DER Documentary

A Time To Reflect, The History Of Whalom Park

by Aaron Cadieux
color, 34 min, 2005

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A Time To Reflect, The History Of Whalom Park is an in-depth look into a disappearing piece of Americana, the classic amusement park. The film chronicles the rise and fall of Whalom and covers over 100 years of the park’s history.

Like so many other small amusement parks at the turn of the century, Whalom began as a weekend destination for streetcar riders. Quickly, the park developed into a recreational gathering place with an abundance of rides, food vendors and first-rate entertainment. Sadly, with the combination of poor management and the emergence of big theme parks, Whalom Park would begin to decline in the late 20th century. The park eventually closed its gates for the last time in the fall of 2000.

Hear from a number of local residents as they remember this beloved landmark. Go back in time to the park's humble beginnings in the rustic woodlands of Lunenburg Massachusetts. See how Whalom's landscape changed throughout the years after a number of destructive storms and fires. Venture though the park during its golden years and take a ride on the Flyer Comet roller coaster, the antique Carousel, the Tumble Bug, and other classic rides.

Recall the many famous people that visited Whalom Park throughout the years, from the legendary big bands in the ballroom, to world-renowned performers in the Whalom Playhouse. Learn about how the park was culturally significant as both a social gathering place and as an employer to hundreds of local residents. Travel though Whalom Park's period of upgrades and expansions to its eventual demise in the late 20th century. Take a walk though the remains of the park today and see how Whalom's current condition compares to that of other classic amusement parks that have suffered the same fate.

The story of Whalom Park is eerily similar to what has happened to so many of these vanishing national treasures. A Time To Reflect, The History Of Whalom Park is, without a doubt, a film that can be enjoyed by anyone who has an appreciation for the social significance of the classic amusement park.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Co-winner of the LaCoy Documentary Award, Fitchburg State College, 2005
Visions film/video festival, Fitchburg State College, 2005 Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2005
New England Film & Video Festival, Boston, MA, 2005
DER 35th Anniversary Celebration, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 2006

Educational Media Reviews Online

Related Resources
Aaron Cadieux's Official Web Site

Related Films
J.B. Jackson and the American Landscape

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts