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     For almost a hundred years, people from all over were drawn to Rocky Point (RP) every summer.  Traditional amusement park rides, headline entertainment and delicious New England foods made it a highlight of the summer.  After the close of the park and auction of its assets in the mid 90ís, it has sat in decay as a reminder of days gone by.  Finally in 2003, the liens on the property were paid off.  Soon, the last remains of a place that brought so much joy to so many, will be put to rest.  Hearing this I decided to make one last visit to the park, to explore its current state and hopefully stir up some old memories. 

 When I saw the archway, I felt the excitement swell up inside.  Like an old friend that  has seen better days, it was there to welcome me in for one last romp through the grounds.  As I proceeded into the park, I immediately began to notice how things had changed.  Scrambling through a part of the fence near where the flume previously resided, I discovered an empty lot.  All that remained were the various buildings that housed the games and concessions stand, the House of Horrors and some ticket booths.  All of them appeared to have been pried open by previous visitors.

        The Mexican Fiesta was the first stop.  As I crawled over the counter, I could see a red foot print of a pervious explorer.  Once inside, I discovered a carpet of red powder on the floor. What could it be? Left over chili power?  I moved onto what I like to call the round house. Itís the curved building they parked the Kiddy Train in at night.  I found Sky Liner seats and pieces of carnival games resting peacefully inside along 2 giant freezers.   Exiting the back, I could see where the Dodge Ums building use to be.  Unfortunately, it was consumed in a fire in June 2000.  This was one of my favorite rides.  A friend who had worked for RP recently told me that the staff called it ďThe Coal MineĒ due to all the carbon that was created from the arks of electricity on the ceiling.  If you worked that ride you go home with a sinus filled with soot.  

      I spied the landscape, trying to remember what was in each of the buildings.  It had been so long since I had visited the park.  As I strolled through the kiddy section, I couldn't really remember any of the rides.  There was one  I have vague memories of though.  I can't recall its name but it was Model-T cars on a track.  They had been removed from the park long ago but as a child, I had a fondness for  it. 

      Looking into what was labeled Modos Funhouse, I noticed some new items.  The name didn't sound familiar and I remembered this as being the building, which contained the Ticket Games.  As I  examined it more closely, I realized it was a walk through haunted house made for Halloween Land.  Halloween Land was a venture  by a man in 1997.  He had bought the House of Horrors for $1000 and planned on putting together a seasonal Halloween theme park.  Unfortunately,  the fire department shut him down just before opening.  I havenít heard anything about him since then.

       With the House of Horrors now on my mind, I decided to go there next.  I was going to leave it for last but just couldnít wait any longer.  The House of Horrors was a big part of my Rocky Point memories.   When I was about eight or nine yrs. old it frightened me to death.  Not the ride itself, just how it appeared from the outside.  It had such a unique and eerie look.  The Viking and Dragon on the second floor brought terrifying images to mind.  When my brothers would ask if I wanted to join them on the ride, Iíd take one look at its creepy faÁade and then pretend that I really didnít care for it.  Deep down inside though, I feared that much more daunting things might be lurking inside.  When I was much older, I finally did gain the confidence to venture inside and was pleasantly surprised.  Though it was far from being scary, I found its quirky style very entertaining.  Here it stood lifeless and abandoned.  Though it hasn't been in operation for more than six years, its appearance was still commanding.  Once again, I would be entering into the belly of this beast.  As in 'The Wizard of Oz, I was about to peek behind the curtain and reveal its inner works.  I approached the entrance and found it was still boarded up.  Fortunately, I located a spot where some boards had been torn away.  Little did I know, this would be the first time Iíd actually be frightened as I entered.  My friend who tagged along, had already  made it to the House of Horrors.  As I squeezed into the dark interior mesmerized by Dracula's image on the cart , he jumped out to scare me.

      The missing boards let in enough light to see fairly well. There were four cars laying about on the lower level.  One of the cars was still on the tracks, frozen in time,  patiently waiting to begin its climb to the second floor once again.  Each of these cars had monsters painted on the front.  Dracula, Frankenstein and a snake-faced man.  The art was fantastic!

       I walked up the sturdy ramp to explore the second floor.  The building seemed to be structurally sound. Reaching the second floor, I found it was empty.  Other than the chicken wire cages and a few sofa cushions, it was bare.  My friend and I spent a lot of time exploring the remains of the House of Horrors.  Less the monster faces, the mural and its cool exterior, we didnít find anything else worthy of note.

       My friend and I decided to tour the rest of the park together.  As we did our rounds, we found several interesting things.  In the back of a gaming building, we discovered several custom  paintings -  each appeared to have been trampled and assaulted by previous visitors. In the carousel, area we found giant pieces of a fiberglass moon.  Though we each had our hunches, neither of us could really remember which ride they were from.  Eventually an associate of mine informed me that they were from the Apollo ride which had sat between that tall arch and the flume.  Why it was still here was a mystery to me. 

            Laid out across the ground were parts of the Mini-Golf coarse.  Odd since it had been removed from the park in the mid-eighties to make room for the Free Fall.  I can only assume that it had been stored in some backroom in case they may have decided to make room for it elsewhere in the park;  now once again, it was part of the park for curious explorers like my friend and I to enjoy.  

             Deep in the back of the Modos building, we discovered what looked like the accounting office.   Along with a few framed Sting posters, we found cash bags with the names of various arcade games on them.  Peering into a small room with a service counter revealed two giant safes.  One of the safes appeared to have been assaulted with a pick ax.  There was a sizeable hole in its door.   The thieves who were trying to gain access were out of luck.  The door was far too thick to penetrate. 

 

      We scrambled through many of the interconnecting amusement games and found nothing interesting, so we ventured onto the Cyclone.  The Cyclone building was the largest of all and still in great shape.  Looking out of a window from the second floor, we noticed cement foundations peppering the grass and the roof of the beer garden.  The most interesting thing we found though, was a sign from the ill-fated Halloween Land lying at the base of the stairway. 

       It now was getting late so we decided to collect ourselves and say goodbye to Rocky Point one last time.  Though the park was no more, it still cast a spell on the two of us. After spending a day strolling around its now empty shell, we found ourselves making plans for one more visit.  I felt that maybe if we spent one more day at Rocky Point sharing our memories, it would vividly etch those images of summer in the park into my mind.  Then, whenever I felt sad that the park was gone, Iíd be able to close my eyes and vividly relive those moments. 

          As we drove away a sad silence fell on both of us.  The silence was soon broken when we spotted the clam shack on Palmer Ave.  It was just like summer in the 70's all over, and what better way to end  a day at Rocky Point then with some clam cakes and chowder.    

~Strange NE

[Check our photo section for more Rocky Point Pictures.]

 

 
 
 
 

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