourists paid $1.50 each to stay at a local farm. Railroad service between Boston and Portland opened in 1842. Over the years Old Orchard developed into a major resort. Airplanes took off from the beach and auto races were held on the sand. Most of the large hotels were destroyed in the fire of 1907. The oldest hotel still standing on the beachfront in Old Orchard as of 2012, is The Ocean House Hotel & Motel, circa 1895, located at 71 West Grand Avenue.

The seven mile long beach stretching away from the downtown is lined with many beach residential properties, condominiums, motels, bed and breakfasts, and a pier. Three versions of the Pier were constructed by man and modified by nature. The first, was built in 1898 with a casino and a ballroom at the end. Shortly after its completion a storm reduced its length. It was rebuilt, but 10 years later another storm reduced the length of the pier again. A fire in 1969 destroyed many of the wooden amusement rides and the Casino was demolished in 1970. As of 2012, the current incarnation of the pier was built in 1980 after being destroyed by a blizzard in 1978. It stretches 500 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The wooden walk way is lined with souvenir shops, fair style foods, and a night club at the end of the pier.

The Tichnor Brothers printing company published this type of postcard circa 1938 as part of their Maine series. These, and other postcards, by the Tichnor Brothers Company are officially known as the Tichnor Gloss Series because the photographs were notoriously retouched on such a level that does not allow the postcards to be classified as photographs or paintings. The caption reads, "Amusement Center at night, Old Orchard Beach, Maine."

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