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History Press

Norumbega Park and Totem Pole Ballroom

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.

This volume is an immense resource of 207 historical images across 128 pages of history and insight on this amazing park and ballroom.


Galvinzed, wrapped steel.


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