We believe the things that were always there in our childhood were somehow there long before. There was an amusement park in Wakefield, MA, Pleasure Island that I went to with day camp every year. I don't think I ever went with family, because that would have meant going with my cousins who lived the next town over and I don't recall that. There is still Canobie Lake Park in NH, once more like this but upgrading steadily over the years.
The Wreck of the Hesperus plunked you in one of those four-seater carts on a track and dragged you through a dark ride, one of those things that was supposed to scare you and had sound effects of a ship in a gale, with the ghost of some old salt cackling about something as you were all about to go under. There were thunky sharp turns, and you could hear the rest of the ride in the background wherever you went, including the ghost, repeating his cackle and sentence every ten seconds or so. There was a Chisholm Trail ride, I think entirely outdoors, and the usual carousels, go-karts, and many places to buy overpriced junk food over souvenirs. Did everyone have them or were they mostly a New England thing? This particular one had some Disney connections, which I did not know at the time.
I thought it had been there for decades, or at least since right after the war. It only existed between 1959-1969, just about my conscious childhood. There are those who still remember, the Friends of Pleasure Island, with lots of pictures and descriptions of all the attractions. I had forgotten about Friends Baked Beans, one of the major local brands at the time. In Massachusetts back in the day, beans could be part of an amusement park.
I had not realised that the Saloon had been rescued by Clark's Trading Post, a northern NH tourist attraction. Clark's has the Wolfman, who shoots at you as your train goes by. What is a felony offense in Massachusetts is a tourist attraction in NH.