“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

On "The Line" 1880-1940

On "The Line" 1880-1940 Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
1. On "The Line" 1880-1940 Marker
Inscription.  For decades, the main attraction on the line was the Willows Pavilion. This unusual looking structure boasted a roller skating rink and a 300-seat, second-floor restaurant. In the rear tower, a camera obscura projected scenes from the surrounding area onto a table in a darkened room. Nearby was a theater, built largely of recycled materials from the Siege of Paris pavilion from a Boston exposition.

The building at the very end of the line originally housed a carousel that was powered by an unpredictable mule tethered to a central pole in the basement. In 1897, the building was acquired by Everett Hobbs and Wilbur Eaton, purveyors of popcorn, taffy, and other summer delights.

Downings’s seafood restaurant and “Blind Pat” Kenneally’s double-jointed peanut stand were among the other early tenants on the line, as were a shooting gallery, a pool room, a bowling alley, and an arcade.

One of the most popular of the park’s commercial attractions in the early 20th century was the Willows Casino dance hall. In the 1920s, the Casino was reopened as the Charleshurst Ballroom, and for the next two decades, locals flocked
On "The Line" 1880-1940 Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
2. On "The Line" 1880-1940 Marker
to the hall to dance to the music of bands headlined by Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and other big names of the era.

By 1940 the Charleshurst had been joined on the line by a new carousel, Dodge-Em Junior bumper cars, The Whip, and other modern amusements. Many of these have passed from the scene, but another attraction from that era, the famed Salem Willows chop suey sandwich, is a popular today as it was in the 1930s.
Erected by City of Salem.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 32.113′ N, 70° 52.182′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Restaurant Row. The marker is near Restaurant Row in Salem Willows Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Salem MA 01970, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Salem Willows Park Opens for Business (within shouting distance of this marker); Salem Willows (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rev. John Hale House (approx. one mile away); Hale Farm (approx. one mile away); Hospital Point Light / Honor the Valiant Men (approx. one mile away); Hospital Point Lighthouse (approx.
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one mile away); Beverly Korean War Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Memorial Bell (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 23, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 354 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 23, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 1, 2021