The Bullet Roller Coaster was one of the prime attractions at Cashman’s Park.

Cashman’s Dancehall stretched over the River.

The Island Park section of town was mainly a farming area until trolleys began to cross Stone Bridge from Tiverton.   The trolley company began to encourage recreation development to lure Fall River workers to come on their day off.  Barker’s Merry-go-round opened in 1898 and  in 1902 Joseph Lunan’s Shooting Gallery opened as well.  The area gradually added a wide variety of amusements such as glider swings, speak-easies, fortune tellers, tea rooms and food concessions. The biggest development was by Thomas Cashman who opened an amusement park in 1926.  It boasted the second largest roller coaster in New England. The Comet.  Cashman’s Park offered a Ballroom built over the beach,  a boardwalk into the Sakonnet River and a beach with boat rentals.  The park was devastated during the Hurricane of 1938.

The Portsmouth Historical Society has postcards of the hurricane destruction.  Our exhibit. “On the Water,” includes photos of Portsmouth families enjoying themselves at the Island Park beach.  You are welcome to add your family photos to the display.

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