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You’ll see… The Willows!

The Willows is named for the willow trees planted in 1801 to form a shaded walk for patients at the nearby smallpox hospital. The area became a public park in 1858, and was a summer destination for residents of the North Shore, who traveled there on the newly popular streetcars. In fact, it was the Naumkeag Street Railway Company which built the amusement park that opened in 1880.

engineering drawingThe park covers over 35 acres and includes a pier (destroyed several years ago by a winter storm, but scheduled to be rebuilt), a yacht club, an arcade, and take-out restaurants. There are gazebos, a small stage area, and tennis and basketball courts. There is a carousel as well as a miniature golf course. There are two small beaches, one called “Dead Horse Beach” reportedly because it was once used as a dumping ground for animal carcasses and other garbage.

The houses on crowded Juniper Point, next to the Willows, were originally occupied only during the summer, but they are now year-round homes. Unfortunately, they are very exposed to winter storms.

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