Friday, May 3, 2013

Part three, Trolley Parks (Portland area)

South Portland's Grand Casino 1897-click to enlarge
Photo: Seashore Trolley Museum via
  The Portland and Cape Elizabeth railway opened the Grand Casino on Simontons Cove on Willard Beach.  It opened one week before Riverton Park (see yesterday's blog).
   The newspapers described this building as immense, it was 110 feet long and 65 feet wide with 3 floors.  It had, on the first floor, 75 dressing rooms and a heated salt water pool, and many more things live a movie theater and dance floors.
The Cape Cottage Theater 1910 - click to enlarge
Photo: Seashore Trolley Museum via
  This theater was a typical playhouse where sometimes popular actors came to perform, usually in the summer.  This particular theater is still hosting plays, the building has been altered over the course of a hundred plus years, but it stands on the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth line.
Cape Cottage Casino c1900 - click to enlarge
Photo: Seashore Trolley Museum via
  This Casino was located on a rocky bluff where visitors could watch the activity of the shipping channel, right from the dining room!  There were dance halls, food service facilities, bake shops, dressing rooms and swimming.
  A very popular destination for day trippers the biggest draw was "fresh air" which considering the size of Portland may have been better (horse "droppings") if you get my drift.

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