Diamond Lil Saloon, Pleasure Island, 1959

  • Diamond Lil Saloon, Pleasure Island, 1959
  • "The Diamond Lil Saloon, located in the Western section of Pleasure Island, was the first building to be constructed in the park and was built as 'an exact replica of the old western style architecture of the 1890s.' Just as it was at Disneyland, the first building became the 'shop' where the props and other components for the park were built. The 2,700 sq. ft. Diamond Lil Saloon was designed by Hollywood movie specialists who also supervised its construction. The saloon interior and decorations, including its mahogany bar and tin ceiling, were reported to have cost $50,000, an expense that was divided evenly among the owners of Pleasure Island and Pepsi-Cola, the saloon sponsor. The Diamond Lil show was the most popular entertainment in the park with four shows on weekdays and five on Saturdays and Sundays. The show was written and produced by Lloyd Settle who previously worked for both Disneyland and Pacific Ocean Park, the elaborate 'new theme parks in California.' Settle brought out two performers, headliners Charmaine Harma (Diamond Lil) and Champ Butler (Ragtime Cowboy Joe) from Pacific Ocean Park to Pleasure Island to appear in the show. Buddy Farnham (Sourdough MacPherson) was also in the show. When Pleasure Island opened for its second season on June 18th, 1960, Pepsi-Cola had already pulled out as a commercial exhibitor, putting an end to the Diamond Lil show. The saloon was used as a venue for silent movies and local high school and college performances until the park closed in 1969. On April 1, 1971, the saloon, its adjoining print shop, the Chisolm Trail and the former Greenwood Station were destroyed by arson. The Diamond Lil bar was salvaged and is currently part of the Peppermint Saloon ice cream parlor at Clark's Trading Post." - Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Donofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2010
  • Photo courtesy of Bob McLaughlin and the Friends of Pleasure Island.
  • 1959
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Diamond Lil Saloon, Pleasure Island, 1959,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed October 15, 2021, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/wakefield/items/show/2839.



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