Today, as I was writing some checks to authors for our laboratory continuing education program, I ran across an address for Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I was somewhat struck by this – it has a sort of “Yahoo Serious Film Festival” ring to it (“I know all those words, but that sign just doesn’t make sense”).
Anyway, I researched the town a bit. It takes its name from an apple orchard located on high land above a sandy beach, and this was a landmark to sailors. In 1820 a “Publick House” was built, and in 1837, a summer boarding house began the town’s march toward becoming a haven for summer tourism. In 1898, the town opened a 1,770-foot-long pier, but a combination of fires and storms in the early 1900’s ruined many early beachfront buildings, destroyed the “White City” that was built on the pier, and trimmed the pier to a (still respectable) 700 feet. A new pier and the amusement park that’s located there opened in 1980 (current pier length: 500+ feet). [http://www.oldorchardbeachmaine.com/History.htm]
Old Orchard Beach touts itself as the last remaining beachfront amusement park in New England. Sounds like fun!