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Fantastic Nantasket: 1905

Fantastic Nantasket: 1905

Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, circa 1905. "General view from Atlantic House -- Paragon Park and resorts." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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On the rocks

When I was a kid in the '60s and '70s there were not many homes left on the rocks. We'd climb them for the view. I have photos from up there of Paragon Park in 1984, the park closed and its fate unknown to me at the time. In summer every Wednesday my mother would take us there, she'd hang out with friends, and we'd be on the beach. On Wednesdays there was a band concert under the pavilion (still there) and afterwards she'd take us to Paragon. On the boardwalk was the penny arcade, restaurants and a Fascination Room, some sort of machines played by adults.

What I remember was on a blistering hot day walking past this place, the door would be opened, and you could feel the ice-cold AC coming out. My wife and I still go to Nantasket a few times a year, mostly off season, it's peaceful. We drive through Hull to the Hull Gut channel. From there you can watch boats passing through, and off in the distance see planes leaving and landing at Logan International Airport in Boston.

I've always thought Nantasket is sort of underdeveloped for what it is. Selfishly that's OK by me. Back in the '80s there was talk of a casino, it didn't happen, and the land still has nothing on it.

Atlantic House

Atlantic House is in this previous Shorpy entry. Was it taken on the same day (after a long walk!)?

Clutter Hill

as opposed to the actual name - Atlantic Hill - seems like a good backup, given both the 'then' and 'now' scenes.

(Yes, it's been a vistor to SHORPY before, and, yes, it burned...naturally!)

What do you do in Fantastic Nantasket?

You can play "A-Tisket, A-Tasket"!

An American game first recorded in 1879, this involves dancing in a circle, singing about a green and yellow basket, dropping a handkerchief, someone picking it up, someone catching that someone, who is kissed and/or tells the name of their sweetheart.

Unlike Nantasket, an Indian word meaning "place of low tides", neither "tisket" nor "tasket" has any particular meaning, though some have been assigned to them over the years.

By the beautiful sea

Here is Nantasket Beach today. If you spin around -- there is an old house on the hilltop that might be Atlantic House referenced in the 1905 photograph. Below that is certainly the rock outcrop in the photo.

I just read the old house is not the famous Atlantic House hotel, which burned to the ground in January 1927. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Atlantic House and the Atlantic Hill Condominiums, which now occupy the site. It's an interesting comparison of when a building wants to conquer the site it's on, and when it wants to blend into it.

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