Revere Beach was established as the country’s first public beach in 1896. From the beginning, the beach has been easily accessible. People would come from all over New England to visit this beloved attraction. Horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, automobiles and a train that first existed on Revere Beach Boulevard (later moved to where the MBTA runs now) were modes of transportation. Not only the ocean attracted many to Revere Beach. The amusement park, ballrooms, hotels and restaurants drew crowds to the “Coney Island of New England.” The roller coaster was one of the biggest and most extreme in the US. The beach is still a favorite to many, but has changed from its heyday. High-rise condos replaced the amusements, though there is still plenty of sun and sand to relish. -Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite
Boston Globe Archives
July 10, 1915: As folks strolled in their weekend finery, booths boarded up for the winter were now open with games of chance and advertised summer staples like glasses of buttermilk, Coca-Cola, ice cream, and Trask's Restaurant. The restaurant stood next to Derby Racer, one of 15 roller coasters in the park and the one owned by Howard Trask, the restaurateur.
The Boston Globe
Aug. 18, 1935: Revere Beach during a hot afternoon. Temperatures this day soared to 90 degrees and people in all manner of dress, casual and formal, took to the beach for a little relief. In its heyday, more than 250,000 bathers would relax along Revere Beach's shores on hot summer days. Seen in the background is the new Ocean Pier and Dancing Pavilion constructed in 1911.
Joyce Dopkeen/Globe Staff
July 8, 1968: The Cyclone, one of the largest roller coasters in the United States, can be seen in the background as people sunbathed at Revere Beach. Built in 1925 by Harry Travers for $125,000, its cars traveled at a speed of 50 miles per hour and its climb reached a 100 feet. Leo Hurley, whose father and uncle started the amusement era on Revere Beach in 1898 and who ran the last rides before the amusement park closed in 1978, said Revere Beach was "the Coney Island of Massachusetts, the playground of New England."
William Ryerson/Globe Staff
June 14, 1970 : Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Santosuosso and their children, Laura, 5, and Lewis Jr., 2, cleaned Revere Beach at the start of the 1970 summer season.
Ted Dully/Globe Staff
Aug. 23, 1972: Revere Beach was a destination spot for many beachgoers and amusement park aficionados. Here, Peter Sousi and Michael Federico, both of Roslindale, were strolling on the beach.
Paul Benoit/Globe Staff
July 9, 1987: Sunbathers basked at Revere Beach as the contrast in decades was apparent in the background. The luxury high-rise condos have replaced the amusements and arcades once found along the boulevard. The beach area, ravaged by the Blizzard of 1978, saw a $130 million private and public redevelopment project build apartments and condominiums near the waterfront.