Relive Dartmouth’s Lincoln Park in This Resurfaced 1982 Video
Dartmouth's historic Lincoln Park was a place of joy for so many SouthCoast families for close to 100 years. Memories of the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Jet Flyer live on in fond memories for kids growing up in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Thanks to GBH Archives, those memories came to life on Friday when they shared footage from the park in 1982.
GBH Archives on Facebook provides access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. Amassing over 45,000 views, the following video shows a typical day at the park. The unknown cameraperson walks among fellow park goers, catching the excitable buzz that permeated through the park on a hot summer day, making sure to stop at every ride jam-packed with thrill seekers and capturing the sights and sounds that made the park what it was.
This video was taken just a few years before the park shut off the rides for the final time in 1987. Tim Weisberg detailed the fall of Lincoln Park in his book Ghosts of the SouthCoast and explained how by that time “smaller, independently owned amusement parks were often overlooked by vacationers, who instead chose to make longer trips to larger theme parks outside of New England.” Safety issues became a topic of discussion for Lincoln Park as well, after one fatal accident and one brake mishap happened on the same roller coaster.
It’s safe to say, however, that from 1894 to 1987, Lincoln Park primarily provided joy and amusement to thrill-seekers on the SouthCoast. Videos like this bring me back to a simpler time, where my biggest concern of the day was whether I would spend my tokens on cotton candy or the ring toss.
Did you enjoy a fun-filled day at Lincoln Park in 1982? Keep an eye out for your younger self in this throwback video.